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Atmel releases IEC/EN 60730-certified touch controllers

Posted: 15 Sep 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microcontroller? touch controllers? IEC/EN 60730 certification?

Microcontroller (MCU) and touch solutions provider Atmel Corp. has announced the release of a family of QTouch capacitive touch controllersAtmel AT42QT1244, AT42QT1245, AT42QT2640 and AT42QT1481. The new family is compliant with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and European Standards (EN) 60730 requirements.

IEC/EN 60730 standards cover mechanical, electrical, electronic, EMC, and abnormal operation of appliances. These certifications assure safe operation within an appliance if a fault within the system is detected by shutting it down.

Selecting the right MCU increases the ease of passing the certification and helps bring a product faster-to-market. With this certification, manufacturers can now easily design household appliances that are IEC/EN-ready with Atmel capacitive touch controllers for buttons, sliders and wheels. This certification, combined with Atmel's conducted immunity (CI), provides a good solution for all home user appliance interfaces. Conducted immunity is the ability for a device to perform all operations despite unwanted 'noisy' RF voltages and currents carried by external wires and cables.

All devices include Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) support to monitor self-tests to ensure the system is running properly. In addition, all the new touch controllers include Atmel's patented Adjacent Key Suppression (AKS) mode which provide more precise discrimination between closely spaced keys; moisture tolerance with Atmel's patented QMatrix technology for extreme environments; and supports high button counts through 24-, 48- or 64-acquisition channels. All Atmel touch controllers are ready to use with no MCU programming and configurations are completed through UART, SPI or I2C interfaces.


Atmel provides touch-sensor ICs that fit the requirements of designers who implement more than 10 buttons in their applications.

"Capacitive touch buttons are expected to show strong adoption in the home appliance market quickly, replacing mechanical buttons in the $90 billion home appliance market," said Randy Lawson, principal analyst and manager of Consumer Electronics and Display Electronics research with IHS iSuppli. "Unlike mechanical buttons, touch interfaces do not wear out, are splash proof, easy to clean and support aesthetically pleasing front panels with no protruding buttons. Companies with IEC/EN-certified products, such as Atmel, are well positioned for growth in this space. IEC/EN-certified products offer a solid assurance that manufacturers will achieve certification for their household appliance designs."

"We are excited to be one of the few capacitive touch controller suppliers to be IEC/EN-certified," said Geir Kjosavik, director of AVR segment marketing, Atmel Corp. "We have a strong commitment to helping our customers bring their products faster-to-market by developing products that are easy-to-use and industry-certified. These certified products help simplify the manufacturers' design process for various household appliances."

Pricing for the Atmel AT42QT1481, AT42QT1244, AT42QT1245 and AT42QT2640 start at $2.48 for 1,000-piece order quantities. AT42QT1481 is now available, while are rest can be purchased by Q4 2011.

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