Cypress Semiconductor has said that its TrueTouch Gen4 touchscreen controller family is now able to deliver multiple new advanced features, including new tracking of gloved fingers on capacitive touchscreens. Gen4 has been designed to enable accurate navigation of touchscreens even with thick gloves on, improving user convenience when it comes to using either smartphones or other portable electronics.
The Gen4 family is able to offer new functionality including passive stylus support to capture handwriting and signatures accurately and proximity detection that senses an object approaching the touchscreen and powers down the display before contact to avoid accidental touches. The capacitive-based proximity detection feature eliminates the need for infrared (IR) sensors and provides significant cost savings. These advanced features supplement Gen4’s best-in-class water rejection and seamless operation in noisy environments.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.