Cypress Gen4 touchscreen controllers deliver high SNR, fast refresh, zero display noise

by Toni McConnel , TechOnline India - October 05, 2011

These deliver the world's highest Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) in real world applications and is the first and only touchscreen IC that delivers built-in 10V Tx to drive the touch panel at 10V.

Cypress Semiconductor has introduced a new Gen4 family of TrueTouch touchscreen controllers. According to the company, the Gen4 family delivers the world’s highest Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) in real world applications and is the first and only touchscreen IC that delivers built-in 10V Tx to drive the touch panel at 10V. Because SNR is directly proportional to the voltage at which the panel is driven, Cypress claims it offers nearly four times the SNR of the next closest competitor.

The Gen4 family is further touted as the first touchscreen device family to completely eliminate display noise in hardware. Gen4’s Display Armor offers immunity to noise from every type of display, even low cost noisy displays such as ACVCOM LCDs. This allows touchscreen designers to make their products thinner by removing the air gap between the display and the sensor, and also less expensive by removing the shield layer in the sensor. Display Armor allows Gen4 to operate seamlessly with direct lamination, on-cell and in-cell stackups, regardless of the display chemistry.

The Gen4 product family offers a refresh rate of 400Hz, and has the ability to scan a capacitive touch panel at 1,000 Hz – both industry-best metrics, the company says. This level of performance is enabled by the 32-bit ARM Cortex core at the heart of the Gen4 products. The Gen4 family active power consumption of 2 mW, and a deep sleep mode that draws 1.8 uW with wake-up via address match on the COM port.

With up to 40 IO for mobile phone applications, Gen4 can support up to four standalone CapSense buttons while still delivering ideal sensor pitch for up to 5-inch screens.

The Gen4 family offers waterproofing functionality that allows products to meet IP-67 standards; 1-mm stylus support for Asian character sets and accurate handwriting capture; and hover sensing to provide mouseover-like features and true fingernail or thick-glove support in mobile devices. Cypress offers self and mutual capacitance sensing on the same chip, enabling the development of advanced features like waterproofing, support for 1mm stylus, and hover without increased material or spatial costs. More information, including multiple videos, is available at touch.cypress.com.

The Gen4 family is designed to work with major mobile platforms, including Android and Windows 8.

Availability

Samples of the new Gen4 controllers are now available to lead customers. Cypress expects to deliver volume production to lead customers by the end of 2011. The family will be available in a 44-pin 5x5 QFN with 31 sense I/Os, a 48-lead 6x6 QFN package with 35 sense I/Os, a 49-ball WLCSP package with 36 sense I/Os, and a 60-ball WLCSP package with 40 sense I/Os. The WLCSP (Wafer-Level Chip-Scale Packages) devices have a footprint of only 3.8 mm x 3.8 mm, the smallest touchscreen controllers available. More information, including multiple videos, is available at touch.cypress.com.

Toni McConnel covers new products in the embedded systems industry and is a partner in the technical writing team TechRite Associates. She can be reached at Toni@TechRite-Associates.com.

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