TacTouch™ Haptic Actuator and Touch-Pressure Measurement Controller with I²C Interface

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Industry's first complete flyback-based arbitrary waveform controller solution that targets touch-enabled devices

Part Details
  • Four Sense Inputs for Force-Sense Resistors or Four Independent 10-Bit ADC Inputs with Threshold Trigger
  • Programmable FSR Scan Rate
  • Low-Power Operation at 2.7V
    • < 15µA at 13Hz FSR Pressure Scanning Supply Current
    • < 1µA Deep-Sleep Shutdown Current
  • Supports Multiple High- or Low-Voltage Haptic Actuators
    • Single-Layer/Multilayer Piezo Actuators, Electroactive Polymers
  • Create Custom User-Programmable Waveforms with Up to 8-Bit Resolution
  • On-Chip Multiple Haptic Waveform Storage Up to 192 Bytes
  • On-Chip DC Boost Regulator
    • On-Chip 30V High-Voltage Boost Switch with Programmable Maximum Peak Current
    • Flyback Converter Generates High-Voltage Boost Supply
    • Efficient Design to Minimize Drain on Battery Applications
  • Disable Input (GSMBL) to Disable or Enter Lower Power Boost-Controller Operation During High-Current Events
  • Digital Supply 1.8V to 2.85V
  • Boost/Flyback (VBAT) and Analog Power Supply (VDD) 2.7V to 5.25V
  • Fast 1MHz I²C Interface
  • ESD Protection: ±1kV HBM, ±1kV CDM, ±200V MM
Additional Details
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The MAX11836 haptic (tactile) actuator controller provides a complete solution for touch-pressure measurement and haptic feedback for products featuring user touch interfaces. The MAX11836 integrates drive and sense circuitry for connecting up to four external force-sense resistors (FSRs) to measure touch pressure. The MAX11836 drives actuators including single layer, multilayer piezos, or electroactive polymer actuators. The device efficiently generates any type of user-programmable waveforms including sine waves, trapezoidals, squares, and pulses to drive the tactile feedback loads to create custom haptic sensations. This device integrates various blocks including an I²C interface, boost regulator, pattern storage memory and waveform generator, force-sense resistor controller, and a 5-channel, 10-bit ADC block in one package. The device provides a complete touch-pressure sensing and haptic feedback controller solution.

The MAX11836 scans the FSR inputs at a user programmable rate and measures touch pressure to detect touch in a low-power mode. The system touch-screen controller can stay in shutdown mode, saving system power. Upon a touch, the MAX11836 notifies the host of the touch event and in return the host wakes up the touch-screen controller to scan for the location of the touch and triggers the MAX11836 to fire haptic events. Touch detection through the FSR inputs is controlled through a pressure threshold setting which is user programmable. All FSR inputs are summed and compared to the threshold value, and if exceeded, the MAX11836 generates and interrupts the host controller, allowing the removal of false touches.

The MAX11836 contains a boost regulator that uses an external flyback to efficiently generate high-voltage waveforms typically up to 250V to drive haptic actuators while limiting current drain. The boost regulator features an internal n-channel MOSFET with current limit to control the drain from the battery or power supply.

The MAX11836 features user-programmable haptic feedback pattern storage memory that drives the waveform generator with piecewise linear data using 8-bit resolution. The MAX11836 provides a fast 1MHz I²C serial interface to allow programming of various modes of operation, status checking, and playback of haptic waveforms. The MAX11836 can automatically power down to save power, making the device ideal for portable applications.


  • Handheld Gaming Consoles
  • Infotainment for Automotive Applications
  • Keypads and Keyboards
  • Mobile Communication Devices
  • Notebooks, Netbooks, and e-Readers
  • PDAs, GPS, and Media Players
Complete documentation is available upon completion of a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). To request an NDA, click here.

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