9 May 2023

Cambridge Mechatronics licenses its haptics technology to SMA-Tech

Leading Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) actuator technology and silicon provider, Cambridge Mechatronics Ltd (CML), has announced a new agreement with one of its manufacturing partners, SMA-Tech, a subsidiary of Shanghai B.L Electronics Co Ltd (Billu).

The agreement extends SMA-Techs’ existing licence with CML to include the mass production of haptic actuators for sale into products such as smartphones and wearables.

Advanced haptic feedback is widely considered to be central to the next stage of human-device interaction. Recent projections from analysts value the global haptics market at $47 billion in 2030. Haptic actuators can be assembled underneath device surfaces and transmit force waves to provide a realistic tactile sensation at the exact position of interaction. For some applications, this technology is referred to as solid state buttons, which alongside virtual controls, are starting to become commonplace terms in the consumer electronics industry and sharp demand ramps are anticipated. 

SMA haptic actuators are supported by proprietary firmware residing on CML’s drive chips. The waveform can be selected, tuned, and altered to match consumer preference. It can also be varied in real-time, providing continuously variable sensations. 

Mr Wang Jianhua, CEO Shanghai B.L Electronics Co Ltd:  

Billu is excited about this technology, and we look forward to continuing our close working relationship with CML to bring robust, high performance haptics solutions to our customers

Senior Director of Business Development, Dominic Webber adds:

Our continued work with SMA-Tech and Billu, now expanding into haptics solutions, demonstrates the strength of our long-standing partnership which started with the mass production of smartphone camera actuators in 2018. We look forward to this exciting new development and further accelerating the wider adoption of SMA technology to address the growing need for cutting-edge technology for future consumer electronics products.

About Billu: Founded in December 2009 in Shanghai, Billu Electronics Co., Ltd.  is a leading manufacturer of actuators that are widely used in smartphones and industrial equipment. Billu is a fast-growing company that possesses strong capabilities in design, automation, and production. Billu endeavours to constantly improve product quality and customer experience with technology innovation.

About CML: Cambridge Mechatronics Limited (CML) is a world-leading developer of mechanical, optical, electrical, silicon and software designs for system-level solutions using its Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) platform technology. Actuator solutions using SMA wire (as thin as a human hair) can be controlled to the accuracy of the wavelength of light. These actuators are particularly suited to applications that require high levels of precision and force, in a compact and lightweight design.

If you'd like to learn more about CML or SMA technology, please do get in touch.