Touch controller family offers thick glove and weather-proof operation

01-07-2020 | Microchip Technology | Automotive & Transport

To assist and ease today’s driving experience, automotive manufacturers are using extra touch displays beyond the centre infotainment display. Supporting the application of these secondary displays with advanced features, Microchip Technology has extended its maXTouch portfolio with the new MXT288UD touch controller family, claimed to be the industry’s smallest automotive-grade packaged touch screen controllers. The MXT288UD-AM and the MXT144UD-AM devices provide weatherproof operation, low power mode and glove touch detection in the touchpad and smart surfaces for vehicles, multi-function displays, motorcycles, e-bikes and car-sharing services.

Secondary touch surfaces can be introduced in both the interior of cars and exterior of a motor vehicle, such as doors, handlebars, electronic mirrors, the steering wheel, control knobs, between seats or in an armrest. With the family’s small 7mm x 7mm automotive-grade VQFN56 package, tier-one suppliers can now decrease board space by 75% and greatly reduce the overall BoM for these compact applications — all while surpassing the demands for superior and reliable touch performance in the market. The family’s low power wait-for-touch mode uses less than 50µA, remaining responsive for the user, despite if the display switches off to conserve power or to avoid disturbing the driver at night. The system will wake by a touch event everywhere on the touch surface.

“Automotive OEMs are looking to enhance the user experience through smart surfaces and multi-function displays, while still providing a convenient and distraction-free environment,” said Fanie Duvenhage, vice president of Microchip’s human-machine interface and touch function group. “Addressing these needs in the market, Microchip is building on its already leading portfolio of automotive touchscreen solutions with the new MXT288UD touch controller family — bringing increased performance and cost savings to the industry’s smallest package of automotive-grade touch controllers.”

By Natasha Shek