updated 06:00 pm EDT, Fri September 11, 2009
Atmel maXTouch controller has multi touch support
Atmel is hoping to move forward the technology behind touchscreens its new maXTouch series of capacitive touchscreen controllers. The new developments are unique in supporting an unlimited number of separate and simultaneous touch inputs along with a particularly fast screen refresh rate of 250Hz. The maXTouch controllers will allow the creation of touchscreens that are larger than 10 inches with zoom, rotate, handwriting and shape recognition functionality. Atmel also claims the maXTouch devices will have the lowest power needs in their class.
The first controller, the mXT224, has 224 nodes that enable it to track multiple inputs and can redraw the screen in just 4ms. Like all maXTouch products, everything is integrated onto a single chip, without the need for external components, minimizing both the cost and the footprint. Multiple mXT224 controllers can be used in very large screens.
The mXT224 is being touted as the first capacitive touchscreen solution to have support for fingers as well as styluses, fingernails and gloves, which normally don't register the electricity needed on these types of displays.
The mXT224 is the first maXTouch controller, and is now available, priced at $4.75 each in very large batches of 1 million or more. More controllers will become available later in 2009 and in 2010. The company hasn't named its customers but already promises that the hardware is being integrated into handsets, netbooks and other home electronics currently in development.