Tag Archives: maXTouch microcontrollers

Atmel builds a world of touch for the IoT

It is rather difficult to imagine life without touch in an age characterized by the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT). If you think about it, the digital world today seems centuries away from the 80’s when desktop PCs reigned supreme with limited input peripherals such as noisy clicking keyboards, wired mice, and cumbersome joysticks.

Photo Credit: Engelbert Reineke (Wikipedia)

Fast forward to 2013. Instead of PCs monopolizing entire desks and racking up huge electric bills, our world today is ruled by a plethora of touch-enabled mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. 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-generation consumers to interface or 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.”

So let’s take a quick look at Atmel’s expansive touch portfolio. Our lineup of touch-based products is headed up by maXTouch microcontrollers – the direct culmination of touchscreen engineering efforts spanning more than 15 years. Our international team of engineers have produced an optimal and scalable capacitive touchscreen architecture virtually unrivaled when it comes to sensing a user’s input, whether on a tablet, smartphone, meter, control panel (both for industrial applications and consumer appliances) or inside a vehicle.

Unlimited-touch options facilitate a wide range of new possibilities for interface designers. By recognizing as many touches as people have fingers, the technology can support a variety of multitouch gestures anywhere on the surface. In addition, unlimited touch makes it possible for the device to detect and ignore unintended touches, such as the pressure of the user’s ear, cheek or hand grip.

The latest development is XSense touch sensors. These provide a highly flexible, high-performance alternative to traditional touch sensors – allowing engineers to develop light, sleek touch-based designs that are edgeless or wrap around an edge, have narrow borders, and boast curved surfaces. XSense is an exciting new extension of printable electronics, where a microscopic copper mesh provides better performance and clearer displays than legacy ITO (indium tin oxide) touch screens.

Lastly, Atmel’s buttons, sliders and wheels boast excellent precision and reliability on any touch-sensitive device, as the solution is designed to support simple configurations of 1 to10 buttons and scanned-matrix configurations of up to 48 buttons.

To sum it up, Atmel’s maXTouch family of touchscreen controllers offer superior performance and low-power consumption in a single integrated circuit. Our capacitive touch technology and algorithms, combined with an optimized and touch-sensing enabled Atmel AVR microcontroller, provide an unlimited number of touches, fast response time, stylus support and low power consumption.

These capabilities significantly enhance the consumer experience, changing the way the world interacts with electronic products. And best of all, it provides our customers with a leading edge, comprehensive multi-touch solution for a wide range of new applications in smartphones, tablets, notebooks, gaming consoles, GPS, POS terminals and multi-functional peripherals.