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Overcoming Challenges of Capacitive Sense Design

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Introduction

 

Capacitive sense is being added to everything from light switches to washing machines - anything that needs a sleek, low-profile interface surface, improved long term reliability, and a customized interface. While capacitive sensing solutions have been on the market for many years now, the technology still has daunting barriers for design - especially in early-stage development.

 

To counter these barriers and challenges, engineers must create an optimal solution by doing the following:

  • Balance the conflicting priorities of touch robustness and current consumption
  • Focus on sensor layout, stack-up and other system-level considerations
  • Create firmware to filter interference, qualify touches, and produce reliable touch data.

 

In addition, any sensitive analog sub-system in a mixed-signal design faces the challenge of performing optimally in systems where almost every factor in a system ( i.e. current draw, timing) work in concert to degrade performance. To minimize these complexities and streamline the development process, developers must determine if an integrated approach is better than a fixed-function one for their application.

 

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