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App note: Lifetime of DC vibration motors (MTTF & FIT)

App note: Lifetime of DC vibration motors (MTTF & FIT)

DC vibration motors failure analysis by Precision Microdrives. Link here

Reliability is an important consideration for engineers and product designers. It is also very context specific. For example consider a car, which is made from lots of individual components. If the radio antenna should fail, the car still operates. However this is not the case if the engine stops working. Some features are more important than others, especially with safety systems such as the car’s brakes.


In relation to vibration motors and their typical applications we can consider them as individual components or entire systems. Haptic feedback on a user interface is comprised of the input system (such as a touchscreen), the microcontroller, the motor drive circuit, and the vibration motor. If any one of these should fail, then the vibration feature will no longer work.

As with any component, our vibration motors will eventually stop working. The key therefore is accurately estimating when, and determining if it is an acceptable period of time. To do this, we can use one of a number of different methods for calculating the probability of a component’s life expectancy.