You are here

Capacitive Sensing 101 | Cypress Semiconductor

Capacitive Sensing 101

Last Updated: 
Sep 23, 2008

Capacitive Sensing as a human-device interface is becoming increasingly popular. Capacitive sensing can be recognized in many popular consumer products such as laptop trackpads, MP3 players, computer monitors and cell phones, but it is certainly not limited to these applications. More and more engineers choose capacitive sensing for its flexibility, unique human-device interface and cost reduction over mechanical switches.

Designs are likely to experience many different environmental changes, marketing requirement changes and user abuse; choosing a device that is flexible, programmable, and upgradeable is necessary. Without question, the most flexible, programmable and upgradeable device on the market is the Cypress Semiconductor Programmable System on a Chip (PSoC). PSoC is a mixed-signal array which includes analog and digital resources as well as an integrated microcontroller all on the same chip! Choosing a fixed-function device, such as an ASIC, seems like a good idea at first, but overcoming its problems requires spending more money on hardware. A mixed-signal array device allows resolution of most issues with a firmware change. One major advantage of having a flash-based device is that its firmware can be updated after the device has shipped by including a bootloader. Bootloaders are valuable are worth considering on a new design. To read more on this topic, click the download link above.