alixHosted by ECN's Editorial Director, Alix Paultre, the Tinker's Toolbox is ECN's web-based interview show where we talk about the latest technology, components, and design issues for the electronic design engineering community.

Sherif HannaIn this episode of the Tinker's Toolbox we talk to Sherif Hanna of Atmel about their the maXTouch E Series of single-chip capacitive touchscreen controllers for touchscreens from 2 to 12 inches, a sweet spot in the tablet device category.

Here is another link to the podcast: Atmel Sherif Interview

Here is the product launch presentation: Atmel Presentation

Here is the text of the product press release:

Atmel announced the maXTouch E Series of single-chip capacitive touchscreen controllers for touchscreens from 2 to 12 inches. The mXT224E, mXT384E, mXT540E and mXT768E devices offer enhanced analog sensing with a third generation capacitive touch engine and Atmel’s advanced AVR architecture optimized for capacitive sensing. Offering 224 to 768 nodes, the new series enables system designers to select the industry’s most advanced single-chip solution for their touchscreen size and application.

touchscreen controllersSince system noise poses the greatest challenge to touchscreen performance, all devices in the maXTouch E Series offer enhanced analog sensing with improvements to maXTouch’s industry-leading noise immunity. The enhancements enable system designers to use lower-cost, shieldless touch sensors, or to take advantage of thinner touchscreen configurations with higher levels of integration. These include “touch-on-lens” and “on-cell” configurations, where the touch sensor is patterned on the protective cover lens or on the display panel, respectively. The enhancements also allow the use of noisy, lower-cost displays and chargers for additional system cost savings.

The benefits of the maXTouch E Series extend beyond system designers and on to consumers. With enhanced noise immunity, these devices are the industry’s first to allow consumers to simultaneously use a 2mm passive conductive stylus while continuing to support multi-touch. As with the original maXTouch family, the new series offers consumers support of unlimited touches, fast response times, high accuracy, low power, and superior sensitivity to enable the detection of a fingernail or a user with gloves.

Devices in the maXTouch E Series include the mXT224E – the new generation of the best-selling mXT224 device – offering the enhanced E Series touch engine and Atmel’s 8-bit AVR architecture optimized for smartphones and other handheld devices.

The mXT768E is the industry’s first 32-bit single-chip touch controller for tablets and other large screen applications up to 12-inches. Based on Atmel’s ultra-low-power 32-bit AVR architecture, the mXT768E meets the increased demand on signal processing needed for rejecting unintended touches and maintaining responsiveness on large screens. The mXT540E and mXT384E devices, also based on the advanced 32-bit AVR architecture, offer system designers the right price-to-performance selection for their touchscreen designs, and are appropriate for smaller tablets, e-book readers and high- performance smartphones.

“Single-chip touchscreen controller ICs will simplify the device design, reduce cost and reduce power consumption. These are important factors for mobile phones, and even more critical for slate/tablet PCs,” said Dr. Jennifer Colegrove, vice president, emerging display technologies at DisplaySearch. “The worldwide market value of touchscreen modules will reach about $14 billion in 2016, from $4.3 billion in 2009.”

“Atmel’s maXTouch is the leading solution in the smartphone market today,” said Peter Jones, vice president of microcontroller and touch business unit, Atmel Corporation. “The success will continue in 2011 with maXTouch powering several tablet touchscreens recently unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show.”

"With the launch of the maXTouch E Series, Atmel shows its continued leadership in the touchscreen market by delivering solutions that set a new standard for touchscreen performance,” said Jones. Atmel offers the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of capacitive touchscreen solutions on the market today. The new maXTouch E Series gives manufacturers more single-chip options to design thinner, sleeker, more cost-effective touchscreen devices, while offering consumers the best touch performance possible.

Additional information on the Atmel maXTouch mXT E Series is available at:

To see Atmel’s latest maXTouch videos, visit the Atmel YouTube Channel at

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