Designing the future of touch with Atmel

Atmel CEO Steve Laub probably put it best when he told the Wall Street Transcript that touch is generally considered to be the preferred method for current-gen consumers to interface and interact with electronic devices.

“For the last three years, [Atmel has] been the world’s leading provider of mobile touch solutions, so our technology and products are changing the way people use and interact with electronic [devices],” Mr. Laub explained. “Our technology is also changing how they view the world and the ability to interact with the world.”

Indeed, Atmel has achieved a number of impressive milestones in the touch space over the last 6 months including:

XSense: A high-performance, highly flexible touch sensor which allows engineers to design devices with curved surfaces and even add functionality along product edges. Atmel is now positioned to ramp volume production for this revolutionary new tech.

Facilitating an uber-thin wireless touch interface: Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) developed an uber-thin wireless touch interface. The flexible interface, measuring less than 0.5 mm thick, turns any area into a touch surface for mobile devices and even desktops. To create the ultra-thin wireless touch surface, CSR partnered with Atmel and Conductive Inkjet Technology (CIT). More specifically, the device uses Atmel’s touch silicon tech to sense multiple contact points on a surface – and is therefore capable of offering a full touch surface or power optimized key detection.

Expanding the maXTouch auto lineup: In July, Atmel rolled out a new maXTouch family to facilitate single-layer shieldless designs in automotive center stacks, navigation systems, radio interfaces and rear seat entertainment platforms. The mXT336S is optimized for 7-inch touchscreens, while the mXT224S targets smaller touchscreens and tablets.

Powering the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini’s touchscreen: Samsung selected Atmel’s maXTouch mXT336S controller to power the touchscreen of its Galaxy S4 Mini.

Powering Samsung’s Galaxy S4: The Galaxy S4 is fitted with Atmel’s sensor hub management MCU (microcontroller unit) which collects and processes data from all connected sensors in real-time, optimizing multiple user experiences, such as gaming, navigation and virtual reality. In addition, the sensor hub MCU lowers the overall system power consumption via picoPower technology to prevent drain and enable longer battery life.

Driving Asus touchscreens: Asus selected Atmel’s mXT2952T and mXT1664T controllers to drive the touchscreens of multiple new tablets and Ultrabooks – including the Zenbook Infinity which is based on Intel’s Haswell processor.

Enabling ‘in-cell’ touch for custom LCD designs: AndersDX introduced In-Cell Touch technology custom liquid crystal display (LCD) installations targeted at low- to high-volume consumer manufacturing. Instead of a touch sensor bonded onto the LCD display, each In-Cell touch key is embedded directly into the LCD cell. The LCD ITO pattern is then designed to match individual touch key symbols. An Atmel Q Touch sensor IC integrated into the display electronics controls up to four touch keys per application.

Outdoors with Ocular: Atmel’s maXTouch S trekked to the great outdoors with Ocular LCD’s PCAP touch panels. Designed specifically for outdoor and marine applications, these Crystal Touch panels are non-birefringent and immune to false touches caused by water spray and droplets.

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