TouchPoint sensors enable a low-power, easy-to-implement, user interface which detects touch and force through virtually any material and material thickness using UltraSense’s patented 3D ultrasound technology.
How It Works
A TouchPoint sensor is a System-on-Chip (SoC), which consists of an ASIC with embedded micro controller, memory, analog front-end, and an ultrasonic transducer in a monolithic silicon die. A single sensor is ideal for eliminating a mechanical button or multiple sensors can be used to support surface gestures with sliders and track pads.
Each TouchPoint sensor includes UltraSense’s U-Sense™ self-regulating, input detection classifier algorithm, which monitors changes in acoustic properties, classifies input materials, dynamically adjusts for manufacturing variations and changes in environmental conditions, resulting in minimal development tuning and faster-time-to-market.
UltraSense’s broad product line addresses smartphone, consumer/IoT, automotive and industrial user interface requirements. The TouchPoint family of sensors are the world’s smallest ultrasound system-on-a-chip delivering highly localized touch sensing from thin to thick surfaces with sensors in tiny package sizes and consuming mere uAs of current in always on mode. TouchPoint sensors are designed to operate independent of a product’s host processor with all the algorithm processing embedded in the sensor. It can be used as a standalone power button among other uses (volume +/-, shortcut keys, etc) for wake-on-touch sensing, by powering on the entire product with a simple touch and can be a multi-functional user interface using a series of taps, holds and swipes. Sensors can be directly interfaced to power management and haptic driver ICs.
Using 3D Z-force ultrasound sensing provides gram-force measurement in applications that require gloves, external covers/cases and water/ice rejection. For applications where low power consumption is not a requirement, certain TouchPoint sensors include large drivers with higher operating voltages to transmit the ultrasound beam through very thick materials of solid metal (e.g. >25mm/1 inch) and beyond. The transducer can also be shut off and the sensor used to drive piezo materials to cost-effectively support large touch sensing areas, like a mousepad in a laptop or trackpad in an automobile center console.