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Slide switches enable compact electronic apps

Posted: 04 Mar 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:slide switch? touch panel? mobile application?

SSAJ slide switch

Alps Electric Europe has developed the SSAJ series of a 0.7mm-high slide switches that enable the design of more compact electronic devices including mobile phones, digital cameras and compact music players.

Trends toward smaller and slimmer portable devices have led to the need for notably smaller and thinner components. Demand has been particularly strong for thin and compact slide switches, which are usually placed on the side of a device and manipulated to turn power on and off or perform a hold (pause) function.

An increasing number of devices such as smart phones, many of which feature touch panel operation, have begun including slide switches to allow for easier visual confirmation of the mobile phone's pause function.

In response to these growing needs, Alps has developed what the company claims to be the smallest slide switch, which, at 5.5mm x 2.5mm x 0.7mm high, boasts a 36 percent reduction in volume, thus decreasing the space required on a circuit board compared with the company's conventional SSAD series (6.7mm x 3.2mm x 0.7mm) products.

Moreover, this slide switch supports lead-free soldering. Switches and other small, thin components mounted in devices that are subject to direct manual manipulation must be durable. Therefore, the operational knob on the SSAJ slide switch is reinforced by a metal plate inserted inside its plastic body.

In addition, tactile feedback is also important to users because components in such small products are so tiny, making it increasingly difficult to realize proper sensation. Alps leveraged its mechanical design technologies to address this issue by creating a unique structure with a plate spring, realizing a 1.5N operating force. By generating an appropriate clicking sensation, this contributes to higher product usability.

- Julien Happich
EE Times Europe

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