Capacitive touch sensor systems are typical human machine interfaces (HMI) which operate by detecting changes in electrostatic capacitance produced by the touch of a finger or other conductor.
The use of capacitive touch technology can easily improve reliability in product design, and enhance the end-user experience. It also enables manufacturing costs to be lowered, so the use of capacitive touch technology is being rapidly adopted in recent years in a wide range of fields such as household appliances (white goods), healthcare devices, and other electric and electronic equipment.
There is a demand for the semiconductor components used in a capacitive touch sensor system to be more compact, lower in cost, use less power, and deliver better performance. Single-chip solutions combining a touch sensor IC to detect touch events and a microcontroller to receive detection data and control the system are becoming popular.
As a leader in the global microcontroller (MCU) industry, Renesas launched its R8C/3xT Series of MCUs supporting capacitive touch interfaces in October 2009, thus contributing to the proliferation of touch sensor systems. Renesas expects strong growth in the market for touch sensor systems and intends to be a key player with technology and products supporting HMI applications.