Tag Archives: maxTouch T

New collaboration brings biometric fingerprint sensors and touchscreens to smart devices

We’re excited to announce a new partnership with our friends at Fingerprint Cards AB (FPC), as we look to bring the world’s best capacitive touchscreens and touch fingerprint area sensor technology to smart devices.

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With the strong synergy between fingerprint and touchscreen technologies, there are countless opportunities for both companies to co-develop and merge their solutions to provide intelligent user interfaces in the ever-growing Internet of Things (IoT) era. In this collaboration, Atmel and FPC converge the award-winning maXTouch® touchscreen controllers and market-leading fingerprint sensors into an enhanced, cohesive solution for a secure and flawless user experience.

For those unfamiliar, the revolutionary maXTouch controllers represent Atmel’s industry-leading capacitive touchscreen controllers for the mobile market. These well-adopted controllers feature a range of user interface technologies — from active stylus to hover — with cutting-edge performance to create a best-in-breed platform for consumers.

As mobile devices become an integral part of the digital lifestyle and grow to encompass everything from mobile banking to household security, emails to remote database access and more, consumers are demanding ever-more sophisticated features from a flawless touchscreen user interface to robust and convenient security options such as fingerprint-based user verification. The joint solution accelerates an OEM’s time-to-market by bringing must-have high-performance security and user interface solutions from two leading providers.

“Biometric fingerprint security is the next leap towards a more differentiated touchscreen device in the era of the Internet of Things where more secure, smart and connected devices are powering the world,” said Stan Swearingen, Atmel Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.

“Atmel has a long history in the security space, and when this expertise combines our market-leading maXTouch technologies with FPC’s secure biometric fingerprint sensing technology, we are able to bring a more secure, efficient touchscreen that delivers a unique user experience. We are looking forward to taking advantage of FPC’s fingerprint sensor technology in bringing a highly compelling joint proposition to device OEMs.”

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FPC’s touch fingerprint sensors and swipe fingerprint sensor are based on patented proprietary technology, which offers several strong advantages such as an acknowledged high image quality, programmable pixel elements and 256 gray scale values from every pixel element. Thanks to the image quality of its sensors and the performance of its algorithms, FPC’s fingerprint sensors offer industry leading biometric performance while maintaining the market’s lowest power consumption.

“In order to bring more security to mobile devices, device manufacturers are adopting fingerprint sensing technologies to offer consumers an improved user experience,” added Jörgen Lantto, FPC Acting President and CEO. “We are collaborating with Atmel, a global touchscreen leader to ensure our technologies are built around world-class user interfaces to give consumers an enhanced experience every time. FPC is thrilled to team up with Atmel to bring a unified solution of biometric fingerprint sensing and touchscreens using Atmel’s widely adopted maXTouch controllers.”

Interested in learning more about the partnership as well as these next-gen solutions? You can read the announcement in its entirety here.

EE Times features Atmel’s next-gen touch controllers

Writing for the EE Times, Max Maxfield notes that Atmel is a major player in the touchscreen tech arena, especially in the large format screen space. Indeed, Atmel boasts a wide range of ultra-low-power single-chip touchscreen controllers for screens ranging from 1.5 to 15.6 inches. Earlier this week, the company expanded its popular maXTouch T lineup of touchscreen controllers with the mXT106xT2 family of devices.

“These devices include the high-end touchscreen features associated with state-of-the-art smartphone-sized products, but they target the larger format market with products whose screens are in the 7- to 8.9-inch range,” Maxfield explains.

“The mXT1066T2 and mXT1068T2 controllers support both mutual-capacitance and self-capacitance sensing. By intelligently switching back and forth between the two and using a hybrid approach, designers can achieve optimal power consumption and noise immunity, even in high humidity and moisture environments, while supporting bare finger and gloved operation.”

As Maxfield points out, mXT1068T2 controllers also supports hover operation in which the user’s finger can be up to 20mm above the touch surface. Indeed, hover adds another dimension to the user-touchscreen interface by allowing the touchscreen to detect, track and interact with a floating finger without physical contact.

“Currently, only single-finger hover is supported, but one can easily imagine how useful this would be if using a tablet to read a recipe when one’s hands are covered in food. In the future, multi-fingered hover control might allow the user to ‘grab’ objects and rotate them,” says Maxfield.

“Hover is one element in an increasingly sophisticated realm of human-machine interfaces (HMIs) that also include gesture recognition. In the not-so-distant future, people will interact with electronic systems using a mixture of voice control, gesture recognition and touchscreens, including hover technology.”

Last, but certainly not least, Maxfield notes that the mXT106xT2 lineup features a peripheral touch controller (PTC) capability that enables capacitive sensing of up to 12 channels via a dedicated hardware block in the mXT chip.

The new devices in the maXTouch T Series are currently in production, with the 8.3” screen size evaluation kit slated to ship in May.

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s popular maXTouch T lineup of touchscreen controllers? You can check out the product’s official page here.

Atmel debuts mXT106xT2 touchscreen controller lineup

Atmel has expanded its popular maXTouch T lineup of touchscreen controllers with the mXT106xT2 family of devices. The new series incorporates a wide range of features for 7 – 8.9″ mid-sized tablet displays including hover, stylus and optimized noise immunity.

As Atmel exec Patrick Hanley points out, the maXTouch is the only product currently available that enables finger hovering up to 20mm on devices larger than a smartphone. This capability allows users to interact with their devices – without physically making contact with the screen.

Indeed, the T Series incorporates Atmel’s Adaptive Sensing technology to facilitate dynamic touch classification, which automatically switches between self- and mutual-capacitance sensing – providing a seamless transition between finger touch, hover, passive or active stylus, as well as glove touch. Additionally, Adaptive Sensing dramatically reduces power consumption, facilitating longer battery life for mobile devices.

“The mXT106xT2 offers features required in today’s tablet devices, including 0.4mm thin cover lenses and multifinger glove support for users in cold weather climates,” said Hanley. “For [those] who seek the extensive benefits in going paperless, the mXT106xT2 also [includes] stylus capabilities in either active stylus through Atmel’s maXStylus, or passive stylus with a 1mm tip to facilitate more precise selection.”

Essentially, the 106xT2 offers the same performance features as Atmel’s T Series maXTouch controllers, while enabling capacitive button, slider and wheel control via an embedded hardware module known as the Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC). This feature allows systems to integrate capacitive buttons without tying up nodes from the touch controller, while performing with improved noise immunity and lower power than when implemented via firmware.

The new devices in the maXTouch T Series are currently in production, with the 8.3” screen size evaluation kit slated to ship in May.

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s popular maXTouch T lineup of touchscreen controllers? You can check out the product’s official page here.

maXTouch T is a 2013 Golden Mousetrap Award finalist

Design News recently published a detailed list of finalists for the electronics and test category of the publication’s 2013 Golden Mousetrap AwardsAtmel’s maxTouch T Series of touchscreen controllers, which officially debuted in April 2013, was named as a finalist.

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the maXTouch T Series heralds a new generation of Atmel capacitive touchscreen controllers for mobile devices. Indeed, the MaxTouch T lineup supports multiple user interface technologies, ranging from active stylus to sensor hub.

“The maXTouch T Series creates a cutting-edge performance powering smartphones, tablets, PCs ultrabooks and more. The maXTouch T’s unique architecture combines the best of mutual and self-capacitance to ensure optimal touch performance by recognizing an unlimited number of touches, offering faster response times, [while providing] an excellent signal-to-noise ratio,” reads an official Design News description of the product.

“[Plus], the maXTouch T Series delivers optimized touch performance, including active and passive stylus, enhanced moisture immunity, glove support and advanced noise immunity. Additional features such as sensor hub management, smaller package size and native fine-line metal mesh support enable OEMs to develop sleeker form factors.”

Design News also highlighted Atmel’s mXT2952T, the first device in the T Series, which the publication described as the world’s inaugural ultra-low power, single-chip capacitive touchscreen controller for Windows 8 notebooks up to 15.6-inches.

Winners of the Golden Moustrap awards will be announced during a live ceremony held during the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, February 11, and on Designnews.com following the ceremony.

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s maXTouch T series? You can check out the product’s official website here.

Atmel’s maXTouch T hits next-gen smartphone and phablet markets

Atmel has expanded its popular maXTouch T lineup of touchscreen controllers with the mXT640T, mXT336T and mXT224T. The new devices offer a comprehensive set of features, supporting next-gen mobile devices such as smartphones, phablets and mid-size tablets with touchscreens ranging from 3.2”-8.3.”

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Key touch features include 1mm passive stylus and maXStylus (active stylus), hover capability, moisture immunity and multi-finger glove support.

“Essentially, these devices build on Atmel’s success of its single-chip maXTouch T series products for large-screen applications – mXT2952T and mXT1664T – which were launched in the second quarter,” an Atmel engineering rep explained.

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the T series deftly incorporates Atmel’s Adaptive Sensing technology to enable dynamic touch classification – automatically and intelligently switching between self- and mutual-capacitance sensing. This provides users with a seamless transition between a finger touch, hover, passive/active stylus or glove touch. Meaning, users no longer have to manually enable “glove mode” in the operating system to differentiate between hover and glove.

Adaptive Sensing also helps significantly reduces the power consumption of a device, thereby extending battery life. Meanwhile, the analog front-end is equipped with advanced and flexible settings to maximize the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) prior to digital processing – eliminating signal distortions induced by water and noisy chargers.

“The new T Series enables superior touch performance with single-layer sensors as compared to the most recently announced solutions. Simply put, the latest devices will enable Atmel to extend its industry leadership in the large-screen market to the smartphone and phablet spaces,” said the engineering rep. “In fact, we are already working with a range of ITO and LCD manufacturers to support various stack-ups such as OGS, G1, GF and On-Cell which are targeted for production early next year. Plus, Atmel has begun sampling the new T Series devices with a number of OEMs who have provided positive feedback about the new touch products and their performance.”

Apple plans on giant touchscreens in your car

I recently came across an article about how Apple is planning to have your automobile use giant touch screens to interact with the driver. Atmel is well-known for its microcontrollers, but we are also big on touch screen chips, like our new maxTouch T-series. The parts use the high-performance AVR core engineers love. This is why they can run big screens like the one Apple is talking about. The parts can do both self-capacitance and mutual capacitance. They work well with gloves, even thick ones.

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This Mitsubishi curved touch screen uses projection and lasers, complexity that XSense will eliminate.

But what really got me thinking was the thought that stylists will not want boring flat screens. Atmel’s XSense touchscreen is a perfect solution to boring flat panels. We just got qualified for high-volume production by a major electronics OEM at the Colorado factory. I suspect the car folks are beating on the door as well.

You can get a feeling for what XSense can when you look at this video we did last year.

But if you want to see something really beautiful, check out this video of the near future with formable touchscreens:

Here is a re-cut of that beautiful futuristic video.

Now with all that pretty video, perhaps I should put in a little note to my fellow engineers. The deal with XSense is that it uses a microscopic copper mesh instead of ITO (indium-tin-oxide). ITO is brittle, so you can’t bend it. But also remember that it is an oxide, and if you remember sophomore chemistry, oxides don’t conduct. So the XSense mesh is not only bendable, it is far more conductive than ITO. This makes for higher performance. When used with a touch controller chip, it can detect more accurately and much faster. Hover, glove tolerance, all kinds of user interface improvements occur. There are competing technologies that use silver ink, but remember, although silver is more conductive than copper by 7%, the ink is not as conductive, nor, in my opinion, as repeatable and as durable.

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Note that this slab of indium tin oxide from the Kurt J. Lesker Company is not transparent. You can only see through an ITO touch screen because the film is so thin, which also makes it highly resistive.

The cool thing about XSense is that it can’t be a wire mesh that interferes with the miniscule sub-pixels in a modern LCD. So there is some cool intellectual property in the shape of the mesh so it does not make moiré patterns on the screen. Oh, I forgot to mention, the copper mesh is so small, the panel passes more light than an ITO touch screen.

So, XSense is formable, flexible, higher-performing, and more transmissive. See why we love it? I hope to visit the factory in Colorado soon, where I can see the panels coming off the end of the line. I will keep you posted.