Companies that want to give their products a distinctive look and feel are turning to touch sensing as an alternative to traditional push buttons. The simple flat surface is also easier to maintain and keep clean. As a result, a variety of medical, industrial, automotive and hospitality industry applications are appearing.
One of the newest touch sensing products is Microchip Technology’s PIC16F707 8-bit microcontroller (MCU) that includes two 16-channel Capacitive Sensing Modules (CSMs). Part of the Microchip’s mTouch sensing, the product is the first in a series supporting projected capacitive touch (PCT) screen solutions that will span the company’s portfolio of 8-, 16- and 32-bit PIC MCUs.
Unlike other capacitive touch sensing approaches such as surface, mutual, or self-capacitance designs, projected capacitive touch technology uses an etched conductive layer in the glass. The layer is either a single layer forming a grid pattern or to separate perpendicular layers of conductive material with parallel lines or traces that form a grid pattern. PCT provides greater resolution allowing operation without direct contact. Coatings, screen protectors and even a glass layer can isolate the PTC depending on the application’s requirements.
The PIC16F707 has 32 capacitive touch channels and additional features such as 14 KB program memory 14-channel, 8-bit analog to digital converter and more to support the touch screen application.
To simplify the design process, the company offers a development kit called the DM160211 for $119.99. The kit includes a 3.5-in sensor mounted on a sensor board, a projected-capacitive board with the PIC16F707 MCU and fully functional firmware.
For more information about Microchip Technology’s PIC16F707, click here.
For more information about Microchip Technology’s DM160211 development kit, click here.
For more information about Microchip Technology’s mTouch sensing solutions, click here.