Microchip Technology has announced a new 3D gesture recognition controller that offers the lowest system cost in the automotive industry, providing a durable single-chip solution for advanced automotive HMI designs. The MGC3140 joins Microchip’s family of easy-to-use 3D gesture controllers as the first qualified for automotive use.
Suited for a range for applications that limit driver distraction and add convenience to vehicles, Microchip’s new capacitive technology-based air gesture controller is ideal for navigating infotainment systems, sun shade operation, interior lighting and other applications. The technology also supports the opening of foot-activated rear liftgates and any other features a manufacturer wishes to incorporate with a simple gesture action. The MGC3140 is Automotive Electronics Council AEC-Q100 qualified with an operating temperature range of -40°C to +125°C, and it meets the strict electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements of automotive system designs. Each 3D gesture system consists of a sensor that can be constructed from any conductive material, as well as the Microchip gesture controller tuned for each individual application.
Car manufacturers are increasingly seeking ways to reduce driver distraction through implementing functional safety technology in vehicles. Many Human Machine Interface (HMI) designers are turning to gesture recognition as a solution to improve driver and vehicle safety without sacrificing interior design, adding features that allow drivers to easily control everything from switching on lights to answering phone calls while focusing on the road.
While existing solutions such as infrared and time-of-flight technologies can be costly and operate poorly in bright or direct sunlight, the MGC3140 offers reliable sensing in full sunlight and harsh environments. Other solutions on the market also come with physical constraints and require significant infrastructure and space to be integrated in a vehicle. The MGC3140 is compatible with ergonomic interior designs and enables HMI designers to innovate with fewer physical constraints, as the sensor can be any conductive material and hidden from view.
The Emerald evaluation kit provides a convenient evaluation platform for the 3D gesture recognition controller. The kit includes a reference PCB with the MGC3140 controller, a PCB-based sensor to recognize gestures, as well as all needed cables, software and documentation to support an easy-to-use user experience. All parts are compatible with Microchip’s Aurea software development environment which supports all Microchip 3D gesture controllers.
The MGC3140 is available now in sampling and volume production quantities.
Bringing capacitive-sensing capabilities to cost-sensitive applications, Texas Instruments (TI) has announced an expansion of its MSP430 microcontroller (MCU) family with capacitive touch technology. Developers can use the new MSP430FR2512 and MSP430FR2522 MCUs with integrated capacitive touch to add as many as 16 buttons as well as proximity sensing capability to industrial systems, home automation systems, appliances, power tools, home entertainment, personal audio applications and more.
New MSP430 microcontrollers with capacitive touch technology provide a solution to applications exposed to electromagnetic disturbances, oil, water and grease. The MSP430FR2512 and MSP430FR2522 MCUs deliver International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61000-4-6-certified capacitive sensing MCU-based solutions for applications exposed to electromagnetic disturbances, oil, water and grease. According to TI, the new MCUs offer five times lower power consumption than the competition, supporting proximity sensing and touch through glass, plastic and metal overlays.
TI’s CapTIvate technology adds the benefits of capacitive touch and proximity sensing to applications such as access control panels, cooktops, wireless speakers and power tools. Developers can quickly evaluate capacitive sensing for their applications with the new BOOSTXL-CAPKEYPAD BoosterPack plug-in module that is compatible with the CapTIvate programmer board (CAPTIVATE-PGMR) or TI LaunchPad development kits. The BoosterPack module joins a portfolio of MCUs, easy-to-use tools, software, reference designs and documentation in the CapTIvate Design Center and online CapTIvate technology guide. In addition, developers can find answers and support in the TI E2E Community to speed development with CapTIvate technology.
Production quantities of the MSP430FR2512 and MSP430FR2522 MCUs are available in a 20-pin very thin quad flat no lead (VQFN) package and a 16-pin thin shrink small outline package (TSSOP) starting at $0.69 in 1,000-unit quantities. The CapTIvate BoosterPack plug-in module (BOOSTXL-CAPKEYPAD) is available for $29.99.
Newhaven Display has announced a new HDMI TFT module product line that greatly simplifies the process of connecting to the display. Rather than juggling an FPC ribbon cable with a middle-man controller board, you can connect an HDMI cable from your desired board or computer right into the TFT module. This makes it easy to interface with your display from the development and prototyping stages, all the way into final application production.
The ease-of-use of these new products follows through into touch panel integration as well. For both the resistive and capacitive (PCAP) touch panel options, USB-HID driver recognition is installed. Each of the touch panel modules are also each pre-calibrated in-house to the display they’re mounted on. This means that a simple USB to micro-USB cable just needs to be connected from your board with touch interaction output (such as Raspberry Pi) to the module and your touch interactivity is ready to go immediately.
The product line is made up of three 5″ TFT modules and nine 7″ TFT modules. The 5” versions all come with MVA technology (meaning exceptional 75° viewing at all angles) and your choice of capacitive, resistive or no touch panel. The 7” modules have the same selection of touch screen options, but also allow you to choose between standard, premium or sunlight readable TFT displays.
The boards that make up the new product line are Newhaven Displays’ own design and come with a number of features. On board DC power allows the display to perform at maximum capacity without worrying about a power supply bottleneck from elsewhere. The no-touch panel versions have just two simple connections required to get the module up and running, DC power and HDMI interface. The touch versions need an additional cable to utilize their touch functionality via USB-HID__three cables and you’re ready to go. The hardware is compatible with PC systems (Windows or Linux) as well as Single-Board-Computers (SBCs) like the RaspberryPi and BeagleBone.
The HDMI TFTs’ PCB boards also have four 3.5 mm mounting holes tooled right into the board itself–no bracket or casing required, just pop in any standard M3 screws. To ensure the highest quality and long-lasting performance, these modules use the reliable Texas Instruments TFP401A HDMI/DVI receiver and the TPS61165 LED driver.
On the boards, you’ll also find a switch for Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to control the brightness output from the display backlight. All hardware is completely open source and available as a useful reference point for any interested user.
The wait for HDMI compatibility is over. Today is the day to start designing your projects with Newhaven Display’s new HDMI TFT Modules. Stop limiting yourself to the hassles of FPC cables and clunky controllers, just grab an HDMI cable and your set up is complete. It’s Newhaven Display’s product quality fused with the reliability of HDMI interface.
Standard High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)
Cypress Semiconductor has announced a new series in its Traveo automotive microcontroller family with more memory to support a hybrid instrument cluster with 3D graphics and up to 6 traditional gauges, as well as a head-up display. The highly integrated, single-chip devices in the S6J32xEK series include an advanced 3D and 2.5D graphics engine and provide scalability with Cypress’ low-pin-count HyperBus memory interface. The series continues Cypress’ expansion of its broad automotive portfolio with differentiated system performance via its MCUs, wireless radios, capacitive-touch solutions, memories and Power Management ICs (PMICs).
The Traveo S6J32xEK series integrates up to 4MB of high-density embedded flash, 512 KB RAM and 2 MB of Video RAM, an ARM Cortex-R5 core at 240 MHz performance, a Low-Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS) video output, a Low-Voltage Transistor-Transistor Logic (LVTTL) video output and a 6x stepper motor control. This combination enables the devices to serve as single-chip solutions to drive two displays. The devices have up to two 12-pin HyperBus memory interfaces that dramatically improve read and write performance of graphical data and other data or code.
A single HyperBus interface can be used to connect to two memories for Firmware Over-The-Air (FOTA) updates, which enable end-users to get software fixes and new features and applications for their vehicles on-the-go. The devices support all in-vehicle networking standards required for instrument clusters, including Controller Area Network-Flexible Data (CAN-FD) and Ethernet AVB. Additionally, the series provides robust security with integrated enhanced secure hardware extension (eSHE) support.
The Traveo S6J32xEK series include 50 channels of 12-bit Analog to Digital Converters (ADC), 12 channels of multi-function serial interfaces and I2S interfaces with an audio to output the complex, high-quality sounds required in today’s instrument clusters. The devices’ support for Ethernet AVB delivers increased bandwidth in multimedia applications and reduced programming time. The S6J32xEK series offers functional safety features to support Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) B, and the devices feature a wide ambient temperature range of -40˚C to +105˚C. The Traveo family is backed by a comprehensive tools and software ecosystem that simplifies system integration, including AUTOSAR MCAL 4.0.3 support.
The Traveo S6J32xEK series is sampling now and will be in production in the first quarter of 2018. The MCUs are available in a 208-pin and 216-pin thermally enhanced quad flat package (TEQFP).
Atmel recently announced its next-generation family of automotive-qualified ARM Cortext-M0+-based micrcontrollers with an integrated peripheral touch controller (PTC) for capacitive touch applications. The new SAM DA1 is the first series in this Atmel |SMART MCU automotive-qualified product family, operating at a maximum frequency of 48 MHz and reaching a 2.14 Coremark/MHz.
Atmel’s SAM DA1 series is ideal for capacitive touch button, slider, wheel or proximity sensing applications and offers high analog performance for greater front-end flexibility. The new devices are available down to a very compact QFN 5 × 5 mm package with wettable flanks for automated optical inspection.
Eliminating external components and offering more robust features, devices in the SAM DA1 series come with 32 to 64 pins, up to 64 KB of flash memory, 8 KB of SRAM, and 2-KB read-while-write flash memory and are qualified according to the AEC Q-100 Grade 2 (–40° to 105°C).
Key Features of Atmel’s SAM DA1 Series
Atmel |SMART ARM Cortex-M0+-based processor
Vcc 2.7 to 3.63 V
16- to 64-KB Flash; 32 to 64 pins
Up to six SERCOM (Serial Communication Interface), USB, I2S
Peripheral Touch Controller
AEC Q100 Grade 2 Qualified
To accelerate the design development, the ATSAMDA1-XPRO development kit is available to support the new devices. The new SAM DA1 series is also supported by Atmel Studio, Atmel Software Framework and debuggers.