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February 22, 2010 : The Emitter
In January, ST Microelectronics, a leader in microcontrollers, introduced a multi-touch resistive touchscreen controller chip to optimize the Bill of Materials of the electronics supporting this advanced capability. The STM32TS60 is the first member of ST’s new STMTouch family, which offers a portfolio of solutions including multi-touch devices and proximity and touchkey sensors.
ST Microelectronics is one licensee of Stantum. Stantum has been a pioneer on multi-touch since 2004.
The new multi-touch controller detects up to 10 simultaneous touches with fingers, nails or stylus, enabling application designers to replace complex menu sequences with more direct and natural user controls. Actions made easier with multitouch capabilities include browsing and selecting options, handwriting and data entry, arranging and sizing windows, picking up and dragging images, and fast and intuitive game play. Other abilities include drawing pictures and using touch pressure to adjust line thickness.
Resistive Multi-Touch Controller IC
Employing resistive touch-panel technology, the STM32TS60 controller offers customers a real alternative and complements the recent industry trend for using capacitive touch technology. Resistive technology is a cost effective and mature high-volume solution that has seen dramatically improved performance over the past few years in terms of durability and display transparency. In addition, it easily overcomes EMI (electromagnetic interference) noise issues, which can be an inherent limitation with alternative touch technologies.
The new chip combines the company’s highly efficient STM32 microcontroller architecture with PMatrixTM Multi-Touch technology from ST‘s partner Stantum, a leader in touch-sensing processing, to achieve fast response times while minimizing system complexity and component count.
The STM32TS60 single-core microcontroller is an added-value solution compared to other expensive multi-core processor or digital signal processors (DSPs) requiring specialized programming expertise.
“The STM32T60 is the first member of ST’s new STMTouch family and provides a very low power, highly reliable alternative to capacitive touchscreen solutions,” said Jim Nicholas, General Manager of ST’s Microcontrollers Division. “By leveraging the advanced processing and low power of the STM32 and STM8 processor platforms, and supporting different touchscreen capabilities, STMTouch is a versatile platform for next-generation consumer devices offering compelling features, increased flexibility and more fun for users.”
The STM32TS60’s high EMI immunity makes it suitable for use in multi-function wireless products such as cell phones, notebook PCs, netbooks and mobile Internet devices. Moreover, its low power consumption helps to maximize operating times and recharge intervals, and is a direct benefit of the STM32’s energy-saving design features and ARM® Cortex™-M3 processor conceived for power-sensitive embedded applications. In addition, very-low-power idle mode with ‘wake-up on touch only’ helps further extend mobile battery life.
The STM32TS60 is housed in a 7 × 7mm 144-pin UFBGA package, and is now sampling to lead customers. Volume production is expected for Q2’10.
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