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Touchscreen controller improves gloved finger tracking

Posted: 30 May 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Cypress? touchscreen? controller? gloved fingers? portable electronics?

Cypress Semiconductor has recently added new features to its TrueTouch Gen4 touchscreen controller line. The Gen4 now enables accurate navigation of touchscreens even with thick gloves on, improving convenience for users of smartphones and other portable electronics.

The Gen4 family also offers new functionality, including passive stylus support to capture handwriting and signatures accurately and proximity detection that senses an object approaching the touchscreen and powers down the display before contact to avoid accidental touches. The capacitive-based proximity detection feature eliminates the need for infrared (IR) sensors and provides significant cost savings. These advanced features supplement Gen4's best-in-class water rejection and seamless operation in noisy environments.

The controller tracks up to 10 fingers in thin gloves and two fingers with thicker gloves, such as those used by skiers. It delivers best-in-class accuracy and linearity for gloves of different materials and thicknesses. It automatically switches between glove and finger tracking without any intervention.

Cypress' latest device also supports passive styli with tips as small as 2mm, enabling touchscreens to capture characters as small as 7mm. This capability is important for writing in languages that require enhanced character recognition for reliable text input, such as Chinese and Japanese. The controller delivers a high degree of accuracy and linearity, along with the fast refresh rates required for handwriting and signature capture.

The Gen4 TMA466 controller's proximity sensing detects objects such as a user's face up to 25 mm away from the screen and disables detection when a user is on a call in case their face touches the screen. It also instructs the host to turn off the display to save power and prolong battery life. This eliminates the need for stand-alone IR proximity sensors and reduces system costs.

Gen4 utilises the company's patented ability to execute both self-capacitance and mutual-capacitance measurements in the same device, and switch dynamically between the two in application. This ability enables glove tracking, stylus support, and face detection features, as well as TrueTouch's unrivaled water rejection capability.

Gen4 is the world's only controller family with a built-in 10V transmitter to drive the touch panel at 10V. Because signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is directly proportional to the voltage at which the panel is driven, this technology allows Gen4 solutions to sense smaller signals than competitors in the presence of high noise sources, eliminating disruptions in performance. Gen4 controls touchscreens up to 6 inches in smartphones, digital cameras, and media players, and touchscreens up to 10.1 inches in e-readers and tablets.





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