STM branches MEMS tech out into touchscreen displays

June 13, 2011 – PRNewswire — MEMS supplier STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) debuted "FingerTip" technology, which enables a single-chip solution for capacitive touchscreens up to 10" diameter with multi-touch capability.

FingerTip shares its architecture with STM’s more familiar MEMS devices: a sensing element connected to a high-performance capacitance-sensing circuit. The analog front-end (AFE) detects variations of capacitance in atto-Farads (10-[18] F), protecting system operation from noise, which plagues touchscreens.

The display, the system, human touch, and battery chargers (especially cheap ones) all assault touchscreens with noise. Strong periodic noise (100V peak-to-peak and in the frequency range from 1kHz to 1MHz) generates false "finger touches" to an analog front-end in touchscreen systems. FingerTip’s 32-bit digital signal processing (DSP) engine eliminates charger noise effects without impacting accuracy, frame rate or power consumption, STM reports. It filters out display noise as well, from ‘in-cell’ and ‘on-cell’ display technologies.

STMicro’s analog capacitive interface IP, developed for MEMS sensors, is well suited to digital noise filtering, said Benedetto Vigna, GM, MEMS, Sensors and High Performance Analog Division.

ST’s new product family is under evaluation with major customers that will implement FingerTip technology with stylus-based "hand writing," 10" tablets, smartphones, and other touchscreen apps that require fast response, linearity and accuracy, and low power consumption in a small package.

STMicroelectronics provides semiconductors and MEMS. Further information on ST can be found at

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