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Atmel's 6-Channel Touch Controller With Integral LED Driver Adds Reliability and Cuts Component Count

Southampton, England (ots/PRNewswire)

- Guard channel feature and low voltage operation makes device
ideal for portable products
Atmel(C) Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) announced today the
AT42QT1060, a touch control chip that integrates 6 channels of touch
sensing with the ability to drive up to 7 low current LEDs directly
through a pulse width modulated (PWM) output function. The device
operates from 5.5VDC down to 1.8VDC and consumes less than 1uA in
standby mode to give long battery life; it comes in a tiny 4mm x 4mm
MLF28 package, making it ideal for use in mobile phones and other
handheld devices. The AT42QT1060 is the latest addition to Atmel's
comprehensive range of capacitive touch controllers based on Quantum
Research Group's charge-transfer technology. These include QTouch(TM)
and  QMatrix(TM) based controllers for single and multiple touch
buttons, touch  sliders and touch wheels.
The AT42QT1060 is designed for use in portable electronics
products. An inbuilt capacitive guard channel feature helps prevent
false triggering, for example, where moisture is an issue. This
feature also prevents against erroneous commands that can occur when
devices such as MP3 players are carried in a pocket, or in the case
of a cellular phone, when it is held against the ear. The highly
integrated AT42QT1060 reduces component count, cutting design
complexity and cost, and enabling faster product development.
The sensor chip is based on Quantum's patented QTouch(TM)
charge-transfer sensing method. This robust technology uses
spread-spectrum modulation to achieve high immunity to electrical
noise and a patented technique -- Adjacent Key Suppression(TM)
(AKS(TM)) -- ensures that only the intended key is activated by the
touch of a finger. The guard channel feature uses AKS(TM) to
eliminate false triggering of nearby keys. Long-term reliability is
ensured because the device automatically re-calibrates on power-up,
compensating for build-up of moisture or other contaminants on the
touch surface. Individual key sensitivity is host-selectable.
A host wake up function allows the host to sleep and be woken up
when a user triggers the corresponding input, providing another
power-saving feature. Additional GPIO expansion can be achieved by
the use of spare IC pins.
The AT42QT1060 functions through any insulating panel including
glass or plastic up to 3mm thick. Electrodes can be made from copper,
silver, carbon, indium tin oxide (ITO) or Orgacon conductive ink and
must be 6 x 6mm or larger. Widely different electrode sizes and
shapes are possible, giving the product designer great flexibility in
tailoring the user interface.
Availability and Pricing
Samples of the AT42QT1060 are available now in a space-saving 4mm
x 4mm package. The device is priced at US$0.89 in quantities of
100,000 units per year. A demonstration board is also available.
About Atmel
Atmel is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of
microcontrollers, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory
and radio frequency (RF) components. Leveraging one of the industry's
broadest intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is
able to provide the electronics industry with complete system
solutions focused on consumer, industrial, security, communications,
computing and automotive markets.
With its new touch technology division, formerly known as Quantum
Research Group, the company now offers dedicated touch sense
controllers addressing applications in the mobile communication and
entertainment markets as well as in PC, appliances and automotive
(C) 2008 Atmel Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Atmel(R), logo
and combinations thereof, and others, are registered trademarks,
QTouch(TM), QMatrix(TM), AKS(TM) and others are trademarks of Atmel
Corporation or its subsidiaries. Other terms and product names may be
trademarks of others.
For further details about this and other Atmel touch sense
products, please visit
    Press Contacts:
    Stephan Thaler, Marketing Director - Touch technology division
    Tel: +44-23-8056-5604, Email:
    Philippe Faure, Marketing Communications Director - Microcontrollers
    Tel: +33-2-40-18-18-87, Email:
    Helen Perlegos, Public Relations
    Tel: +1-408-487-2963, Email:
    Robert Huntley, (PR agency)
    Tel: +44-1225-470000, Email:
Web site:


Stephan Thaler, Marketing Director - Touch technology division,
+44-23-8056-5604,, or Philippe Faure,
Marketing Communications Director - Microcontrollers,
+33-2-40-18-18-87,, or Helen Perlegos,
Public Relations, +1-408-487-2963,, all of Atmel;
or Robert Huntley, +44-1225-470000,, for