UltraSense Launches TouchPoint Q Sensor

UltraSense Systems introduced UltraSense TouchPoint Q, the world’s first piezoelectric strain sensor designed to bring a better touch experience to automotive interfaces. Automotive tier-suppliers are integrating TouchPoint Q to augment their solid-state capacitive touch systems for center and overhead consoles, steering wheels, and door panels for an enhanced user experience.

How TouchPoint Q Improves Capacitive Touch Systems

Traditional capacitive touch systems have suffered from oversensitivity, causing frustrating false triggers, or from lack of sensitivity, creating a poor user experience. When earlier force-sensing technologies were added to capacitive touch systems (i.e. optical, parallel plate capacitance, or piezoresistive), results were sub-par: a non-premium feel, required visual movement of the surface, and/or expensive calibration steps across the manufacturing process. As a result, some auto makers released first-generation solid-surface capacitive touch systems to less-enthusiastic reviews.

TouchPoint Q now solves the challenges of previous capacitive touch systems, offering auto makers the ability to improve next-generation designs. According to Data Intelo, the global automotive touch sensor market is expected to grow at a 6.5% CAGR from 2022 to 2030. Forward-thinking automotive makers are now rapidly transforming car interfaces from mechanical to digital – just as phone makers did 15 years ago, migrating from mechanical buttons to flat screens.

Unique MEMS architecture

The patented UltraSense QuadForce architecture of TouchPoint Q uses a MEMS process to etch four microscopic strain sensors per chip into a piezoelectric film material applied to the surface of an ASIC processor wafer. The strain sensors, using the Piezoelectric Effect and as an inherent AC sensor (vs DC), detect surface deflection down to the 100-nanometer level – movement not detectable with the human eye.

TouchPoint Q Advantages

TouchPoint Q’s integrated MEMS strain sensors and mixed-signal ASIC processes a surface touch into a force. Placing one TouchPoint Q under a touch surface of one or more buttons has several advantages over previous strain-sensing technologies, including:

  1. Truly solid-state interface with no visual movement of the surface
  2. No residual stress from manufacturing assembly or aging over time
  3. Immunity to temperature sensitivities that can cause signal saturation
  4. Wider adhesive selection due to limited material thermal coefficient mismatch
  5. One-time system calibration in the manufacturing process
  6. Accurate touch and gesture detection using pattern recognition with machine learning

TouchPoint Q Availability

TouchPoint Q samples are available today to select customers and shipping in mass production this month to global automotive tier-suppliers. TouchPoint Q is available in a 3.0 x 3.0 x 0.6mm 24-pin QFN package.

About UltraSense Systems Inc.

Founded in 2018, UltraSense Systems elevates the automotive touch experience with its HMI Controllers and InPlane Sensing solutions, enabling multi-mode touch sensing, backlighting, haptics feedback, and processing of machine learning algorithms to turn almost any surface into a touch surface. UltraSense offers a more intuitive and modern experience for drivers; a more integrated, easier to manufacture, and thinner solution for tier-suppliers; and greater design options plus recyclability and sustainability benefits for automakers.

For more information, visit ultrasensesys.com.

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