Atmel capacitive touch controllers provide haptic effects

April 27, 2011 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Atmel Corp. has announced integrated haptics capability to its QTouch capacitive touch controllers to support buttons, sliders and wheels (BSWs). The feature allows customers to have a richer experience with touch and haptics feedback when using Atmel QTouch capacitive touch controllers. The announcement aims at the markets for consumer and industrial electronics in the first place; automotive-qualified versions of the microcontrollers are available as well.

Leveraging the TouchSense haptics technology from Immersion Corp., Atmel claims that its AT42QT1085 (8-touch button) is the first capacitive touch controller in the industry to provide haptics support for BSWs for 14 unique haptic effects. The AT42QT1110 is an automotive-qualified 11-key capacitive-touch controller designed to meet the requirements for touch devices in automotive industry. Haptics enables design engineers the ability to add tactile feedback to enhance the user experience for applications such as mobile phones, game consoles, navigation devices, cameras, or automotive HMIs.

Haptics is a technology that provides physical feedback through the sense of touch. Immersion's TouchSense haptics technology incorporates proprietary mechanical, electrical, software, and firmware technologies to make the user experience with digital devices more efficient, intuitive, safer and more accurate. By integrating this technology into Atmel's QTouch devices, engineers have a way of designing products that reshape the way humans interact with technology.

QTouch is a method for touch detection based on Atmel's proprietary Charge Transfer technology. The QTouch method is robust and reliable, allowing to replace mechanical buttons and is also suited for user interface applications requiring any number of buttons, sliders, knobs, dials, and more.

Pricing for the Atmel AT42QT1085 is available at $1.50 for 1,000 quantities. Production quantities of the Atmel AT42QT1085 (8-touch button) are available the beginning of May.

For more information on the Atmel QTouch family, please visit