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Silicon Labs Launches Best-in-Class Capacitive Sensing Microcontrollers For HMI Applications

Silicon Labs (NASDAQ: SLAB), a leader in high-performance, analog-intensive, mixed-signal ICs, today introduced the industry’s most energy-efficient capacitive sensing microcontrollers (MCUs) for human-machine interfaces (HMI). The new C8051F97x MCU family combines Silicon Labs’ proven ultra-low-power technology with the industry’s fastest, most accurate capacitive sensing to provide a best-in-class touch control solution for the Internet of Things, home/building automation, consumer and industrial markets. The F97x MCUs target battery-powered and capacitive touch sensing applications for handheld industrial devices, toys, gaming machines and remote controls, as well as touch-panel switch replacements for white goods such as washers, dryers, ovens and dishwashers.

Silicon Labs’ F97x MCUs offer the industry’s lowest energy consumption in active, sleep and deep-sleep modes, enabling the longest battery life of any 8-bit capacitive sensing MCUs. With 200 µA/MHz active current, the F97x MCUs provide an ideal combination of low energy consumption and excellent system performance. The MCUs’ fast two-microsecond wake time minimizes energy consumption while transitioning from sleep to active mode. The F97x MCUs offer the lowest sleep mode energy consumption in their class: 55 nA sleep current with brownout detector enabled and 280 nA sleep current with a 16.4 kHz internal oscillator.

The F97x MCU family offers industry-leading capacitive sensing technology with sub-micro-amp (<1 µA) wake-on-touch average current, 16-bit resolution and unmatched 100:1 dynamic range to support buttons, sliders, wheels, and capacitive proximity sensing with up to 43 channels and multiple scanning modes. The F97x MCUs incorporate Silicon Labs’ SAR charge-timing capacitance-to-digital converter (CDC) technology. The high-resolution CDC’s 40-microsecond acquisition time enables the industry’s fastest capacitive touch-sense capability without sacrificing sensitivity performance.

Silicon Labs’ CDC technology offers superior noise immunity for reliable performance in challenging conditions and configurations such as thick laminate overlays, electrical noise or variances in printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing. This advanced CDC hardware implementation is capable of measuring capacitance on a wide range of materials including PCBs, flex circuits, and indium tin oxide (ITO) on glass and film.

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