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STMicroelectronics Touch Sensor Controller for Portable Consumer Applications

The leading semiconductor developer of consumer and mobile products STMicroelectronics has recently released information related to its touch-sensor controller.

ST Proximity and Touch Key Controllers

This controller is utilized for enhancing the styling and performance of gadgets like portable consumer appliances and products, and mobile phones. The controller helps a touch sensor to replace customary buttons for triggering waking up action from battery saving sleep modes and control of main on/off functions.

The new STM8T141 chip enables the designers to meet the requirements of nomadic, wireless gadgets that have to be provided with long battery charging intervals features and enhanced sensing capabilities. These capabilities include the detection of human proximity or touch.

This eight-pin chip is being manufactured for a particular cellphone manufacturer already. The low current consuming device is able to sense the presence of the user through a touch-sensor electrode and responds speedily to wake up the system from the sleep mode, which consumes less power. It can also track a single touch sensing type of electrode that is incorporated in the end product’s control panel or within the outer casing.

Its key features include a technique to sense capacitive charge transfer, single output that is configurable for reporting proximity or touch detection, self-calibration and automatic recalibration, and on-chip voltage regulator for low parts count and better performance.

ST also provides various development tools for facilitating fast design starts. Its STM8T141-EVAL evaluation kit offers low cost and user-friendly demonstration of the proximity and touch features of the chip. The STM8T14X-SB socket programming board and the ST-TSLINK programming dongle are utilized with the STVP PC-enabled programming tool for efficient and speedy configuration of the product.

It is also able to support proximity sensing features, enabling equipment control without the user’s direct contact. This empowers the sensor in controlling energy-saving features like the convenience features related to the find-in-the-dark ability for automatic backlight activation system or user-detection enabled system wake up. Using it for proximity or touch sensing enables product stylists to achieve the required feel and look for a broad product range.

In-built compensation and calibration helps save time during the product production stage and also enables the touch sensing feature to reliably operate for the entire lifetime of devices like audio headsets, kitchen appliances, game terminals, wireless keyboards, and universal remote controls.

Source: http://www.st.com

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