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Faster, smarter controller for Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT™) based touch sensing opens doors to next-generation user experiences

Zytronic has announced a next-generation controller architecture for its PCT™-based touch sensor products. The new architecture increases speed and accuracy, streamlines system integration, saves 55% of PCB space, and provides a platform for innovative touch features that add extra value to Human-Machine Interface (HMI) applications.

The new ZXY100 Controllers are fully compatible with all of Zytronic’s PCT™ touch sensors, including all sizes of ZYPOS®, ZYBRID®, ZYTOUCH® and the flexible ZYFILM® and ZYPROFILM® sensors. PCT™ touch sensing comprises an array of micro-fine capacitive sensing elements which are embedded within a toughened laminated glass substrate that protects the sensing element. PCT™ can also operate behind thick protective glass overlays, enabling highly reliable, functional and versatile HMI's, with proven solutions already in action worldwide including information kiosks, ticketing terminals, interactive digital signage, medical displays, industrial PC's and ATM's.

Driving the ZXY100 controller’s increased performance is a new 32-bit ARM® microprocessor, enabling faster touch detection and enhanced responsiveness in both direct touch and throughglass sensing. In conjunction with the extra processing power of the ARM, Zytronic will be releasing new firmware which will generate one or two simultaneous touch points, enabling customers to develop dual touch or gesture recognition applications. The new firmware has been developed to be inherently compatible with Windows® 7, allowing customers using this operating system to choose between downloading Zytronic’s fully configurable driver (UPDD) or using the basic in-built Microsoft® touchscreen driver (HID). Furthermore, for those customers wishing to write their own application specific touch drivers, Zytronic can release the controller Output Protocol.

Other benefits of the new controller will include in-field firmware upgrade capability via on board Flash memory. In addition to the ARM microprocessor, the new controller will incorporate an ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) which has been custom designed to consolidate a number of key analogue components into a single, small 7 x 7mm chip, enabling a substantial reduction in controller dimensions and if required, facilitating the supply of the controller in chip-set form to allow integration of the PCT™ touch sensor controller onto a customer motherboard in higher volume and small form/factor applications.

There are three new ZXY100 controllers in the range. The smallest, a 32-channel unit (to be used with 5-20" sensors) measures just 54mm x 34mm; a larger 64-channel controller (for 20-50" sensors) is also being released, and for the first time, Zytronic are releasing an all new 128-channel device (for ultra large +50" sensors) which is expected to be available by Summer 2010. Each will be available with either USB or Serial connectivity.

“The new ZXY100 controllers will deliver outstanding performance, reliability, ease of integration and accuracy on all PCT™ touchscreens irrespective of size” says Ian Crosby, Zytronic’s Sales and Marketing Director. “In addition, the provision of dual touch supporting firmware for the first time will allow PCT™ customers increased scope to develop new and powerful applications, reinforcing Zytronic’s position as a leader in projected capacitive touchscreen innovation.”