STMicroelectronics officially launched a new series of S-Touch touch sensors

STMicroelectronics has released a series of ultra-low-power touch sensor chips. ST previously signed a technology license agreement with Korean company ATLab. Target applications for the new line of products are portable devices such as mobile phones, PDAs, notebooks and media players, as well as the price-sensitive white goods market. The new 'S-Touch' series of sensors uses ATLab's capacitive touch sensing technology, which is based on an all-digital architecture that controls the user interface that responds to user touch without the need for an on-chip microcontroller, memory or firmware. The first products in the series are 8-channel and 12-channel sensors.

This hard-wired touch sensor family complements ST's recently introduced microcontroller-based 'QST' family of products, which enable intelligent touch sensing control interfaces through the QST series. The microcontroller inside the sensor also controls multiple auxiliary functions in a simpler product. ST also has two series of sensor portfolios, and is the only manufacturer in the semiconductor market that can provide complete sensor solutions to meet the application requirements and conditions of different industries.

ST implements a hardwired finite state machine in the core of the S-Touch family of sensors, and the optimized silicon technology requires very low power: power consumption is about one-fifth to tenth of the average touch sensor solution. First, the power consumption of sleep mode is only 1 microamp. The circuitry that connects the sensor to the application device touchpad does not require an external RC network, while other sensor solutions typically require a RC network. These sensors are very small in size and are available in a 2.6 x 1.8mm QFN16 package with an input size that is approximately 80% smaller than existing equivalent solutions and is very competitively priced. With a sampling time of 2 milliseconds, these sensors are also the fastest on the market.

Future products will also integrate patented technology from ST's new Xpander family of logic products to help overcome I/O intensive tasks to ultra-low-power Xpander logic ICs. This technology helps overcome MCU-based embedded systems. The number of input and output ports is limited. This technology allows existing system processors to use a variety of additional intelligent functions through a fast I2C interface, including keyboard controllers supporting up to 96 keys, as well as GHOST keys, multi-key and hotkey processing, and PWM (pulse width) The modulation) controller controls the LED brightness function.

By integrating ST and ATLab's IP (intellectual property) technology in this way, S-Touch will be able to implement a true single-chip, full-featured user interface controller solution that can handle standards with LED backlight control keys and capacitive touch keys. Size keyboard and resistive touch screen function. ST also plans to discuss with ATLab the opportunities to strengthen cooperation in advanced digital IP design services in specific areas. This technology complements ST's microcontroller-based QST family of products, which guarantee customers the most choice of touch sensor designs to meet the style, material and functionality requirements of different products.