I don't see touchpad capability on this part when I read the datasheets - only cap touch buttons and perhaps sliders. Don't confuse touchpads with touch buttons or touch sliders. Touchpads are full array cap touch sensors that do 2 dimensions with resolutions around 2000 counts in each axis and have very controlled Z sensing. They also have significant filters that deal with noise, ballistics, touchdown, liftoff, accuracy etc.
Now a days touch keys and touch screen have become so essential to any embedded system. All the micro controller vendors are providing inbuilt control interface, it is good that TI also joined the list.
Touch pads and screens are now ubiquitous, but there was a time in the 80's when they were rare birds. I didn't like them: typically, they were big things covering an entire CRT (I didn't like those either, but what was the alternative?) and it didn't take too long before you were trying to clean peanut butter from the touch surface. Way back when, I did work for a medical ultrasonics firm. They would try different methods of building an interface for the practitioners who bought their systems: I purchased (for $4000, I seem to recall) a Fluke touch system over a green CRT. It worked pretty well, but that didn't stop me from programming the "off" pad so that when it was touched, the "off" legend would blink once and move to another area, with the instrument still running. After 5 or so attempts, the instrument would finally shut down. Needless to say, the owner was only partly amused... he was a good guy, and part of the scope he gave us to try new technology extended to (small) jokes on the equipment. Well, touch pads, screens, and so on are here forever; they still get dirty, but we have come a long way, and it would be hard to imagine not having them.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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