San Jose, Calif. Cypress Semiconductor Corp. has introduced a family of PSoC (Programmable System-on-Chip) devices optimized for use in capacitive sensing interface applications such as front-panel displays and media controls. The CapSense devices are said to deliver 45 times better noise immunity, 30 percent faster update speeds with 60 percent lower power consumption, and 300 percent greater resolution than previous devices, according to the company.
The three versions of the new CapSense optimized devices are the CY8C20234 (16-pin QFN package), the CY8C20334 (24-pin QFN) and the CY8C20434 (32-pin QFN). Click the links for more information about the CY8C20234, CY8C20334, and CY8C20434 devices.
According to Cypress a single CapSense device can replace dozens of mechanical switches and controls with a simple, touch-sensitive interface. CapSense-based "button" and "slider" controls are also said to be more reliable than their mechanical counterparts because they are not prone to the environmental wear-and-tear that affects exposed buttons and switches. Applications include portable devices including mobile handsets and media players, and larger systems including automotive, computers, white goods and printers.
How it works: With the CapSense interface, a finger on the interface forms an electrical connection with embedded sensors, which work with the PSoC device to translate data into various system control functions. The sensor itself is only a copper pad on the printed-circuit-board (PCB), not an actual component. All of the circuitry for controlling the sensor is inside the PSoC device.
In addition, the PSoC architecture allows designers to easily integrate multiple functions (e.g., LED drivers and LCD displays), in addition to capacitive sensing. This solution also delivers benefits such as easy communications using either I2C or SPI interfaces, the ability to implement both track pad (x-y matrix) and linear slider applications with the same device, and the ability to make quick design changes using the flash-based PSoC architecture.
Pricing ranges from about $1.09 each for the 16-pin part to $1.26 each for the 32-pin device, in quantities of 10,000.
Cypress Semiconductor Corp., 1-408-943-2600www.cypress.com