Single chip solution combines a 2.4-GHz, low-power wireless radio and capacitive touch

October 17, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Cypress Semiconductor has introduced a single-chip solution that integrates a wireless radio with touch-sensing circuitry for wireless mice, trackpads, remote controls, presenter tools, and other Human Interface Devices (HIDs).

The new PRoC-UI (Programmable Radio-on-a-Chip–User Interface) solution combines 2.4-GHz proprietary WirelessUSB-NL Radio with Cypress’s CapSense and TrueTouch capacitive touch technologies. This combination enables user interface functionality in wireless devices, including gestures supported by the upcoming Windows 8 applications.

The one-chip solution also offers standard HID microcontroller functionality, effectively combining three chips into one to save BOM cost, board space, and power, while increasing reliability compared with multi-chip implementations.

Cypress’s CapSense technology has replaced over 4 billion mechanical buttons worldwide, making Cypress the industry’s leading capacitive touch supplier. CapSense offers stylish interfaces, and superior reliability compared to mechanical buttons. PRoC-UI is also available with Cypress’s leading TrueTouch touchscreen technology, enabling multiple new HID use cases with multi-finger gesture recognition, including new Windows 8 gestures. The TrueTouch variant also supports customized gestures. Both CapSense and TrueTouch variants include advanced features such as proximity sensing (which allows a device to “wake up” as a hand approaches) and haptics (to give tactile user feedback).

PRoC-UI boasts an impressive -87 dBm receive sensitivity at 1 Mbps. This enhanced sensitivity enables longer range (up to 30 meters) operation and allows for lower-power transmit signals. The device features low active and standby currents, which enable longer battery life. It also offers superior performance in the presence of 2.4-GHz interference from common sources such as WiFi, Bluetooth, cordless phones, and microwaves.

PRoC-UI supports Cypress’s AgileHID protocol that allows existing WirelessUSB-NL customers to get started quickly on their designs without any additional effort. Customers who have existing designs with WirelessUSB-NL can reuse the same dongles for new PRoC-UI based touch products. PRoC-UI comes with free software to enable end-product customization.

Availability

PRoC-UI is currently sampling in 40-QFN and 68-QFN packages with volume production expected in January 2013.  PRoC-UI advance datasheets, user guides, application notes, reference schematics and a video demo featuring a wireless trackpad in Windows 8 are available at www.cypress.com/go/PRoC-UI