Cypress: Capacitance like a screen

Cypress: Capacitance like a screen With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, the number of capacitive touch screens is booming. For the market less than 5 inches, it is expected to increase from 450 million in 2011 to 650 million in 2012, and the main driver is the smartphone. Demand for tablets increased from 55 million in 2011 to 80 million in 2012.

At the same time, the proportion of capacitive screens in touch screens is increasing. In 2007 or so, capacitive screens accounted for only 10%; now 30% are capacitive screens. Cypress expects that the future may be reversed, capacitive screen is the market's main force, resistive screen and other shares decreased.

The main suppliers of capacitive screen solutions are Cypress and Atmel. Dhwani Vyas, vice president of Cypress's user interface business unit, said that according to quarterly statistics, Cypress is one of the best in the capacitive touch screen market; Cypress is the largest supplier of feature phones.

What are the development trends of stacking technologies such as In-Cell and On-Cell in touch screens? It depends on two aspects. One is the mobile phone that customers want to be thinner and thinner, and the other is the cost is getting lower and lower. To meet these two trends, we must sandwich the sensor (Figure 1), or eliminate the shielding layer, and get closer and closer to the LCD display, but the noise will be greatly enhanced, in the GEN4 series of Cypress, This problem has been greatly improved, and the patented Display Armor technology enables display noise protection.

The chart above shows the market trends for several stacking methods. At present, On-Cell is mainly used in Samsung Galaxy smart phones, and it is estimated that it currently does not exceed 10% of the mobile phone's share. Different customers take different solutions due to different models.

How to form a highly differentiated chip is highly integrated. Are many screen manufacturers now also looking to integrate touch screens? Vyas believes that there is no clear-cut reason for the trend of display-integrated touch. There are only one or two solutions out there. It is not mainstream yet. This is due to the lack of differentiation and flexibility in integration. The discrete solution allows customers to choose different solutions from different suppliers, and customers can have their own independent play. Customers do not want to be screen manufacturers to dominate the world.

Of course, there may be some changes in the In-Cell situation, but at least until 2013~2014. It is also because the entire function integration is not stable enough. After the new features come out, everyone will follow suit. If the function is not yet integrated, it will definitely be subject to people and will be detrimental to competition.

Cypress is in a market wait-and-see state. In In-Cell, Cypress has a lot of intellectual property (IP) and its architecture technology is constantly innovating. If the customer needs integrated display screen and touch screen, Cypress can provide it immediately.

TrueTouch's Advantages Capacitive screens have a number of advantages. Take Cypress as an example. The advantage is excellent signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Because the environment in which the capacitive screen is disturbed is very large, it mainly comes from the LCD display, charger, RF device interference, etc. This is the first problem that the touch-control manufacturer must consider.

The second is that Cypress's product line is very long. Because touch screens range from small to large sizes, they can be used in a wide range of applications ranging from feature phones to smart phones and even tablet computers. Cypress has two product line support - TrueTouch touch screen and Capsense capacitive sensing product line.

Third, Cypress has a complete intellectual property system with 25 patents and 200 applications pending. Not only do they involve touch screens, but also system patents, including how touch is combined with other functions.

Cypress's flagship product is TrueTouch, which recently launched its flagship product, the Gen4 TrueTouch touchscreen controller. The company praised its new technology metrics and capabilities “setting a new benchmark for touchscreen performance measurement.” Including signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and Various noise sources (the biggest challenge in touch screen design) can still achieve good performance in the presence of a faster refresh rate and lower power consumption. In addition, some new functions have been added. For example, it is the first company to support capacitive self-sensing and mutual sensing in the same device at the same time. Therefore, dynamic switching can be performed in different applications. Fingers can also be used, stylus can be used, and capacitors can be used. There is 1mm stylus support on the screen (author note: many capacitive screens can only use fingers, such as Apple's iPhone4 mobile phone).

Cypress has been in the market for many years. Compared to other starter vendors, Vyas claims not only customer base, but also rich experience in quality, stability and reliability.

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