Touch controller maintains multiple-finger tracking, with thick gloves

October 14, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Cypress Semiconductor promotes its TrueTouch Gen5 touchscreen controller family for large-screen superphones, smartphones, tablets and e-readers as delivering multiple advanced features, including the world’s best gloved-finger tracking on capacitive touchscreens.

The TMA568 controller has also added “hover” support, which enables touchscreens to anticipate the touch of a finger and enlarge content, such as points on a map, to make it easier to find and select objects. The new features are added to the TMA568 controller's noise-immunity, waterproofing and palm rejection technology.

The Gen5 TMA568 controller delivers optimum accuracy and linearity for multiple fingers of different sizes and gloves of various materials and thicknesses, including ski gloves. In addition, it automatically switches between glove and finger tracking without requiring the user to change settings. The controller’s hover detection changes the fundamental navigation functions on mobile devices by emulating the “mouseover” feature of personal computers, delivering easier, more accurate interface navigation. TMA568 now also offers improved passive stylus support, accurately capturing 1-mm stylus input for handwriting and signatures. This capability is important for writing in languages that require enhanced character recognition for reliable text input, such as Chinese and Japanese. The controller delivers a high degree of accuracy and linearity, along with the fast refresh rates required for handwriting and signature capture.

“We designed the TMA568 controller to be the premier solution for superphone and tablet touchscreens, with unmatched noise rejection, waterproofing and other unique features,” said Joe Montalbo, vice president of the TrueTouch Business Unit at Cypress. “Today we are extending our leadership with an array of valuable features that enable our customers to deliver truly differentiated products to the market.”

Electronic noise from displays and after-market chargers can disrupt a touchscreen’s ability to operate properly. The TMA568 uses the Gen5 family’s ChargerArmor feature to deliver 20 Vpp charger noise immunity measured from 1 to 500 kHz with an ultra-thin 0.5-mm cover lens—the most stringent specifications used to measure any touchscreen controller.

Cypress’ DualSense technology implements both self-capacitance and mutual-capacitance measurements in the same device, enabling the Gen5 family to offer the industry’s best waterproofing for seamless performance in real-world conditions.