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Freescale develops solution for touch-based UI apps

Posted: 03 Dec 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Freescale  capacitive sensor controller  sensing tech software 

From Freescale Semiconductor comes a pair of next-generation capacitive sensor controllers and a proximity sensing software solution that works with hundreds of its MCUs. This new solution is said to reduce the cost and complexity of developing touch-based user interface applications by providing designers with a choice of rotary and touchpad capacitive sensor controllers combined with full-featured touch-sensing algorithms for complex interface designs that require calibration and multiplexing capabilities. These touch-based interfaces may be used in a host of applications including cell phones, portable media players, home appliances, remote controls, electronic games, PC peripherals, home entertainment products and industrial control equipment.

The MPR083 and MPR084 capacitive touch sensor controllers can detect the presence of objects without relying on physical contact. The MPR083 controller is suitable for rotary interface applications, and the MPR084 is well suited for touch-panel control applications. Both controllers have a common pin-out, which simplifies management of control panels, switch replacements, rotary and linear sliders, and touch pad implementations. Both devices use a digital output I2C interface for system communications. The voltage operation range is 1.8V to 3.6V, which is suitable for consumer electronics.

The sensor controllers also support multiple electrodes, enabling one controller to support multiple applications. By multiplexing the electrodes, a single sensor controller can be used for detection at multiple touch points. This multiplexing capability helps reduce system cost, component count and design complexity, said Freescale. In addition, the devices support configurable real-time auto calibration. Self-calibration is engineered to perform automatically at initial device start up and during run time.

Freescale also offers complimentary proximity sensing software derived from the full-featured algorithm that enables easy integration of touch sensing technology into control applications using its 8bit S08 and 32bit ColdFire V1 MCUs. The proximity sensing software is available with an add-on development board. Several evaluation kits are available.

- Gina RooseeProductCenter

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