FTDI Chip adds capacitive touch operation to its EVE graphic controller platform

FTDI Chip has expanded its Embedded Video Engine (EVE) offering, with the introduction of the FT801, supporting intelligent display implementations with capacitive touchscreens. The FT801 possesses the same key elements found on the FT800, but also supports display, audio and touch functionality, with a capacitive touch element provided through an I²C interface which is connected to a standard capacitive touch controller.

The FT801 combines the functionality and system benefits associated with EVE but also supplies the increased brightness, interactivity and vividness that users and developers expect in capacitive touchscreen technology.

Targeted at touchscreen/display assemblies with formats up to 512 x 512 pixels, the ICs that make up the EVE platform all employ an object-oriented approach, with line-by-line rendering of graphics at 1/16th pixel resolution. This equates to simplified systems where no frame buffers are needed and where lower end 8-bit or 16-bit microcontrollers can be specified. The end result is a dramatic reduction in overall bill-of-materials costs and the amount of board space utilised – with systems being easy to design and quick to move to full production.

The FT801 can be interfaced without difficulty to a capacitive touch controller via an I²C interface, with its multi-touch capabilities enabling 5 independent touch points to be simultaneously determined. This facilitates the deployment of human machine interfaces (HMIs) which several people can utilise at once, or conversely where a variety of complex hand gestures can be detected. The IC’s hardware engine has the ability to recognise touch tags and track touch movement – delivering notification of up to 255 touch tags.

As the FT801 comes in exactly the same package size and form factors as the FT800 (7mm x 7mm x 0.9mm, 48-lead VQFN), it expedites the re-use of existing OEM designs, with migration to capacitive touch achieved quickly and simply. A 12MHz crystal oscillator with PLL can deliver a 48MHz or 36MHz system clock. Pricing for the FT801 is $2.75 per unit for 100K volumes.

“With the FT801 we have a compelling solution that can address capacitive touch sensing technology – which now represents the basis of more than half the overall touchscreen market,” states Dave Sroka, Global Product Marketing Director at FTDI Chip. “Boasting a set of features, a footprint and development support tools that are all consistent with the FT800, designers can easily utilise EVE technology for this class of displays. Furthermore, as the technology scales well they can be rest-assured that even more products will be forthcoming in the future.”



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