Force-sensing chip offers high sensitivity for automotive touchscreens

TouchNetix has expanded its human-machine interface (HMI) aXiom family with the introduction of the AX54A-Force force-sensing chip. Applications include smart touch surfaces and touch-button clusters in automotive and industrial applications.

Force-sensing chip offers high sensitivity for automotive touchscreens

Click for a larger image. (Source: TouchNetix)

TouchNetix’ patented Force-Sensing technology used in the aXiom HMI chips are said to provide accurate and highly sensitive force-sensing data to the user interface. The technology enables accurate measurements of force ON the touchscreen or surface from 0.1 Newton (10 g) to 20 Newton (2000 g). The aXiom technology also offers multi-force position sensing down to a spatial separation of 1.5 cm.

“The superior sensitivity and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the aXiom chips enables detection of the smallest force signals, with extremely fine precision,” and “the technology also allows a wide range of forces to be detected to cater for all requirements,” said the company.The Force-Sensing technology is said to be mechanically easy to integrate. It absorbs any mechanical stack tolerances to provide enhanced mechanical and manufacturing reliability.

Force-sensing chip offers high sensitivity for automotive touchscreens

Force-Sensing technology diagram. Click for a larger image. (Source: TouchNetix)

Here is a demonstration of the Force-Sensing technology and new features of the AX54A-Force chip.

The aXiom chips, including the force-sensing offering, also integrate dial-on-display features, which are either passive or active rotary knobs in various sizes and materials. They can incorporate force-sensing dial-on-display or non-force-sensing dial-on-display or a combination of both.

Here is how the aXiom dial-on-display features work:

The solution technologies also can be used to verify the user intent by requiring an additional press, which prevents inaccurate touch instructions in a moving vehicle.  “By combining the multi-force technology with parallel multi-touch measurements, the aXiom HMI chips offer safety-enhancing systemic redundancy from two separate sensor measurement systems,” said TouchNetix.

The AEC-Q100-qualified AX54A-Force is housed in a QFN88 package with wettable flanks, measuring 10 × 10 mm with a 0.4-mm pitch. It is available for sampling today, and will be followed by production in the third quarter of 2022. Evaluation kits are available.