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Capacitive touch sensing solution replaces buttons/sliders in five minutes

San Jose, Calif. — Cypress Semiconductor Corp. has introduced the CapSense Express capacitive touch sensing solution for fast and easy button and slider replacement. The Programmable System-on-Chip (PSoC) Express visual embedded system design tool and CapSense Express configuration tool allow designers to monitor and tune the performance of up to 10 buttons and sliders in real time using a graphical user interface (GUI) in as little as five minutes without the need for coding. The capacitive touch sensing technology based on the Cypress PSoC mixed-array technology can also be used for touch pad, touch screen and proximity sensor applications.

You don't have to be microcontroller or sensor expert to configure this solution in a matter of minutes, said Geoff Charubin, vice president of global marketing and applications for Cypress. “It's a pre-programmed solution meant to get people to market quickly with their devices. There is no code that needs to be written. It's as simple as drag-and-drop,” he added.

The new configuration tool enables device tuning via a GUI and real-time configuration. A designer simply has to open the development environment; select the number of buttons or sliders; select the configuration; program the CapSense part; attach the programmer to the board with the device; tune it and go, Charubin said.

CapSense Express Software
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The PSoC Express visual embedded system design tool and CapSense Express configuration tool allow designers to monitor and tune the performance of the buttons and sliders in real time using a graphical user interface.

The new configurable CapSense Express devices — the CY8C201X0 and CY8C201X2 — offer up to ten capacitive and/or general-purpose I/Os (GPIOs) to implement a flexible combination of buttons, sliders, and general-purpose functions such as LED control and interrupt outputs. For battery-powered applications, the devices offer low power consumption of 1 mA active current and 2.6 uA in sleep mode.

The new devices offer a wide operating voltage of 2.4 V to 5.25 V and an industrial temperature range of -40° C to +85°C. In addition, 2 Kb of Flash memory and an I2C communication interface are provided so designers can choose whether to store tuning values in Flash or load them over I2C at power-up.

OEMs can also benefit from a cost savings. In many cases especially with higher end equipment replacement with capacitive sensing buttons can be a costs savings from a PCB perspective, along with fewer components, and in the long-run with higher reliability it reduces field failures and prolongs the life time of the equipment, Charubin said.

Cypress is offering three evaluation kits for using the CapSense Express solution. The CY3218-CAPEXP1 kit features three CapSense buttons, three backlighting LEDs, three LEDs for status and 1 mechanical button. The CY3218-CAPEXP2 kit offers a 5-segment slider with four status LEDs and 1 mechanical button. The CY3218-CAPEXP3 features two CapSense buttons with two status LEDs using the smallest package, the 8-pin SOIC.

Availability: Housed in 8- and 16-pin SOIC and 16-pin QFN packages, the CY8C201X0 and CY8C201X2 CapSense Express devices are available today.
Pricing: The three evaluation kits — CY3218-CAPEXP1, CY3218-CAPEXP2 and CY3218-CAPEXP3 are priced at $45 each.

Product information: CapSense, PSoC products and PSoC online training

Cypress Semiconductor , www.cypress.com

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