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SQL-1.5 Piezoelectric Motor

Photonics.com
May 2006
New Scale Technologies Inc.Request Info
 
VICTOR, N.Y., May 26, 2006 -- The latest Squiggle motor from miniature ceramic motor maker New Scale Technologies Inc. is the smallest linear motor on the market, the company announced. At 1.5 mm x 1.5 mm, the new SQL-1.5 piezoelectric motor is half the size of competing micromotors and offers a 20-gram push force and sub-µm position resolution, performing 10 times better than its closest competitor on both counts, New Scale said.

NewScaleSQL1.5.jpgNew Scale's Squiggle motor design uses a threaded nut and screw to create precise linear movement in a very small space. Piezoelectric ceramics create ultrasonic vibrations in the nut, causing the screw to rotate and translate with high precision. Squiggle motors are smaller, more precise, less expensive and more efficient than conventional electromagnetic motors, the company said. In addition, they use 90 percent fewer parts and require no gear reduction, which eliminates many failure modes. Their ultrasonic motor design has much lower power consumption than miniature electromagnetic motors and holds its position when the power is turned off, further conserving battery life. This ceramic motor is fundamentally compatible with high magnetic fields, including MRI chambers.

New Scale said its Squiggle motors are used in nanotechnology research, microelectronics, optics, lasers, biotechnology, medical devices, aerospace and defense, fluid control, and office/consumer products, including mobile phone cameras. 

“The SQL-1.5 opens a whole new range of performance for miniature electronic systems such as phone cameras and medical devices,” said New Scale President David Henderson. “Designers of leading-edge mobile devices finally have a precise, reliable linear motor that fits within their size and power budgets. They can add motion -- and hence new capabilities -- where they were unable to do so before.”

The SQL-1.5 has been designed into next-generation autofocus and optical zoom assemblies by camera module developers who support handset manufacturers. Focus and zoom capabilities have become an essential ingredient in the drive to deliver smaller, thinner handsets with the image quality of digital still cameras, the company said.

“Even by the most conservative handset sales forecasts, phone cameras alone represent a new market for one billion motors a year,” Henderson said. “The requirements of these cameras can not be met by current motor technologies.”

The SQL-1.5 is also of interest to medical device manufacturers for a new class of implantable drug pumps and microvalves. The motor itself is tiny, but its high precision is what enables the most dramatic reduction in overall device size, the company said. It provides more precise valve control, which permits more concentrated medications and therefore smaller fluid reservoirs. The ceramic motor design generates no magnetic fields and can be made of non-ferrous materials, making it MRI-safe and image compatible.

SQL-1.5 Squiggle motor specifications:

  • Motor body dimensions: 1.5 mm x 1.5 mm x 6 mm
  • Stroke: 10 mm (customizable)
  • Resolution: Better than 100 nm
  • Speed: (no load) Up to 10 mm/s
  • Force: > 20 g
  • Typical input power (moving): 400 mV (< 40 V)
  • Input power (stationery): 0 mW (0 V)

New Scale said the SQL-1.5 Squiggle motor evaluation kit is $950 and will be available to qualified OEMs for delivery in July 2006. The kit includes an SQL-1.5 motor, drive electronics card, cables and computer control software, including an ActiveX command library.

For more information, visit: www.newscaletech.com; e-mail: sales@newscaletech.com

New Scale Technologies Inc.
111 Victor Heights Pkwy.
Victor, NY 14564
Phone: (585) 924-4450
Fax: (585) 924-4468
Web site: www.newscaletech.com
E-mail: sales@newscaletech.com



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