Innovative Technology Supports Both Mutual- and Self-Capacitance Methods and Achieves High-Touch Sensitivity and High-Noise Immunity
15 Jul 2014
TOKYO, Japan, July 15, 2014 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced development of innovative new intellectual property (IP) that implements industry-leading capacitive touch sensing technology suitable for home appliances, and healthcare equipment, such as blood pressure and blood glucose meters. The IP achieves high-touch sensitivity five times superior compared to that of Renesas' R8C/3xT microcontrollers (MCUs), as well as high-noise immunity allowing the technology to pass strict noise tests. Furthermore, for the first time, Renesas IP supports the mutual capacitance method which is more reliable and versatile than the common self-capacitance method. Renesas will also provide development tools to make application development easier.
For human machine interface (HMI) applications for electric and electronic equipment, touch-key interfaces have been the subject of increasing attention. The use of capacitive touch technology is being rapidly adopted because it can easily improve reliability in product design, and enhance the end-user experience. In fact, system manufacturers are now developing new touch interfaces with a curved surface, instead of the flat panels that have been mainstream up to now. Looking ahead, touch-sensing technologies with even higher sensitivity and noise immunity will become highly desirable for a wider range of applications.
For home appliances used in the kitchen, it is often the case that the appliance will be splashed with water or the user will be wearing gloves. Furthermore, there is also equipment, such as IH stoves, that emit strong electromagnetic fields. This means that a technology that achieves both high sensitivity and high noise immunity at the same time is required to reliably respond to the static capacitance when such end products are operated by the user's hand.
As a leader in the global MCU industry, Renesas launched its R8C/3xT Series of MCUs supporting capacitive touch interfaces in October 2009, thus contributing to the proliferation of touch-key manipulation systems. Renesas expects strong growth in the market for touch-key systems and intends to be a key player with technology and products supporting HMI applications.
Key features of the new IP:
- (1) Industry-leading (Note 1) high sensitivity and high noise immunity
The Renesas IP not only offers high-noise immunity, but also provides characteristics that allow reliable sensing even with acrylic panels with thicknesses in excess of 10 mm. The technology can implement flexible designs, for example products that implement curved panels. Furthermore, since this new IP enables a high-level of touch sensitivity it can expand the range of scenarios for consumer interaction, such as gloved hands and proximity sensing where there is no actual touch. In addition, since the IP passes the strict electromagnetic noise testing stipulated in the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61000-4-3 and IEC 61000-4-6 (Note 2) standards, it enables the design of robust systems even under noisy conditions.
- (2) Support for the mutual capacitance method
Because the new IP supports the mutual capacitance method, it is easier to implement moisture proofing measures in end products, so that false detections do not occur even if there is water on the touch key area. The IP also supports embedding touch keys in a matrix configuration to eliminate false ghost detections, a phenomenon associated with devices implementing the self-capacitance method. This allows the number of touch keys to be increased with minimal number of pins.
- (3) Development environment that significantly reduces the development burden
Renesas plans to provide a new development environment that maintains compatibility with the existing Renesas tool chain while improving ease of use for its customers.
The newly-developed touch panel IP is being positioned by the company not only as a technology for use in home appliances and healthcare equipment, but also one that can be applied in any field where longevity and reliability are required, such as factory automation (FA) and home security. Renesas is committed to providing customers with optimal solutions in a timely manner and is proceeding with the development of MCUs that incorporate the company's newest IP.
Samples of Renesas Electronics' MCUs incorporating the new static capacitive touch panel IP will be available during the fiscal year 2014. (Availability is subject to change without notice.)
About Renesas Electronics Corporation
Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) delivers trusted embedded design innovation with complete semiconductor solutions that enable billions of connected, intelligent devices to enhance the way people work and live. A global leader in microcontrollers, analog, power, and SoC products, Renesas provides comprehensive solutions for a broad range of automotive, industrial, home electronics, office automation, and information communication technology applications that help shape a limitless future. Learn more at renesas.com.
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(Note 1) As of July 15, 2014
(Note 2) The IEC 61000-4-3 and IEC 61000-4-6 standards: IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standards for EMS.
4-3: Radiated, radio-frequency, electromagnetic field immunity test
4-6: Immunity to conducted disturbances, induced by radio-frequency fields
The content in the press release, including, but not limited to, product prices and specifications, is based on the information as of the date indicated on the document, but may be subject to change without prior notice.