Human-machine interface (HMI) for automotive applications has been through several iterations over the last several years. While many vehicles have voice-controlled interfaces, capacitive touch screens are still wildly popular for infotainment systems.
Capacitive touch sensing is a staple for touch interfaces. To suit the task of controlling these interfaces, Microchip's maXTouch® touchscreen controller ICs for 20-inch displays have been available since December of 2018.
Last week, Microchip announced another three versions, the MXT1067TD, MXT1189TD and MXT1665TD, that are specifically optimized for nine- to 13-inch automotive touchscreens.
The new touchscreen controllers allow engineers to design systems with thick glass or plastic cover lenses that can be controlled even by operators wearing gloves. The devices will prevent water drops of up to 22 mm from being interpreted as “touches.”
Developers of automotive touchscreen systems challenges face challenges in controlling EMI and ESD in the increasingly electronically saturated environment of a modern automobile. To meet this demand, members of Microchip's TD family feature a waveform shaping capability to optimize the performance of the touch controller’s radiated emissions through an EMI optimization tool.
Through this tool, OEMs can enter the RF limits they require for their unique application transmitted burst waveform used for the touch sensing acquisition and tune the shape of the transmitted burst waveform used for the touch sensing acquisition.
Fanie Duvenhage, Vice President of Microchip’s Human Machine Interface business unit describes the company's approach as prioritizing fast, efficient, simple design, “allowing developers to use the same design environment and product features" for various situations, including lens materials, display sizes, and vehicle models.
Each of the TD family members can operate even with thick (5mm) glove touches and thick (up to 3mm of plastic) lenses. They all also operate over a range of –40 °C to 105 °C.
The ATMXT1067TD-A is designed for display sizes of up to 10.5 inches.
The ATMXT1189TD-A is best for maximum screen sizes of 13 Inches.
The ATMXT1665TD-A is meant for display sizes of up to 15 inches.
While touch screen controllers abound, there are relatively few specifically designed for tough automotive environments.
Here are two:
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