Tag Archives: maXTouch

Your touchscreen can now seamlessly transition between hover, finger and glove touch


The new maXTouch mXT641T family is the industry’s first auto-qualified self- and mutual-capacitance controller meeting the AEC-Q100 standards for high reliability in harsh environments.


Optimized for capacitive touchpads and touchscreens from five to 10 inches, Atmel has expanded its robust portfolio of automotive-qualified maXTouch controllers with the all-new mXT641T family. These devices are the industry’s first auto-qualified self- and mutual-capacitance controllers meeting the AEC-Q100 standards for high reliability in harsh environments.

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The maXTouch mXT641T family incorporates Atmel’s Adaptive Sensing technology to enable dynamic touch classification, a feature that automatically and intelligently switches between self- and mutual-capacitance sensing to provide users a seamless transition between a finger touch, hover or glove touch. As a result, this eliminates the need for users to manually enable ‘glove mode’ in the operating system to differentiate between hover and glove modes. Adaptive Sensing is also resistant to water and moisture and ensures superior touch performance even in these harsh conditions.

The latest family of devices support stringent automotive requirements including hover and glove support in moist and cold environments, thick lens for better impact resistance, and single-layer shieldless sensor designs in automotive center consoles, navigation systems, radio interfaces and rear-seat entertainment systems. The single-layer shieldless sensor design eliminates additional screen layers, delivering better light transparency resulting in lower power consumption along with an overall lower system cost for the manufacturer.

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“More consumers are demanding high-performance touchscreens in their vehicles with capacitive touch technology,” said Rob Valiton, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Automotive, Memory and Secure Products Business Units. “Atmel is continuing to drive more innovative, next-generation touch technologies to the automotive market and our new family of automotive-qualified maXTouch T controllers is further testament to our leadership in this space. Atmel is the only automotive-qualified touch supplier with over two decades of experience in designing, developing, and manufacturing semiconductor solutions that meet the stringent quality and reliability standards for our automotive customers.”

Interested? Production quantities of the mXT641T are now available. Meanwhile, you can learn all about the entire maXTouch lineup here.

ZTE’s bezel-less Nubia Z9 smartphone is powered by Atmel maXTouch


With virtual edge keys and gestures — and no borders — the Nubia Z9 delivers key functions including wake-up, screenshots, flicking, volume and much more. 


Last month, the newly-revealed ZTE Nubia Z9 lived up to its hype in China by selling out in a matter of 10 minutes. Now, the device is looking to make a similar splash here in the United States. With a super-sleek, practically bezel-less profile, it certainly stands out from other high-end smartphones on the market today with an assortment of impressive features, ranging from unique touch controls integrated into its side to a sleek metallic design.

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Currently limited to China, the high-end handset is available in two colors, black and gold, and in three models, each with different memory capacities and built-in storage configurations. The base variant, the Classic, comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage, while the Elite and Exclusive both pack 4GB RAM and 64GB storage.

The dual-SIM smartphones are powered by a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, with a 16-megapixel rear  camera and 8-megapixel front-facing selfie shooter. The Nubia Z9 includes a 5.2-inch 1080p display, driven by an Atmel maXTouch mXT336T touchscreen controller, along with software that enables users to take advantage o its edge-to-edge design. Beyond that, the device boasts a 2,900mAh battery, Android 5.0 Lollipop, as well as 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, Wi-Fi, GPS and USB.

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What truly makes this flagship gadget stand out is its bezel-free design — just 0.8mm thick — giving the illusion of a borderless display, all made possible by Atmel’s unique, proprietary single-layer pattern. mXT336T delivers these features, along with advanced algorithms and Atmel’s adaptive sensing technology to enable virtual edge keys and sliders—delivering interaction all the way to the edge of the phone.

“We selected Atmel’s innovative single-layer on-cell maXTouch solution to enable our first borderless smartphone design,” explained Ni Fei, CEO of the Nubia brand. “Atmel’s adaptive sensing and edge-sensing technology enable the innovative edge keys and gestures in our flagship nubia handset. We are thrilled to team with Atmel and look forward to delivering more unique smart phones with excellent touch performance using maXTouch solutions.”

And of course, one can’t forget the company’s Frame Interactive Technology, or FIT, which allows users to carry out various preprogrammed actions with gestures made along the beveled sides — whether that’s launching the camera, taking a screenshot or adjusting the volume.

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Given the reception to the Nubia Z9 in China, this family of gadgets will surely make for an attractive option in America as well. Those wishing to get their hands on one will have to wait for its release that is slated for sometime in Q3 of this year. The Classic edition will go for approximately $565, the Elite for $645, and $725 for the Exclusive, which also includes an integrated fingerprint sensor.

Billions of chips, unlimited possibilities


Vegard Wollan reveals that there are now more AVR chips in the wild as there are people in the world. (Note: A loose translation from Adressa’s recent article.)


Though the slogan “Enabling Unlimited Possibilities” may not be the most modest as they come, why should it have to be? Especially when your company, whose heritage has ties to Trondheim, is at the forefront of the incredibly popular and ever-evolving IoT innovation battle.

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Vegard Wollan, AVR co-founder and VP of Atmel’s Touch Business Unit, had the chance to catch up with local Trondheim newspaper Adressa to discuss some of his team’s latest developments. One in particular, the maXTouch family of touchscreen controllers provides unprecedented hover and proximity capabilities, where a user no longer is required to touch the display, but instead triggers different functions by simply holding their finger right above it.

Just the other night, several Atmel employees in Trondheim came together to celebrate not only their commitment to the local community but an impressive milestone, namely 7,338,088,583 AVR chips. To put that figure into perspective, that is at least one MCU for each person on Earth.

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“It’s insane! We have the increasing ability to top what we’ve done previously,” Wollan says. “We have been doing this for 20 years and have never had such high production as we do now. In 1999, we thought it was giant milestone to pass 10 million. Now, we have produced 7.3 billion and create about one billion units a year.”

The figure is almost as impressive as the customer list of “little” Atmel Norway, and its tight-knit team of just under 200 employees. Wollan highlights a few of the top tier brands powered by the stalwart microcontrollers, which include some of the largest and most recognizable names out there today. Among those are Google, Microsoft, Bosch, Sony, Samsung, LG, General Motors, Ford, Jaguar and Tesla.

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“And this is just an excerpt. When we started the company in 1995, we dreamed about getting some big customers such as LG or Sony or Mercedes or what not. And now we have this list! So it’s really what we are celebrating and we are madly proud of,” Wollan adds.

Another focus as of late has been on China, and the next generation of gizmos and gadgets coming out the country where Atmel has played an integral role in their development, most notably ZTE and Xiaomi. While both of these manufacturers may not be the most globally known brands (yet), they have contributed millions of smartphones to the consumer market — many of which based on Atmel solutions.

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“Our customers in China have now launching new phones with new technology from us. We have developed a whole new edge-free design for smartphones, so you get the larger screen without the phone being bigger. The screen goes absolutely to the edge with virtual edge buttons without the buttons here. You hold such phone as a camera and phone camera turns on. And pressing your index finger on the top right hand side on, and you take a picture,” Wollan explains.

One of the coolest projects worth mentioning is a recent collaboration with global music sensation, Coldplay, who commissioned the help of the Trondheim team. Wollan goes on to laughingly reveal, “It’s a little funny that one of our engineers have been in the practice room with Coldplay to test our technology.”

Through wireless connectivity, Coldplay has been able to transform its sold-out crowds into brilliant canvas of colorful LEDs, all while providing greater engagement amongst its fans. As concertgoers enter the arena, they are given a flashing bracelet that can be remotely controlled from any PC and pulse to the rhythm of the band’s music.

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“You had to see the whole place light up in flashing, multi-colored bracelets. When we saw it from the stage, we could not believe we had managed to achieve this. It is about everyone, not just about the band and the fanatical folks at the stage, but all of us become part of the show by having a small armband.”

Wollan shares that Atmel is continuing to develop its initiative with Coldplay, but cannot go into more detail at this time. During the celebration of the company’s achievement the other night, employees were even given a chance to experience the wireless wearable devices as they waved their arms to the beat of some tunes.

Intrigued? You can tune-in to the entire segment here!

ASUS Z300 tablet is the world’s first on-cell touchscreen with active stylus pen support


The ASUS Z300 on-cell tablet provides a perfect ‘pen-to-paper’ writing experience thanks to Atmel maXTouch and maXStylus controllers.


ASUS has revealed quite a few announcements over the last couple of days at Computex 2015 including an all-in-one PC, a full-featured smartphone for selfies, a second generation ZenWatch, as well as a range of tablets in various sizes. Among those devices was the 10.1″ Z300, which features the world’s first on-cell touchscreen with capacitive active stylus pen support that enables a precise ‘pen-to-paper’ writing experience for more content generation on today’s digital world.

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To accomplish this, the company has selected Atmel’s maXTouch controllers to power the touchscreen and active stylus pen of its newly-launched tablet. The ASUS Z300 tablet’s touch display is driven by a maXTouch T-series touchscreen controller, which features a revolutionary sensing architecture that combines both mutual and self-capacitance to enhance performance.

“As a leading provider of innovative mobile devices for the worldwide market, ASUS continues to bring superior products to market,” explained Shar Narasimhan, Atmel Senior Product Manager of Touch Marketing. “The selection of Atmel’s maXTouch controllers for the industry’s first 10.1″ on-cell tablet with capacitive active stylus by ASUS is further testament that we are enabling OEMs to deliver leading-edge digital lifestyle products.”

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What’s more, the device uses one of the industry’s most advanced capacitive styli, Atmel’s maXStylus mXTS220 — the only active pen with noise immunity capable of operating in the high display noise environment emitted by ultra-thin on-cell stack-ups. Together, the maXStylus and maXTouch integrate seamlessly to create a flawless user experience in even the most demanding conditions.

“As a leading manufacturer of mobile devices, our products are only built with world-class components,” added Samson Hu, Atmel’s Corporate Vice President & GM of Mobile Product Business Unit. “Atmel’s industry-leading stylus capabilities enabled us to deliver a much thinner on-cell display stack for more elegant designs with a best-in-class active pen experience. We look forward to launching more advanced devices with intuitive human interfaces powered by Atmel.”

maXTouch U family opens up a world of possibilities for next-gen devices


This new controller family will make touchscreen devices less frustrating and more enjoyable to use.


It’s safe to say that touchscreens have surely come a long way since Dr. Samuel C.Hurst at the University of Kentucky debuted the first electronic touch interface back in 1971. Despite their ubiquity today in just about every device, the technology doesn’t seem to always work as well as it should given recent advancements. As VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi points out, displays remain frustratingly unresponsive to finger taps, consume a lot of power, and quite frankly, are still pretty bulky — until now.

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That’s because Atmel has launched a next generation of sensor chips that will pave the way to much better (and more delightful) tactile experiences for gadgets ranging from 1.2” smartwatch screens to 10.1” tablet displays. Following in the footsteps of its older siblings, the new maXTouch U family will enable optimal performance, power consumption leveraging picoPower technology, and of course, thinner screens.

More apparent than ever before, the use of touch-enabled machinery has exploded over the past five years. As a result, there has been an ever-growing need to develop touchscreens with extremely high touch performance, ultra-low power and more sophisticated industrial designs with thinner screens. Not to mention, the anticipated surge in wearables has also created a demand for extremely small touchscreen controllers with ultra-low power consumption in tiny packaging. Luckily, this is now all possible thanks to the maXTouch U family which crams pure awesomeness in a 2.5-millimeter by 2.6-millimeter space (WLCSP).

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Designers can now build extremely innovative thin and flexible touchscreen designs using single layer, on-cell and hybrid in-cell touchscreens with intelligent wake-up gestures and buttons. What this means is that, the technology can support entry-level smartphones, slick wearable gizmos, super tablets and everything in between on a full range of stack-ups.

Among the most notable features of the U include low power modes down to 10µW in deep sleep for wearables such as smartwatches, active stylus support, 1.0-millimeter passive stylus support (so users can write with things like pencils on a touchscreen), as well as up to a 20-millimeter hover distance (so that a user can answer their phone call with a wet hand). What’s more, the touch controllers can sense water and reject it as a touch action, and works with multiple fingers — even if someone is wearing gloves.

Binay Bajaj, Atmel Senior Director of Touch Marketing, explains that the recently-revelaed series provides all the necessary building blocks for futuristic mobile gadgetry. The chips are available in samples today, while production versions will be ready in the third and fourth quarters.

“Our expertise in ultra-low power MCUs and innovative touch engineering have allowed us to bring a superior series of devices to market that is truly an innovative collection to drive next-generation touchscreens. We are a leading provider of touchscreen devices to a variety of markets adopting capacitive touchscreens,” Bajaj adds.

Let’s take a closer look at the six new maXTouch U devices:

  • mXT735U is the perfect device for the entry level tablet delivering robust moisture support and excellent noise immunity for touchscreens up to 10.1″.
  • mXT640U supports touchscreens up to 6 inches. This device supports 1mm passive stylus support and thin stack support including 0.4mm cover lens for GFF stack, up to 25mm hover detection and moisture resistance.
  • mXT416U delivers extremely high touch performance including 2.5mm passive stylus, excellent moisture support, noise immunity and up to 30mm large finger touch detection.
  • mXT336U is targeted for mid-range smartphone applications, delivering a perfect balance between performance and form factor.
  • mXT308U is geared towards low-end smartphone applications emphasizing simplicity and robustness.
  • mXT144U is designed specifically for wearable applications. The mXT144U features picoPower with 10uW in deep sleep mode and is the smallest hybrid sensing touchscreen controller packaged in a 2.5mm x 2.6mm WLCSP. This device is the ideal solution for today and tomorrow’s wearable devices.

Video Diary: A look back at Embedded World 2015


Weren’t able to join us in Nuremberg? 


With another Embedded World in the books, here’s a look back at some of Atmel’s latest smart and securely connected solutions that are ready to power next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Andreas von Hofen shows off the new automotive grade ARM Cortex-M0+-based SAM DA1. The recently-revealed family of MCUs feature an integrated peripheral touch controller (PTC) for capacitive touch applications.

Geir Kjosavik demonstrates a QTouch-based water level sensing application that highlights its advanced HMI and sensing capabilities. Notable uses for this solution include automotive liquid containers and coffee machines.

Dr. Atta Römer explores the latest advancements in phase measurement by exhibiting various localization applications based on 802.15.4 transceivers. Among those examples is Agilion, who showed off its latest e-ink display ID badge based on an Atmel transceiver that is capable of tracking employees in emergency situations, transmitting data and managing access.

Ingolf Leidert addresses Atmel’s newest development kit for ZigBee Light Link solutions using a pair of SAMR21ZLL-EK boards. In this particular demonstration, one board served as a ZigBee LightLink remote, while the other acted as a light.

Controllino is an open-source programmable logic controller (PLC) built around ATmega328 and ATmega2560 microcontrollers. The startup’s CEO Marco Riedesser went 1:1 with Artie Beavis to delve deeper into the Arduino-compatible PLC that enables Makers and designers to produce and control a wide-range of IoT projects, ranging from industrial to home automation applications.

Lionel Perdigon introduces the newest series in the Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-M portfolio, the SAM E70 and the SAM S70. These Cortex-M7-based MCUs are ideal for connectivity and general purpose industrial applications, while the auto-grade SAM V70 and SAM V71 are perfectly suited for in-vehicle infotainment, audio amplifiers, telematics and head unit control.

The Internet of Things requires a system-level solution encompassing the whole system, from the smallest edge/sensing node devices to the cloud. That is why Atmel has partnered with best-in-class cloud partners — including PubNub, Proximetry and Arrayent — that can support a variety of applications for both Tier-1 OEMs and smaller companies. As Ramzi Al-Harayeri explains Atmel has integrated the partners’ technologies into Atmel’s cloud solutions framework adding the cloud platform functionality seamlessly to all of the company’s wireless MCU offerings.

Thomas Wenzel showcases the latest version of Atmel’s connected car solution, AvantCar 2.0. Focusing on user requirements for next-generation vehicles, this futuristic center console concept delivers an advanced human machine interface (HMI). Beyond that, the new centerstack includes curved touchscreens highlighting HMI in upcoming automobiles using Atmel technologies including XSense, maXTouch, AVR MCUs and local interconnect network.

Bosch Sensortec’s Fabio Governale and Divya Thukkaram unveil the latest extension board for the incredibly-popular Xplained platform. Featuring a BNO055 intelligent 9-axis absolute orientation sensor, the next-gen device connects directly to Atmel’s Xplained board making it ideal for prototyping projects for the Internet of Things, wearables and gaming markets, as well as for applications like personal health and fitness, indoor navigation, and others requiring context awareness and augmented reality for a more immersive experience.

David Lindstrom of Percepio takes us through some of the innovative features of Atmel Studio 6.2, including the MTB support available on the new SAM D21 board. As the demo reveals, it’s super easy to get started, enable Trace View and run the system using the all-in-one collaborative environment for embedded design.

Sankaranarayanan Kitchiah delves deeper into Atmel’s BLDC motor control development platform using a SAM D21 MCU and the Atmel Data Visualizer (ADV) application.

Video: Rob Valiton discusses the future of automotive at CES 2015


The car of the future could have a curved center display with tons of real estate for driver information and entertainment. 


It’s no surprise that automotive technology has emerged as an integral component of our digital lifestyle, as more and more consumers are looking to bring their mobile devices seamlessly into their vehicles. During CES 2015, ARMdevices.net had the chance to catch up with Rob Valiton, Atmel Senior Vice President & General Manager, to discuss the connected car — most notably, the next generation of infotainment user interfaces.

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With up to a hundred million lines of code, at least 30 MCU-controlled devices — and some with as many as 100 — the vehicle is the ideal application to bring smart, connected devices in the era of the Internet of Things (IoT). Not only will these automobiles be packed with futuristic functionality ranging from navigation and parking assistance to diagnosis and road conditions, they will become much more intuitive and integrated with smartphone-like interfaces. In order to provide this, the car of tomorrow will feature a curved center console display offering a large amount of real estate for information to drivers. And, the newly-announced AvantCar 2.0 will make this possible.

Luckily, the AvantCar 2.0 brings advanced connectivity into the vehicle through an advanced HMI console connected to a concept car highlighting car access, car networking, MCUs, audio-over-Ethernet, MHL support and security technologies. Focusing on user requirements, the fully-functional console concept boasts curved touchscreens using maXTouch touchscreen controllers and XSense flexible touch sensors, as well as Atmel’s QTouch with proximity sensing, and LIN networking for ambient lighting controls.

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