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6-channel touch sensor
25 September 2002, Electronics Technology

Quantum Research Group released the QT160, the first sensor IC from its QTouch family to offer six channels of touch sensing. The chip is based on Quantum's proprietary, patented 'QProx' charge-transfer (QT) technology. This is a self-contained digital IC with a RISC core capable of detecting near-proximity or touch. It can be used to create up to six 'touch buttons' through glass, plastic, stone, ceramic, or even wood, according to the company. It can also turn common objects into touch sensors.

The QT160 is designed specifically for human interfaces, for example in appliances, lighting controls, computer peripherals or anywhere a mechanical switch or button may be found. It not only allows OEMs to create sleek, innovative touch controls, but also offers a practical way to create sealed, IP67-rated keypads.

The device requires only one common inexpensive capacitor per channel in order to function. Each of the six channels operates independently of the other channels and each can be tuned for unique sensitivity levels by simply changing capacitor values. Sensitivity can be set to easily penetrate more than 100 mm of glass, says Quantum. The QT160 also allows designers to easily backlight touch-keys at very low cost.

For more information contact Analog Data Products SA, 011 259 9400.


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