touch sensing, Freescale Semiconductor, capacitive sensor,
Freescale expands intelligent touch sensing options for consumer and industrial applications
News Release from:
12 October 2009
Freescale Semiconductor is expanding its broad portfolio of touch sensing solutions with the addition of the MPR121 ultra-low-power capacitive sensor and a touch sensing software (TSS) suite compatible with more than 300 of its 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs). With these new offerings, Freescale enables customers to choose the best fit for their interface designs across a broad spectrum of consumer and industrial applications.
Manufacturers are rapidly migrating from resistive to capacitive touch technology to answer the demand for intuitive user interfaces that enhance interactivity and improve end-product functionality. Touch sensing technology boosts reliability by eliminating mechanical wear and tear. In addition, user interface controllers can manage multiple configurations and provide greater flexibility, helping reduce overall system cost.
Freescale’s second-generation MPR121 capacitive touch sensor provides highly reliable touch detection through increased electrode count and integration of automatic calibration and area detection systems. The 12-pad touch sensor is available in the industry’s smallest lead-free package and offers the lowest power consumption at 29 μA average supply current, helping OEMs meet aggressive power targets.
Ideal for portable, low-power consumer electronics applications, the MPR121 touch sensor has been selected to enable compelling features for the newest MP3 players from Audiovox.
“Freescale’s MPR121 sensor includes ease-of-use functionality that helped Audiovox accelerate design cycles and quickly develop our newest MP3 players,” said Tim DiGioia, general manger of the CG Group for Audiovox Electronic Corp. “Audiovox has also leveraged the accuracy, reliability and low power operation of the MPR121 sensor to create new MP3 player products that deliver exceptional experiences for end-users.”
The TSS suite provides an alternate solution by enabling the integration of touch sensing functionality into applications based on Freescale 8-bit MCUs. The suite speeds development by delivering pre-configured software that enables a range of popular features including rotary, slider and keypad functionality. The complimentary software also helps lower system cost by eliminating the need for additional sensor silicon in many designs.
“Freescale’s portfolio of touch sensing solutions allows customers to choose the best option for their designs,” said Bruno Baylac, director of industrial segment marketing for Freescale. “For specialized, low-power designs, the MPR121 provides a simple drop-in device; or by just adding software, customers can transition the MCU in their system into a touch sensing interface.”
Freescale’s touch sensing solutions enable sleek interface designs for a variety of consumer and industrial applications. Freescale’s broad portfolio of touch sensing solutions allows customers to select the option that meets their specific system requirements for power, software integration and quantity of touch points.
Customers can choose a 3- or 12-pad Freescale sensor or the touch-sensing software solution for a variety of applications including:
* Home appliances: cooktops, ovens, refrigerators, washing machines
* Consumer and portable electronics: media players, audio/video systems, TV sets, PCs, monitors, notebooks, MP3 players, cameras
* Medical and industrial equipment: control panels, portable medical devices
* Remote and lighting controls
* Low-resolution touch screens for photo frames and GPS systems
* Large and small appliance touch panel interfaces
* Mobile phones and wireless connected device touch panels
* General use button replacements for netbooks and smartbooks
As touch sensing becomes increasingly key to success in a broad range of embedded markets, OEMs are looking to semiconductor providers to offer more software and silicon choices to fit specific requirements,” said Randy Lawson, senior analyst for Display Electronics with iSuppli Corporation. “Significant opportunities lie ahead for chip vendors offering a variety of solutions for fast, cost-effective ways to add touch sensing capabilities to their designs.