4D-Touch Platform aims to enhance user experience by sensing all four dimensions

4D-Touch Platform aims to enhance user experience by sensing all four dimensions

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Semtech Corp., has launched what the company claims is a ground breaking 4D-Touch touchscreen controller platform suited to bring out the best user experiences by enabling the capability to sense in the X, Y, Z+ (proximity), and Z- (pressure) directions in many touch-interface applications including smart phones, tablets, handheld GPS, automotive consoles, and POS terminals.
By eeNews Europe

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The innovative touch devices integrate a proximity detection feature that gives OEMs the ability to introduce a new type of sensing experience to their products well before a user even touches the device. This high resolution capacitive proximity sensing is implemented with Semtech’s proprietary analog front-end design, which enables detection from a long distance as well as sensing through thick overlays and materials with low permittivity. The key differentiator in touch sensing will enhance the user experiences across a wide variety of applications.   

Semtech’s 4D-Touch family includes both resistive and capacitive sensing platforms. The first resistive touchscreen products in the 4D-Touch family are the SX865X controllers that were announced on July 28, 2011. The resistive touchscreen solution supports a proximity detection distance of more than 5 cm using any standard 4/5-wire analog resistive panel.      

The SX8654/55/56/57/58 feature a highly accurate 12-bit analog-to-digital converter for coordinates and touch pressure measurement with current consumption as little as 30 uA at 8 kSPS rate. These resistive touchscreen controllers not only calculate the X,Y coordinate of the touch, but also support capacitive proximity sensing (Z+) as well as pressure measurement (Z-) with tactile feedback via haptics.      

Typical enhanced user experiences enabled by this type of technology includes waking up the system as the user moves within sensing range, adjusting the backlight brighter/dimmer as the user approaches the panel or even displaying hidden/key menus as the user’s hand gets close to the display. Some products in the 4D-Touch family also have an integrated ability to drive LRA or ERM motors directly for haptic feedback emulating the mechanical tactile feedback users are accustomed to, as well as giving the appropriate strength of haptic feedback proportional to the pressure measurement.      

Semtech also offers capacitive touch-button solutions ( SX8633 / 34 / 35 / 36 / 38 / 39 / 61 ) as part of he 4D-Touch brand with such high sensitivity that a hand approaching within 10 cm can automatically turn on the LEDs behind the control buttons and provide visual feedback to the user. An LCD TV or monitor is an ideal application where these control buttons are typically hidden until someone reaches for them at which point they are turned on.     

All of the products in Semtech’s 4D-Touch family have common attributes that make them technically world class and innovative. They are all architected for low power applications in portable equipment dissipating as little as 0.4 uA in standby mode. Robust ESD protection as high as ±15 kV ESD is also integrated on-chip to reduce the customer’s BOM cost and board space from the requirement for external ESD protection typically used in touch applications. These feature-rich devices also come in miniature form factors as small as a 2 mm x2 mm WCSP.    

 
Availability     

The SX8654 / 55 / 56 / 57 / 58 and SX8633 / 34 / 35 / 36 / 38 / 39 / 61 available now in production quantities. Other 4D-Touch family members are scheduled to be available by September 2011.     

Visit Semtech at www.semtech.com/info

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