Touch sensors from Zytronic are setting a new benchmark for speed, accuracy and performance of touch interfaces in electrically noisy and other demanding industrial environments with the launch of its new ZXY500 family of multi-touch controllers. As with all its products, Zytronic can offer the new controllers with custom design touch sensors manufactured to a customer size and specification with no Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ).
Designed specifically for use with Zytronic touch sensors, the ZXY500 achieves suitable performance and noise immunity on displays from 5” to around 86” diagonal, thanks to its 40V on-board drive signal coupled with new proprietary touch sensing algorithms. Because of its noise immunity, the ZXY500 allows the air gap between the display and the sensor to be decreased, reducing optical parallax and improving the appearance of the display.
Furthermore, the controller’s high signal-to-noise ratio allows the touch sensor to be integrated alongside wireless technologies such as RFID/NFC readers and Qi chargers, with algorithms within the controller firmware changing dynamically to reject electromagnetic interference in the operating environment.
Optimised for use with Zytronic mutual capacitive touch detection technology and firmware, the ZXY500 enables full multi-touch performance in extremely challenging industrial and public facing applications. It can reliably detect touches through over 8mm of overlaying cover glass, even with gloved hands and is unaffected by rain, salt water, oil or ice on the surface of the touch sensor.
Ian Crosby, Sales and Marketing Director said: “Zytronic has set a new standard for touch performance, enabling sensors to operate reliably in industrial environments from which they were previously excluded. Even in demanding conditions with high levels of EMI and exposure to contaminants, a ZXY500 enabled touchscreen is a rugged and responsive user interface. It is absolutely ideal for outdoor and unattended applications where it can be fully protected from physical damage and environmental factors without compromising performance.”
The ZXY500 can support up to 80 simultaneous touches enabling true multi-user interactivity and the implementation of improved palm rejection functionality. It also features increased speed, updating touch co-ordinates in just 1ms at the controller output - reducing touch latency by a third compared to previous generation controllers and improving the user experience.
Each channel on the device can be configured via firmware to operate in transmit or receive mode. This feature further enhances performance in applications where touchscreens of unusual aspect ratios are used. Advancements in sensor design also enables inactive borders to be dramatically reduced - for example a 55” diagonal touch sensor can now be designed with sub 10mm borders.
Despite the high drive signal, the controller and touch sensor together can be powered from a 5V USB port, eliminating the need for a separate power supply. The ZXY500 is offered with USB output as standard, but also has options to add RS232, I2C, SPI and interfaces, to simplify system integration for industrial and medical applications.
The smallest controller in the new ZXY500 controller family has been significantly reduced in size to just 61x64mm for the 64-channel version. The Flexible Printed Circuits (FPC) connecting the touch sensors to the new controllers have also been reduced to just 120mm in length, further helping to achieve a compact overall touch system design.
The new controllers have been designed to be HID (Human Interface Device) compliant and offer ‘plug-and-play’ operation with later Windows operating systems, and also support Linux and Android versions designed for multi-touch.
All settings including calibration data can be stored in non-volatile memory onboard the controller, so that once an initial touchscreen ('golden unit') has been optimally set up, these settings can be copied directly into firmware and used to configure further interfaces in production without the need to repeat the set-up and calibration process.
The performance and functionality of the controller results from the unique ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit), a custom chip created by Zytronic specifically for the ZXY500 family. Zytronic invested over $1m in the development of the new ASIC, which has enabled a reduction in the cost and size of the controller and the elimination of much of the obsolescence risk associated with the use of third-party components for core parts of the design.
The new ASIC’s are also available together with a STM 32-bit ARM Cortex microprocessor loaded with Zytronic’s proprietary touch detection algorithms as a ‘chip set’. Customers who sign a special licence agreement may then be supplied with the core chip set together with the controller schematics and bill-of-materials. Zytronic’s engineers will then work with the client to design the ZXY500 controller directly onto a mother board within their device or system, further reducing cost and conserving valuable space.
Zytronic is releasing a family of three ZXY500 controllers optimised for different sizes of touch interface. The 64-channel ZXY500-U-OFF-64 is recommended for sensors of 5” to 20” diagonal, the 128-channel ZXY500-U-OFF-128 for sensors of 20” to 55” and the 256-channel ZXY500-U-OFF-256 for sizes above 55”.