Geneva, Switzerland STMicroelectronics has released its S-Touch family of ultra-low-power touch-sensor chips, based on ATLab's capacitive touch-sensing technology, which is a fully-digital architecture that needs no on-chip MCU, memory or firmware to implement control interfaces responsive to the user's touch. The first products are 8-channel and 12-channel devices.
The S-Touch sensors target portable applications such as mobile phones, PDAs, notebook PCs and media players, as well as cost-sensitive white goods. This hardwired touch sensor family complements ST's recently-announced MCU-based QST series, which enables intelligent touch-sensitive control interfaces for more complex applications as well as simpler products where the sensor's MCU can also control multiple secondary functions.
The hardwired finite state machine, at the core of the S-Touch family, is optimized in silicon, which requires very little power. Consumption is around five to ten times lower than conventional touch sensor solutions with a sleep-mode consumption of just 1 microamp, said ST. The sensor lines from the device to the application's touch pads do not need external resistor-capacitor (RC) networks that are typically required in other solutions, and the sensors themselves are tiny the 8-input device uses a 2.6 x 1.8-mm QFN16 package that is 80% smaller than some existing equivalent solutions. Sampling time is fast at 2 milliseconds.
By combining ST and ATLab Intellectual Property (IP), S-Touch will be able to realize a true one-chip solution for a full user-interface controller, handling a full-size keypad with LED-backlighting control, and with capacitive touch-key and resistive touch-screen features, said ST.
Pricing: The 12-channel STMPE1208 and 8-channel STMPE821 are priced at $1.60 and $1.40, respectively, in quantities of 100,000.
Availability: Samples of the 12-channel STMPE1208 will be available in the first half of 2007, with volume production planned for September. The 8-channel STMPE821 will be sampling in September 2007 followed by volume production in January 2008.
STMicroelectronics, 1-781-861-2650, www.st.com