Dialog Semiconductor has revealed that it is moving into touchscreen sensors with the launch of the SmartWave Multi-Touch Integrated Circuit (MTIC). The MTIC is the first chip to enable FlatFrog’s Planar Scatter Detection (PSD) Touch in high volume consumer devices. Using in-lens infrared light, the FlatFrog PSD Touch system can detect and track multiple touches, gestures and pressures from gloved hands, stylus and other objects, providing users with a more natural true-touch experience.
MTIC is suitable for laptops, All-in-One PCs, Ultrabooks and monitors, and has been optimised for display types between 11 and 36 inches. It is also designed to meet Microsoft Windows 8 and Intel’s Ultrabook touch requirements.
Supporting up to 40 simultaneous touches, the MTIC uses FlatFrog’s patented Planar Scatter Detection (PSD) Touch technology to detect changes in infrared light injected into the cover lens of the display. As users touch the glass surface, scattered light is detected by multiple infrared receivers. The resulting signals are received by the MTIC where they are amplified and pre-filtered before being converted to a digital signal. The data is then subjected to advanced signal processing using the MTIC’s integrated detector engine – based on the ARM Cortex M0 processor – which is then used as a basis to provide the touch co-ordinates to the main device processor.
A single MTIC can drive up to twelve infrared LED/emitter pairs directly. A typical Ultrabook, tablet or All-in-One PC would contain a number of MTICs configured in a master/slave arrangement catering for a flexible number of screen sizes up to 36 inches. PSD Touch works with any display type and with either a glass or plastic cover lens. Unlike projected capacitive (procap) touch technology, which is widely deployed today in smartphones and tablets, the system provides full edge-to-edge industrial design with 100% optical clarity because there are no expensive ITO layers to impede the light from the display reaching the eye. This also means the screen backlight does not need to be driven as hard to achieve the same brightness level, which will result in additional system power savings.
The DA8901 comes in a 59 pin, 5.7mm x 5.0mm QFN package. Its small footprint means that it can be mounted alongside the LED emitter and receiver components on a very thin low cost printed circuit board located around the edges of the display or mounted under the display to provide a bezel-less design. The low profile means the whole touch system is thinner than the display module meaning it adds no thickness to the end device.
The DA8901 MTIC will be available from Q3 2013.