Dialog Semiconductor, a provider of highly integrated power management, audio and short-range wireless technologies, announced leading ODM Wistron as its first customer for its SmartWave Multi-Touch Integrated Circuit (MTIC) – part number DA8901. The MTIC is the world's first chip to enable touch technology from FlatFrog in high volume consumer devices. Using edge-to-edge, in-glass infrared light, the system can detect and track multiple touches, gestures and pressures from gloved hands and other objects, providing a premium, true-touch user experience at performance levels surpassing the latest capacitance-based solutions, but at a lower cost.
Targeting high volume All-in-One PCs and monitors, Wistron has developed a 23-inch SmartWave-enabled touch module that can be used as a direct one-to-one replacement of today's projected capacitance touch module. This provides OEMs fast-to-market, low risk and low cost multi-touch technology without the need for product re-designs.
Currently, other optical-based solutions require an edge bezel and do not meet the performance criteria for Windows 8. The DA8901 MTIC, enabling FlatFrog touch technology, allows OEMs to have edge-to-edge flush solutions without a bezel, which is similar to capacitive touch. However, unlike capacitance-based solutions, there are no expensive ITO layers to impede or distort light from the display. Moreover, the unique ability to detect high resolution pressure opens up new user interface options for GUI navigation and gaming. Combined with a superior viewing experience and the assurance of Windows 8 certification, ODMs and OEMs alike are finally able to increase the market penetration of touch into their lower price-point products without compromising performance.
Mark Tyndall, VP Corporate Development and Strategy at Dialog Semiconductor commented, "Less than three months after announcing our first Multi-Touch IC, Dialog is pleased to announce our first ODM customer - an established manufacturer for the world's leading PC brands - and with it, the deployment of Dialog's mixed signal ICs into the exciting new generation of All-in-One PCs and touch monitors. This will help Dialog diversify and expand our addressable market beyond smartphones and tablets and into mass market PCs, including Ultrabooks."
David Shen, President of Digital Consumer Business Group at Wistron commented, "As a leading ODM to the world's biggest PC brands, it is vital that Wistron is able to provide our customers with the best technology at the right price point and with the lowest risk. Developed in collaboration with FlatFrog, we expect our latest touch modules, featuring Dialog's MTICs, to deliver a cost-effective touch experience with superior performance. We anticipate first products in-store from January 2014."
Dhwani Vyas, CEO FlatFrog Laboratories added, "Today we are launching FlatFrog touch system solutions for high volume desktop, notebook and tablet PCs. This has been made possible through our close collaboration with Dialog and Wistron, who together are ensuring the deployment of our FlatFrog touch technology to the high volume consumer market."
MTIC is suitable for today's laptops, All-in-One PCs, Ultrabooks, and monitors and is optimised for displays of between 11 and 36 inches. Supporting up to 40 simultaneous touches, the MTIC uses the proven principles of FlatFrog's patented Planar Scatter Detection (PSD) touch technology to detect changes in infrared light injected into the cover lens of the display and help convert these changes into multi-touch coordinates.
A single MTIC has the flexibility to drive up to twelve infrared LEDs directly or provide control for a large number of externally powered LEDs. Each chip is also able to process the signals from up to twelve infrared receivers.
A typical Ultrabook, Tablet or All-in-One PC would contain a number of MTICs configured in a master/slave arrangement, catering for a flexible number of screen sizes. The 23-inch touch module from Wistron features ten DA8901 ICs, which provide the necessary performance to meet and exceed Windows 8 certification.
The DA8901 comes in a 59 pin, 5.7 x 5.0mm QFN package. Its small footprint and minimal external bill of materials, makes it ideal for mounting alongside the LED emitter and receiver components on a very thin, low cost printed circuit board, located around the edges of the display or mounted on top of the display bezel to provide an edge-to-edge, clean industrial design, ideal for Windows 8 PCs, tablets and Ultrabooks.
The DA8901 MTIC will be available in mass production from Q3 2013.