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ICs enable touch sensors with haptic feedback

17 Dec 2014  | Peter Clarke

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Aito BV, a developer of software-enhanced piezoelectric touch sensors, has launched ATH220 and ATH222 controller ICs that allow touch sensors to also provide haptic feedback.

With these devices, it is now possible to sense the touch of a finger on a flat panel surface and immediately confirm operation with a physical sensation created by haptic vibration.

The ATH220 controller has 10 channels that allow for various combinations of piezoelectric input and haptic, LED indicator and buzzer outputs, supporting a maximum of five haptic piezoelectric touch buttons when configured without buzzer and LEDs. The ATH222 has 18 configurable channels allowing up to six haptic piezos, five LEDs and a buzzer simultaneously.

Both devices have the ability to apply multiple haptic, LED and audio feedback waveforms so that each touch key can provide a distinct response. So, while it is possible to mimic the 'click' sound and feel of a mechanical button, more sophisticated responses can also be devised to communicate other control functions.

ATH220 and ATH222

Evaluation kit of the ATH222

These latest controllers are being targeted at home appliances and mobile devices that can also benefit from the other advantages of Aito's touch technology, such as the ability to work with metal surfaces and use seamless, sealed panels.

In common with previous AitoTouch controllers, the ATH22x devices also enable different piezoelectric sensing parameters to be set for each key—to determine sensitivity, detection area, and to cope with different overlay stiffness, materials or mechanical integration conditions.

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