Microchip’s new 2D Touch Surface Library easily implements low-power touch pads with surface gestures

A 2D Touch Surface library from Microchip Technology is said to enable designers to easily implement touch pads using the company’s 8-bit PIC and AVR microcontrollers (MCUs) and 32-bit SAM MCUs.

Available free-of-charge with the purchase of any compatible MCU, Microchip Technology says the library provides a simplified, low-cost solution for embedded applications.

Designed for implementing small touch pads and screens, the 2D Touch Surface library eliminates costs by running on a device’s existing MCU. This removes the need for a dedicated touch controller, giving product designers the flexibility to add finger position tracking and gesture detection, such as swipes, pinch and zoom, to products.

The touch library is provided through Microchip’s code configurators: MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC) for PIC MCUs and Atmel START for AVR and SAM MCUs. Both software tools enable “simplified” graphical configuration and accelerate development with lean C code tailored for individual project needs. The 2D Touch Surface library is available on Atmel START and will be available on MCC this quarter.

The 2D Touch Surface library is designed to remove the need to integrate a costly operating system to fulfil consumers’ smartphone-like interface expectations. Furthermore, according to Microchip Technology, the library is well suited for adding touch to a variety of applications across consumer electronics, automotive and industrial industries, such as smart speakers, steering wheels or thermostats.

Low-power performance for touch pads is built-in through the library, as complete surfaces are scanned at once while in deep sleep. Reliability is a fundamental requirement for touch, and the solution provides continued responsiveness and functionality through the impact of water and noise.

Implementations operate through wet conditions and can sustain 10V in conducted noise, in alignment with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61000-4-6 test level 3.