Jwanted, Gizmologi – Microchip Technology has just launched the maXTouch KoD (Knob on Display) controller. This is the first automotive-grade touch screen controller series to support natural detection and reporting of capacitive rotary encoders, as well as mechanical switches active on the top of the touch panel.
The maXTouch KoD controller is considered the solution where many automotive touch button designers and the HMI industry want to combine the advantages of a mechanical rotary encoder input with a more flexible modern multi-touch display.
In contrast to traditional mechanical rotary encoders, this new technology allows for attaching buttons directly to the screen without having to open the panel or adjust any touch patterns. This helps increase design flexibility and saves system costs.
Advantages of maXTouch KoD controller technology
KoD technology eliminates the need for special touch sensor patterns, which makes it easier for designers to apply different numbers of buttons, shapes, and positions to accommodate a variety of finished products.
Configurations can be customized without changing the embedded firmware of the maXTouch KoD touch controller, leading to a faster and more flexible development cycle. The maXTouch KoD controller allows designers to maintain the convenience of a rotary encoder input device, while still combining it with modern and innovative interior designs using a sophisticated multi-touch display surface.
An added benefit for designers is the ease of building closed Human Machine Interface (HMI) modules, which are increasingly popular for household appliances and industrial applications. Using on-screen buttons will also increase security for the end user. For example, they do not need to look at the screen while driving if they want to adjust the sound or air conditioning.
According to Clayton Pilion, vice president of the HMI unit at Microchip Technology, modern HMIs generally use multi-touch screens and replace mechanical keys for the latest and greatest designs. However, functions such as temperature or audio volume are well controlled via the rotary encoder.
“The new maXTouch KoD controller technology offers both of these advantages by providing support for a capacitive rotary encoder with a range of turn-key touch controllers and a full suite of dedicated tools for quick deployment,” he said.
With the launch of the maXTouch KoD controller family, Microchip is offering two variants to give customers the freedom and design flexibility to choose how they will implement the capacitive rotary encoder.
The KD variant allows customers to choose their button design partner and create their own solution using reference designs developed in conjunction with BNL Bearings, which offer the option to completely customize the design for a specific application.
Additional MK variants support Magic Knob, developed by Panasonic Industry Co., Ltd. While maintaining the flexibility to attach to standard touch sensor patterns, the Microchip Panasonic Magic Knob (MPMK) solution provides a high degree of adjustment for haptic feedback rotation and push, as well as for top cover material selection.