The single-sided linear actuator has usually large normal force which may induce large frictional force when using roll-bearings to support the linear motion. Otherwise, an air suspension system or assisted guide is needed to balance the normal force. A new H-module linear actuator (HMLA) with much lower normal force is proposed in this paper. The proposed new H-module linear actuator makes use of additional air suspension system unnecessary. The topology and working principle of the HMLA is illustrated in details in this paper. The force characteristics are analyzed by finite element method (FEM). The impacts of several key design parameters on the force characteristics are studied, and the HMLA is optimized afterwards. It is proved that the optimized HMLA could use less permanent magnet (PM) volume and generate larger useful tangential force and its normal force vs. tangential force ratio is much lower than that of the conventional single-sided linear actuator.