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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