mems joystick Knowles Acoustics launches MEMS joystick for mobile devices

It's not the world smallest joystick, but we can't imagine it being far from at 9.8×9.8×1.6mm, but Knowles Acoustics KMJ0401IC MEMS joystick has the potential to simplify and lower the cost of a wide range of handheld mobile devices that rely on physical input for navigation. Knowles Acoustics also claim that its joystick can help improve battery life by being more power efficient than other alternatives.

It's not the world smallest joystick, but we can't imagine it being far from at 9.8×9.8×1.6mm, but Knowles Acoustics KMJ0401IC MEMS joystick has the potential to simplify and lower the cost of a wide range of handheld mobile devices that rely on physical input for navigation. Knowles Acoustics also claim that its joystick can help improve battery life by being more power efficient than other alternatives.

MEMS or micro electromechanical systems is a type of IC fused with mechanical functionality and is most commonly found in various types of sensors, such as motion sensors. The advantage of using this technology for a joystick is obviously the fact that you can create a very small, inexpensive and simple device. The KMJ0401IC replaces the need for a separate controller IC which would be needed if a traditional analogue joystick was used.

mems joystick Knowles Acoustics launches MEMS joystick for mobile devices

The KMJ0401IC only draws a tiny 40μA in use, 25μA in idle mode and 3μA in sleep mode and Knowles Acoustics claim that this can help reduce power drain on battery powered devices by a factor of 25 compared to optical joysticks found on many smartphones. The joystick allows for 360 degree movement and variable scroll speeds and is meant to deliver a “true analog joystick feel”.

As for the types of devices we can expect to see the KMJ0401IC in, well no firm partners have been announced but Knowles Acoustics is hoping that it'll make its way into smartphones, tablets, portable gaming devices and just about anything else you can think of that would need a small, cheap, reliable joystick controller in.

Source: Knowles Acoustics