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Atmel banks on growth potential in Asian IC industry

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MCU? SoC? smart metering?

Atmel went to this year's Computex in Taipei with its new line ultra-low power touch screen controller, the maXTouch T Series. Richard Lin, sales VP for APAC and Japan, also spoke with EE Times Taiwan about company's latest market development strategy.

Lin pointed out that Asia has become the centre of the global electronics industry, so Atmel made has been making large investments in the region these past few years. Currently, Atmel has close to 1,600 employees in Asia with R&D centres in Taipei, Shanghai and India (Bangalore). Atmel also has operation centres in Malaysia (Penang) and the Philippines (Manila). Given the great growth potential of Asian market, Atmel will continue to expand domestic investment, including research and development, customer support and strategic acquisitions, Lin explained.

Back in March, Atmel announced the acquisition of IDT's smart metering IC product line, including its metrology analogue front end (AFE) and system-on-chip (SoC) devices for single- and poly-phase energy meters and the R&D team in Shanghai. Lin mentioned a study conducted by Pike Research that states that annual smart grid revenue will grow to $73 billion by 2020, with China rapidly rising as the world's largest smart metering market.

As for Taiwan, nearly a third of Atmel employees in Asia are based in the country and they work closely with local OEMs and ODMs, enabling Atmel's touch solution to immediately support the latest Windows 8 tablets and Ultrabooks, including Asus' Zenbook Infinity.

The new T Series delivers an adaptive-sensing architecture featuring both mutual and self-capacitance to optimise performance. The maXTouch T Series automatically selects the best sensing architecture, seamlessly switching to enable higher performance and lower power consumption. Mutual capacitance enables true multi-touch tracking while self-capacitance offers benefits including idle power consumption, moisture immunity, glove tracking and hover capability. The T Series also enhances noise immunity with an industry-first capacitive touch dual analogue and digital filtering architecture to deliver the best signal-to-noise ratio and power consumption.

To better support Ultrabook and notebook touch sensors, the mXT2952T has specific circuitry to take advantage of indium tin oxide alternative sensor materials such as Atmel's XSense flexible touch sensor. This allows system designers to build more innovative designs with faster operation, lower power, borderless and even flexible touchscreens. The maXTouch T Series integrates Atmel's proprietary maXFusion sensor hub management technology that enables designers to manage both the touch interface and all the sensor intelligence in a single chip. This technology enables lower bill of materials and higher performance.

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