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Date: 29-05-13

Touch controller support gloved fingers, thin stylus and also feature prox. Sensor

Cypress Semiconductor has launched new touchscreen controller chips TrueTouch Gen4 with the below new features:

1. Supporting gloved fingers: The Gen4 TMA467 controller tracks up to 10 fingers in thin gloves and two fingers with thicker gloves, such as those used by skiers. It automatically switches between glove and finger tracking without any intervention. A video demonstration of this capability is available at www.cypress.com/touch.

2. Passive Stylus support: The Gen4 TMA468 controller supports passive styli with tips as small as 2 mm, enabling touchscreens to capture characters as small as 7 mm. This capability is important for writing in languages that require enhanced character recognition for reliable text input, such as Chinese and Japanese. The controller delivers a high degree of accuracy and linearity, along with the fast refresh rates required for handwriting and signature capture, claims Cypress.

3. Proximity Sensor: Proximity detection that senses an object approaching the touchscreen and powers down the display before contact to avoid accidental touches. The Gen4 TMA466 controller’s proximity sensing detects objects such as a user’s face up to 25 mm away from the screen and disables detection when a user is on a call in case their face touches the screen. It also instructs the host to turn off the display to save power and prolong battery life. This eliminates the need for standalone IR proximity sensors and reduces system costs.

The other advanced features include water rejection and seamless operation in noisy environments.

"These advanced features continue to deliver a better user experience for our customers’ products," said John Carey, Senior Director of TrueTouch Marketing at Cypress. “Our customers have long been swamped with complaints. Take a skier, who wants to use a phone on the slopes without removing his or her gloves. With Gen4’s proprietary technology, problem solved.”

Cypress says "Gen4 utilizes Cypress’s patented ability to execute both self-capacitance and mutual-capacitance measurements in the same device—and switch dynamically between the two in application. This ability enables glove tracking, stylus support, and face detection features, as well as TrueTouch’s unrivaled water rejection capability."

Cypress claims Gen4 is the world’s only controller family with a built-in 10V transmitter to drive the touch panel at 10V. Because signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is directly proportional to the voltage at which the panel is driven, this technology allows Gen4 solutions to sense smaller signals than competitors in the presence of high noise sources, eliminating disruptions in performance. Gen4 controls touchscreens up to 6 inches in smartphones, superphones, digital cameras, and media players, and touchscreens up to 10.1 inches in e-readers and tablets.

Availability: The TrueTouch Gen4 TMA466, TMA467, and TMA468 controllers are now available to lead customers.

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