April 05, 2011 08:02 ET

Peratech's New, See Through QTC Clear Will Revolutionise Touch Screens

RICHMOND, NORTH YORKS, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - April 5, 2011) - Peratech, the innovators in touch technology, have developed a see through version of their award winning, Quantum Tunnelling Composite (QTC™) material called QTC Clear™. This force sensing material can be used to create a whole new class of Force Sensitive touch screens that can completely replace current Resistive touch screen technologies or enhance Capacitive ones to create superior solutions with more features such as 3D input.

"Both Resistive and Capacitive touch screen technologies have their drawbacks," explained Philip Taysom, Peratech's Joint CEO. "Resistive is not very accurate and can't do multi-touch so it is becoming less popular than Capacitive, but the latter uses a lot of power constraining it to smaller screen sizes. Our new, QTC Clear touch screen design offers the best of both technologies without their drawbacks. It can be made in any size and provides multi-touch, high sensitivity with great accuracy, ultra low power consumption and additional intuitive features with the third dimension of pressure to more easily manipulate and control information on the screen."

Resistive touch screen manufacturers can upgrade to using QTC Clear and use their existing manufacturing procedures and equipment to produce this new class of Force Sensitive touch screens. Capacitive touch screen manufacturers can augment with the addition of QTC Clear to provide additional features from the force sensitivity such as touch activation of the capacitive matrix to save power, 3D menus, variable line widths, and more intuitive gaming interaction. Very little alteration is needed to the control electronics in either case except to take advantage of the new features. 

The QTC Clear layer is only 6-8 microns thick with a transparency that is very similar to the existing touch screen technologies. This is sandwiched between two layers of ITO (Indium Tin Oxide), which is in turn sandwiched between two hard sheets, typically glass. It is so sensitive that it can detect deflections of only a few microns so that the top surface can be rigid and robust, e.g. glass, unlike current Resistive designs that have to be soft enough to deform easily making them susceptible to damage. QTC's unique properties means that virtually no current flows unless a force is applied. This overcomes the drawbacks of Capacitive designs that constantly draw current and create design challenges to overcome EMI issues.

QTC Clear is available under license from Peratech and has already been licensed to a leading touch screen manufacturer. Licensing terms are competitively positioned so that manufacturing costs are only slightly greater to reflect the additional commercial benefits that using QTC Clear brings. 

Paul O'Donovan, Principal Analyst at Gartner's semiconductor division, commented, "This is a very interesting new technology that could revolutionise the whole touch screen industry from automotive to computers."

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