Atmel has come out with a new range of capacitive-sensing controllers that support haptics.
These new breed of controllers can be used in a wide range of consumer and embedded devices. Atmel ‘s QTouch controllers sustains 14 haptic effects with a technology that is licensed from Immersion, which is under sampling presently and proposes to roll out production by May this year. Atmel would be bringing out the AT42QT1085 eight-button device, QT1085 16-channel slider/wheel and AT42QT2165 controllers, which have very low power consumption (3.8 milliwatts) and are inexpensively priced.
Patrick Hanley, the product manager at Atmel, observed an increase in the demand for haptics supported applications as consumers from automotive, industrial and medical fields are now comfortable with the technology. Atmel chooses to stand apart from the other companies offering haptics by building on its MaxTouch sensing technology, Immersion technology and its eight bit AVR microcontroller.
To ensure that Atmel designs have an edge over its competitors, they have designed controller models with actuators and power amplifiers. Atmel has already tested the controllers with 3.3 volt actuators and the Johnson Electric 1999-1MB0037EO, which showed the capability of serving devices weighing 300 grams and it runs on 5 volts. Hanley stressed on the importance of choosing the right actuator by proper testing methods. Atmel has also tested two Texas Instruments power amps, TI TPA6205A1DGN and the TI DRV860., to drive the actuators. They are satisfied with the amplification given by these instruments. These amplifiers were able to make the actuator move in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions and it was also possible to get an immediate response by over-driving the amplifiers.