5th Generation CAPSENSE Technology

Improved capacitive touch-sensing performance and higher integration enable single-chip implementations of more advanced HMI designs.


Capacitive touch sensing is a familiar and popular way to implement sleek, attractive and intuitive human-machine interfaces (HMIs) in devices such as smartphones, tablets and automotive displays.

Now many manufacturers operating elsewhere, including in the industrial automation and home appliance markets, are exploring ways to increase the appeal, usability and value of their products by replacing older HMI technologies — electromechanical buttons and switches, or resistive touch-sensing buttons — with modern capacitive sensing interfaces.

But in these new applications, capacitive touch-sensing interfaces are exposed to a different and often more challenging set of operating conditions. In products such as cooker stovetops, they may be required to operate in HMI systems that have a high number of buttons and control switches, and that extend over a much larger area than earlier implementations of capacitive sensing have supported.

This has created demand for new touch-sensing control capabilities. Simply repurposing existing capacitive sensing technology built for personal consumer devices and applying it to industrial and home appliance applications risks producing an inadequate and disappointing user experience. Infineon has instead chosen to introduce a new fifth generation of its market-leading CAPSENSETM technology, to provide dramatically improved performance, and capabilities that match the requirements of the new use cases.

This paper describes the nature of the new industrial and home appliance use cases, the challenges they present in implementing a high-performance touch-based HMI, the most important advances made by Infineon in its 5th generation of CAPSENSETM technology, and the ways that these advances enable product manufacturers to produce an outstanding user experience while streamlining both their bill-of-materials (BoM) and their development process.

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