Atmel Introduces Two Touch Controller ICs

Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML), announced its new line of charge-transfer, capacitive touchscreen controller ICs targeted at some of the highest growth areas of the electronics market, such as mobile phones and other personal electronics. Atmel, with millions of custom touchscreen solutions shipped over the past few years, offers highly reliable standard Two Touch[tm] and Single Touch touchscreen controllers. Together with partners, the company also offers complete touchscreen solutions for the most common screen sizes, including the chips and sensors, typically implemented as ITO on PET or glass.

Atmel’s Two Touch controller ICs can track and report one or two simultaneous touches as separate X and Y positions. Common user initiated gestures, including tap, double tap, flick and drag, as well as two touch gestures such as zoom in, zoom out and rotate are implemented in the touchscreen controllers. This approach allows designers to incorporate a comprehensive range of user interface functions such as resizing and rotation of on-screen graphics, as well as allowing a two finger gesture to replace multiple levels of menu access.

In addition to the touchscreen functions, the engineer can also implement the touch surface as a combination of touch keys and scrolling devices for additional flexibility – this is configurable by the host processor through the industry standard two-wire, I2C compatible interface.

Peter Jones, General Manager of Atmel’s microcontroller division said, “Our new Two Touch devices give industrial designers the opportunity to incorporate next generation, cost effective user interfaces into their new product developments with ease. To support this activity our End-to-End reference designs help speed the development cycle. These new products overcome many of the limitations of traditional resistive and capacitive touchscreen technologies. Also with our single layer ITO solutions, customers can achieve excellent performance at a very competitive price.”

For single touch applications, Atmel offers a unique single layer sensor minimizing the mechanical stack, and improving the optical performance of touchscreen displays. The reduction of scatter and absorption of the available backlight results in improved light transmission, contrast and results in highly reduced power consumption.

The first Two Touch devices, AT42QT5320 and AT42QT5480, support screen sizes of up to 8″ with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The single touch devices, AT42QT4120 and AT42AT4160, support screen sizes of up to 4.3″ with aspect ratios of 16:9 or 4:3. The AT42QT5320 comes in a 5×5 mm QFN package; the AT42QT5480 is available in 5×5 mm BGA, a 7×7 mm QFN and a 10x10mm TQFP package and also supports up to four user controlled GPO’s. All packages are RoHS compliant.

The AT42QT4160 and AT42QT4120 single touch devices can operate through up to 3mm plastic and 4mm glass panel thicknesses. The devices are available in a 5×5 mm QFN RoHS compliant package.

Availability and Pricing
Samples are now available and production quantities will be available in Q1 2009. Pricing for touchscreen controller devices start at $2.50 for high volume projects.

About Atmel
Atmel is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and radio frequency (RF) components. Leveraging one of the industry’s broadest intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is able to provide the electronics industry with complete system solutions focused on consumer, industrial, security, communications, computing and automotive markets. With its new touch technology division, formerly known as Quantum Research Group[tm], the company now offers dedicated touch sense controllers addressing applications in the mobile communication and entertainment markets as well as in PC, appliances and automotive applications.

Atmel®, Atmel logo and combinations thereof, and others, are registered trademarks, Two Touch[tm] and others are trademarks of Atmel Corporation or its subsidiaries. Other terms and product names may be trademarks of others.