Cypress Unveils Powerful PSoC CapSense Touch Screen Solution

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE:CY) announced the industry’s most flexible touch screen controller solution, addressing a growing trend toward touch screen technology in products from mobile handsets to white goods. Cypress’s PSoC(R) CapSense[TM] capability supports projected capacitance and surface capacitance technologies across a broad range of screen sizes and types. The new solution takes advantage of the flexible PSoC mixed-signal array architecture to deliver high-accuracy touch screen performance that is ideal for small screen portable devices including mobile handsets, smartphones, and portable media players, as well as for larger screens required by applications such as games, POS terminals, and white goods.

The new PSoC CapSense touch screen solution also offers designers the ability to implement multiple additional functions beyond touch screens. The same devices can implement capacitive buttons and sliders simultaneously, replacing their mechanical counterparts, as well as proximity sensing. Engineers can also take advantage of the PSoC mixed signal array to implement functions beyond CapSense. Such functions include, driving LEDs, backlight control, motor control, power management, I/O expansion, accelerometers and ambient light sensors. These functions, in conjunction with flexible communication (I2C and SPI), allow for unparalleled system integration.

“The recent release of the iPhone[TM] from Apple(R) is generating tremendous interest in touch screen technology,” said Bill Morelli, Mobile Technologies Analyst at IMS Research. “Cypress’s flexible CapSense-based touch-screen technology is well positioned to capitalize on this trend.”

Cypress’s CapSense touch screen solution is available using projected capacitance and surface capacitance sensing techniques. Projected capacitance uses an electrostatic field forced above the sensing surface to determine inputs. This format requires the use of patterned ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) and requires no calibration. It can sense through thick overlays and supports multi-touch detection and gesturing, making it ideal for small form factor screens. Surface capacitance uses an electric field created across the screen surface and senses from the four corners to determine location when a user’s finger drains charge from the panel. This format scales up to larger screens well, as the I/O does not change with the size.

“The flexibility of our CapSense solution enables us to deliver capacitive touch screens with high resolution, linearity and accuracy,” said Carl Brasek, business unit director for Cypress’s CapSense products. “In addition, we have established regional ITO partnerships to deliver customized touch screen solutions to our global customer base.”

The PSoC CapSense touch screen solution is available with the CY8C20x34, CY8C21x34 and CY8C24x94 device families, all of which are in full production. Both new formats of the solution are supported in the PSoC Designer[TM] integrated development environment.

About CapSense
A single CapSense device can replace dozens of mechanical switches and controls with an elegant touch-sensitive interface, and the solution supports touch screens and proximity sensing for superior product differentiation. CapSense-based “button” and “slider” controls are more reliable than their mechanical counterparts because they are resistant to environmental wear-and-tear from temperature change and moisture. Cypress has garnered well over 100 CapSense design wins worldwide in applications that include mobile handsets, portable media players, white goods, computers, printers and automotive, among others.

A CapSense interface detects the presence of a conductive object, like a user’s finger, and embedded sensors work with the PSoC device to translate data about the finger’s presence into various system control functions. The sensor is not an actual component, but can be almost any conductive pad, such as copper on the PCB or indium tin oxide. Additionally, the solution can be used with multiple substrates like PCB, flex PCB and PET. Cypress’s CapSense offers system designers numerous advantages over capacitive sensing products built around modules and sub-assemblies, including increased flexibility, reduced board space and lower cost. Because of the unique PSoC architecture with configurable analog and digital blocks, designers can easily integrate multiple functions (e.g., LED drivers, motor controls, and LCD displays), in addition to capacitive sensing. Users can complete CapSense designs quickly and easily using pre-configured and verified “user modules” within Cypress’s PSoC Designer 4.4 Integrated Design Environment (IDE).

PSoC — Because Change Happens
PSoC devices employ a highly configurable system-on-chip architecture for embedded control design, offering a flash-based equivalent of a field-programmable ASIC without lead-time or NRE penalties. PSoC devices integrate configurable analog and digital circuits, controlled by an on-chip microcontroller, providing both enhanced design revision capability and component count savings. They include up to 32 Kbytes of Flash memory, 2 Kbytes of SRAM, an 8×8 multiplier with 32-bit accumulator, power and sleep monitoring circuits, and hardware I2C communications.

The flexible PSoC resources allow designers to future-proof their products by enabling firmware-based changes during design, validation, production, and in the field. The unique PSoC flexibility shortens design cycle time and allows for late-breaking feature enhancements. All PSoC devices are also dynamically reconfigurable, enabling designers to morph internal resources on-the-fly, utilizing fewer components to perform a given task.

Easy to use development tools enable designers to select configurable library elements for analog functions such as amplifiers, ADCs, DACs, filters and comparators and digital functions such as timers, counters, PWMs, SPI and UARTs. The PSoC family’s analog features include rail-to-rail inputs, programmable gain amplifiers and up to 14-bit ADCs with exceptionally low noise, input leakage and voltage offset.

A single PSoC device can integrate as many as 100 peripheral functions saving customers design time, board space and power consumption while improving system quality. Customers can save from 5 cents to as much as $10 in system costs.

About Cypress
Cypress delivers high-performance, mixed-signal, programmable solutions that provide customers with rapid time-to-market and exceptional system value. Cypress offerings include the PSoC(R) Programmable System-on-Chip[TM], USB controllers, general-purpose programmable clocks and memories. Cypress also offers wired and wireless connectivity solutions ranging from its WirelessUSB[TM] radio system-on-chip, to West Bridge[TM] and EZ-USB(R) FX2LP controllers that enhance connectivity and performance in multimedia handsets. Cypress serves numerous markets including consumer, computation, data communications, automotive, industrial, and solar power. Cypress trades on the NYSE under the ticker symbol CY.

Cypress, the Cypress logo and PSoC are registered trademarks and CapSense and PSoC Designer are trademarks of Cypress Semiconductor Corp.