Atmel Corporation has announced a new range of microcontroller-based solutions that integrate touch and sensor hub functionality for a variety of mobile devices including smartphones, tablets, Ultrabooks and convertible PCs. The solutions build on Atmel”s maXTouch controllers and incorporate the company”s patented maXFusion sensor fusion technology to address the growing motion sensor market.
Atmel maXFusion combines inputs from multiple sensors that detect motion, including accelerometers, magnetometers and gyroscopes, to provide real-time direction, orientation and inclination data bringing visibly superior performance to a range of applications including gaming, navigation and virtual reality.
Atmel is thought to be the first company in the industry to integrate sensor hub functionality into touchscreen controllers extending human interface solutions beyond touch to deliver performance and power efficiency gains in a single-chip solution. The combination of multiple sensor systems enables the development of new functionality leveraging both touch and motion sensing, driving further innovation for user interface development.
Atmel”s new solutions with maXFusion technology include advanced sensing algorithms that result in 3x the performance compared to managing sensors on the applications processor. They also offer up to 50 percent lower power consumption than competing solutions, achieving even greater savings when compared to architectures where sensor management is implemented on the applications processor.
Initial design wins have already been secured for these new solutions and will begin shipping by the end of this year.
“With the market for sensor hub solutions in smartphone, tablets and portable PCs and beyond projected to be almost $4 billion by 2015, there is a huge opportunity for silicon providers,” said Tom Hackenberg, principal analyst of microcontrollers for computer platforms, IHS. “There has been a recent increase of integrated sensor control in the applications processor subsystem, but the more energy efficient and flexible solutions are addressing this rapidly growing market with controllers outside of the applications processor. Not only do these systems offer greater layers of awareness while application processors sleep, they provide designers of next-generation devices such as smartphones, tablets and convertible PCs the option to customize their sensor hub solution or select an integrated sensor-hub-with-touch solution to more highly differentiate their products.”