Embedded control: Develop inductive touch sensing HMIs more easily

Microchip Technology's Analog Front End processor makes it easier, more cost effective to develop inductive touch sensing user interfaces.
By Control Engineering Staff June 25, 2009

Microchip MCP2036 Analog Front End (AFE) for inductive touch-sensing applications

Microchip Technology Inc., a provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, introduces the Microchip MCP2036 Analog Front End (AFE) processor for inductive touch sensing applications. The product reportedly makes it easier and more cost effective for designers to enhance user interfaces with inductive touch-sensing technology. It complements the royalty-free Microchip mTouch Inductive Touch-Sensing Solutions.

At the Sensors Expo 2009 introduction of the product, Microchip Technology’s Tyler Smith and Eric Lawson told Control Engineering e of the technology’s robustness; in the automotive market, because of the technology’s sleek aesthetics and ability to reduce accidental-touch triggers; and in the appliance market, because of the possibility of a stainless steel front panel.

Also, a starter kit from Microchip Technology enables easy development of human-machine interface and intelligent sensor processing designs , the company says.

The fully-integrated MCP2036 AFE works with almost any 8-, 16- or 32-bit PIC microcontroller (MCU) or dsPIC Digital Signal Controller (DSC). It includes a multiplexer, a frequency mixer, an amplifier, a driver, and a voltage reference, which drastically lowers component count, and reduces design size and cost.

“Microchip’s inductive-touch technology provides unique capabilities that complement our capacitive touch-sensing products,” said Steve Drehobl, vice president of Microchip’s Security, Microcontroller and Technology Development Division. “With the MCP2036 AFE, we are continuing to make it easier and less expensive for engineers to make use of these unique features for applications requiring metal finishing and robust operation in wet environments.”

Design support: Designers wanting to learn more about implementing touch sensing into their applications can visit Microchip’s online touch-sensing design center , with application notes, source code, and other technical resources related to developing touch-sensing designs.

Separately,

Microchip wireless embedded Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and ISM band offerings

expanded recently.

– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering editor in chief

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