New touchscreen controllers claim world’s best SNR performance

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By eeNews Europe

The Gen4 family was designed from the ground up to deliver the world’s highest SNR in real world applications. The device is the first and only touchscreen IC that delivers built-in 10V Tx to drive the touch panel at 10 V.  Because SNR is directly proportional to the voltage at which the panel is driven, this feature allows Cypress to offer nearly four times the SNR of the next closest competitor.  

The Gen4 family further raises the SNR bar as the first touchscreen device family to completely eliminate display noise in hardware. Gen4’s patent-pending Display Armor offers unprecedented immunity to noise from every type of display, even low cost noisy displays such as ACVCOM LCDs. This allows touchscreen designers to make their products thinner by removing the air gap between the display and the sensor, and also less expensive by removing the shield layer in the sensor. Display Armor allows Gen4 to operate seamlessly with direct lamination, on-cell and in-cell stackups, regardless of the display chemistry.

“Customers have told us again and again that delivering flawless performance in the presence of noise is the biggest design hurdle they face,” said Dhwani Vyas, vice president of Cypress’s User Interface Business Unit. “Our Gen4 family with 10V Tx offers a quantum leap in performance in noise, including display noise that is often the most difficult to overcome. We are confident that competitive offerings will have a hard time meeting this performance.”

In addition to unmatched noise performance, the Gen4 product family offers the industry’s fastest refresh rate of 400 Hz, and has the ability to scan a capacitive touch panel at 1,000 Hz – both industry-best metrics. This level of performance is enabled by the 32-bit ARM Cortex core at the heart of the Gen4 products. The Gen4 family enables unlimited touch performance, while providing the industry’s best accuracy and linearity of 0.2 mm. Gen4 offers these features while boasting the world’s lowest active power consumption of 2 mW, and a deep sleep mode that only draws 1.8 µW with wake-up via address match on the COM port.

Gen4 also offers more capacitive sensing IO than the competition, while still fitting into the world’s smallest touchscreen packages. With up to 40 IO for mobile phone applications, Gen4 can support up to four standalone CapSense buttons while still delivering ideal sensor pitch for up to 5-inch screens.

The Gen4 family also offers features that only TrueTouch can deliver, including waterproofing functionality that allows products to meet IP-67 standards; 1-mm stylus support for Asian character sets and accurate handwriting capture; and hover sensing to provide mouseover-like features and true fingernail or thick-glove support in mobile devices. Cypress’s patent-pending ability to switch dynamically between self-capacitive and mutual-capacitive sensing methods in application enables these differentiating features. Cypress now has over 250 issued and pending patents pertaining to touchscreens. More information, including multiple videos, is available at

Samples of the new Gen4 controllers are now available to lead customers. Cypress expects to deliver volume production to lead customers by the end of 2011. The family will be available in a 44-pin 5×5 QFN with 31 sense I/Os, a 48-lead 6×6 QFN package with 35 sense I/Os, a 49-ball WLCSP package with 36 sense I/Os, and a 60-ball WLCSP package with 40 sense I/Os. The WLCSP (Wafer-Level Chip-Scale Packages) devices have a footprint of only 3.8 mm x 3.8 mm, the smallest touchscreen controllers available.

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