ST forms touch sensor design partnership with Fieldscale

January 27, 2020 // By Peter Clarke
ST forms touch sensor design partnership with Fieldscale
Fieldscale, a supplier of cloud-based design and simulation software for capacitive touch sensors, has teamed up with STMicroelectronics. The two companies are working together to aid development of touch-enabled user-interfaces for equipment containing STM32 microcontrollers.

Touch sense interfaces can traditionally require an iterative approach to design to eliminate unwanted effects and ensure consistent responses. Customers can now avoid building multiple prototypes around ST's ARM-based 32bit microcontrollers through the use of the SENSE development platform from Fieldscale (Thessaloniki, Greece).

SENSE includes schematic capture and system-level simulation of capacitive touch sensors. Users can design the graphical appearance of the touch sensor and the PCB layout, and build a virtual system model for simulation.

The development platform is based in the cloud allowing solving of computationally-intensive electromagnetic algorithms. Solutions are achieved quickly allowing rapid cycling of designs and re-simulations to fine-tune the performance before committing to hardware.

SENSE users can design or import a capacitive touch sensor layout as a standard DXF or Gerber file and SENSE applies the appropriate boundary conditions for the design automatically. Users can then simulate the touch-sensor performance including the effects of using a stylus or wearing gloves.

Simulation results have been validated against measurements from actual touch-sensor manufacturers, confirming the results are accurate to within 2 percent.

The software aids the understanding of effects such as coupling between traces and electrodes that can interfere with the touch-sensor performance, to identify required modifications.

"In Fieldscale, our goal is to offer to all capacitive-touch design engineers, a complete software solution supporting them end-to-end, from the early design up to the tuning of the final system," said Yiorgos Bontzios, CEO and co-founder of Fieldscale, in a statement.

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