STMicroelectronics (News - Alert), supplier of semiconductor solutions and Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) for consumer and portable applications, has announced that launch of its new FingerTip technology, capable of providing a single-chip solution for capacitive touchscreens of up to 10 inches in diameter with multi-touch capability.
The company’s MEMS sensors and FingerTip technology are based on a similar architecture, which employs a method where a sensing element is connected to a high-performance capacitance-sensing circuit. STMicroelectronics has effectively deployed its expertise in analog and mixed-signal interface technology to design an innovative analog-front-end capable of detecting variations of capacitance in atto-Farads (10- F) while enabling it to buffer the system against noise.
Touchscreen applications typically get affected by noise which is generated from sources such as the display, the system, human touch, or battery chargers. If the system uses poor-quality chargers, the noise generated can be as high as tens of volts and can interfere with normal operations when a finger touches the screen. Any time this happens, a strong periodic noise in the range of 100V (peak-to-peak) and in the frequency range from 1 kHz to 1MHz enters the touchscreen controller's analog front-end and can result in 'false' finger touches.
STMicroelectronics new FingerTip capacitive sensing technology which employs a powerful 32-bit DSP (Digital Signal Processing) engine has been developed to cut down charger noise effect and to simultaneously reach higher immunity levels all without affecting the performance of the system with respect to accuracy, frame rate and power consumption. The new technology offering can also cut down noises generated from displays and has been designed to work with both 'in-cell' and 'on-cell' display technologies.
In a release, Benedetto Vigna, General Manager of MEMS, Sensors and High Performance Analog Division said, "Noise from battery chargers pose a special issue for touchscreens, resulting in a poor user experience. Our leadership in analog capacitive interface IP, developed for MEMS sensors, will allow us to achieve higher noise rejection prior to digital filtering. This new FingerTip technology is able to achieve faster response time, low-power consumption and higher noise rejection required for high-end portable applications."
Key benefits of the new FingerTip technology offering include handwriting capability with a small stylus; very fast response time; ultra-low power consumption; best linearity and accuracy in noisy conditions; and tiny package suitable for smart phones and 10-inch tablets.
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Edited by John Lahtinen