Analogue, Mixed Signal, LSI


Touch sensor for on/off/wake-up control

26 May 2010 Analogue, Mixed Signal, LSI

STMicroelectronics has released details of a touch-sensor controller that improves the performance and styling of products such as mobile phones, portable consumer products and appliances. Consumers will find these products more stylish because the new controller allows replacement of traditional buttons with a touch sensor for main power-on/off control or to trigger wake-up from battery saving sleep modes.

The 8-pin STM8T141 draws a current as low as 11 μA from the battery and can detect user presence via the touch-sensor electrode, responding quickly to wake the system from a low-power sleep mode. The chip is designed to monitor a single touch-sensing electrode embedded on the control panel of the end product or in the outer casing. The sensor may be hidden, or its position indicated using a printed, overlaid or illuminated icon.

The new controller also supports proximity sensing, allowing equipment to be controlled without direct contact from the user. This allows the sensor to control power-saving features such as system wake-up on user detection, or features for added convenience such as automatic backlight activation supporting find-in-the-dark capability.

The STM8T141 features built-in calibration and compensation, which saves time during product manufacture and allows touch sensing to operate reliably for the lifetime of gadgets such as kitchen appliances, universal remote controls, game terminals, home A/V products, wireless keyboards, personal media players, audio headsets and many other products. The device also supports a driven electrode-shielding wire, which protects against noise from external sources without the reduction in electrode sensitivity experienced with a grounded shield.

A number of development tools are available to enable fast design starts. The STM8T141-EVAL evaluation kit provides an easy-to-use demonstration of the chip’s touch and proximity features. In addition, the ST-TSLINK programming dongle and STM8T14X-SB socket programming board are used with the STVP PC-based programming tool for fast and efficient product configuration.

For more information contact EBV Electrolink, +27 (0)21 402 1940, capetown@ebv.com, www.ebv.com



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