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February 14, 2011

Atmel, NVIDIA Collaborate to Enable Large Format Touchscreens for Tablets

To enable touchscreens up to 15 inches for smartphones, tablet PCs, mobile Internet devices and other such products, microcontroller chips maker Atmel Corp., and graphics GPU supplier NVIDIA have jointly created a reference design for multi-touch, large-format touchscreens. This reference design includes theNVIDIA Tegra 2 mobile super chip and Atmel's (News - Alert) maXTouch mXT1386 controller, which run on the Android (News - Alert) operating system.

With Tegra 2, NVIDIA is unleashing the next wave of super phones and tablets that deliver unprecedented multimedia experiences. Tegra 2 brings extreme multi-tasking with the first mobile dual-core CPU, a great Web experience with up to two times faster browsing, hardware accelerated Flash, and console-quality gaming with a GeForce GPU.  

Atmel maXTouch touchscreen chipset enables an industry-best touch user experience by enabling up to 16-simultaneous touches, fast response times, better power consumption and rejection of unintended touches. These features offer a consumer the ability to have a more intuitive touchscreen experience for applications ranging from gaming to making calls, drawing, gesturing and more, said the partners.

In a statement, Rhoda Alexander, analyst at IHS (News - Alert) iSuppli, said, "With device entrants from across the PC, mobile, and entertainment space, 2011 is shaping up as the year of the tablet. Processing speed and touch performance are key elements of successful design in this highly competitive market. Joint reference designs, such as that provided by the collaboration between Atmel and NVIDIA (News - Alert), can provide a significant design benefit to vendors as they strive to provide faster tablets with improved touch performance and longer battery life," noted Alexander.

Similarly, Glenn Schuster, director of partner programs at NVIDIA, commented, "We're excited that Atmel has recognized the power of Tegra and the new wave of mobile devices it's unleashing. Atmel provides leading touchscreen technology, and teaming their maXTouch solution with Tegra 2 helps our partners create tablets with a great touch experience."

In the same release, Atmel’s senior director of touch marketing, Jon Kiachian, stated, "Atmel and NVIDIA have made many performance and accuracy improvements to make this solution ideal for tablet PC applications. The Atmel maXTouch solution offers improved resolution, better linearity, faster response, and complete software and design support that will enable users of this reference design to bring their products faster-to-market."

According to Atmel, the larger screen solution is an enhancement of existing maxTouch products that provide best-in-class configurability to exceed current user interface requirements for tablets and other similar applications.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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