You can Touch This! Atmel's in the House

19 May

In 1990, “You can’t touch this,” was a chart beating song by Oakland, California based rapper MC Hammer.

The first five lines of the song are:

You can’t touch this
You can’t touch this
You can’t touch this
You can’t touch this
You can’t touch this



No, MC. You, CAN Touch this.

What did MC know?

About 13 years after this tune was the rage of the globe,  in 2003, Handspring (acquired by Palm)  launched the first successful touch based smartphone – the Treo 300. The ground braking device and its descendants were based on “resistive touch” technology. It was only four short years later that Apple launched its iPhone with newer and more responsive “capacitive touch” screen. A little more than a year ago for our print edition, I wrote an overview of touch technology and rightly called Synaptics Inc – the “arms merchant” of touch suppliers. However, Synaptics started to loose its “arms merchant” status a few months later. In June 2009, Cypress established its legitimacy as a touch supplier when its touch products were included in the Palm Pre (I plan to make an updated post on the touch screen industry on a later date).

Late last year, Atmel achieved tremendous momentum in the capacitive touch as its touch products were designed into the extremely successful Motorola Droid. In fact, we can confirm that Atmel’s maXTouch technology is going to be part of the much anticipated HTC EVO 4G on Sprint. Atmel like its chief competitors Cypress Semiconductor and Synaptics is working on bringing touch screen technology to not only phones, but also netbooks, laptops, desktop monitors, televisions and automobile and industrial applications.

Today, Atmel has announced that its maXTouch family can support touch screens up to 15 inches. According to Binay Bajaj, Senior Marketing Manager, Atmel, some of the key differentiators of its maXTouch offerings are:

  • 15 touches on one screen. Binay Bajaj, modestly mentions that “Atmel is limiting the number of touches.”
  • 2x-3x faster response time than competition
  • Unintended touch rejection (palm, cheek rejection)
  • Enable glove operation
  • Stylus operation
  • Low power solution. A big plus – given battery power is limited



I got a chance to play with a prototype and I must admit that I got envious as the touch screen responded to all five fingers as opposed to one finger on the iPhone and the iPad.

Atmel’s touch offerings along with those from Cypress Semiconductor and Synaptics will enable phone manufacturers like Nokia, LG, HTC, Motorola, Samsung to not only choose from multiple touch technologies but also  pass lower pricing to consumers.

PS- If this post inspired you to create a “You can touch this” rap or jingle, e-mail me your production. We will post the two best submissions.

No Responses to “You can Touch This! Atmel's in the House”

  1. Bruce May 21, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    […] You can Touch This! Atmel’s in the House « Cellpassion […]

  2. John Smith July 10, 2010 at 3:42 am #

    I wonder if Atmel is in Droid X

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