Synaptics Brings 10 Finger Multi-Touch to Gadgets with ClearPad 3000

synapticsThe big news in touch this morning is that Synaptics is touting it ClearPad 3000 technology that will bring 10 finger multi-touch to cellphones and other screens. Synaptics will be introducing this in November and we can expect to see devices taking advantage of this in 2010, or maybe a little earlier. The technology can be used on screens up to 8 inches, so I would expect to see this on devices other than phones in the future.

Clearpad 3000 is promising a range of gestures and touch controls for the future and supposedly the gesture recognition is accurate within a millimeter.


Vincent Nguyen at SlashGear got to sit down the folks at Synaptics and got a demo of this technology and he’s correct, to really understand it, you need to see it. He’s put up a video so you can do just that. (Video and press release after the jump.)


Synaptics ClearPadâ„¢ 3000 Series Takes Multi-Touch to a New Level

Market Leader Expands Portfolio of ClearPad Touchscreen Solutions

SANTA CLARA, CA — July 22, 2009 — Expanding its portfolio of market-leading ClearPadâ„¢ solutions, Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA), a leading developer of human interface solutions for mobile computing, communications, and entertainment devices, today introduced its advanced multi-touch ClearPadâ„¢ 3000 Series capacitive touch sensor solution. Building upon the success of Synaptics’ patented, flagship ClearPad touchscreen solution, the new 3000 Series offering combines Synaptics’ best-in-class ClearPad sensing technology with the company’s exclusive end-to-end solution stack to make it easier for OEMs and ODMs of mass-market mobile handsets and other handheld devices to integrate high-resolution capacitive touchscreens with basic gesture capability into their products, bringing them to market faster and with less risk.

Synaptics’ currently shipping ClearPad solution — now branded the ClearPad 2000 Series — and its Enhanced Gesture Suite (EGRâ„¢), has achieved tremendous success in bringing the power of touch to mid- and high-end mobile phones. In its effort to offer a complete portfolio of capabilities to its customers, Synaptics has also introduced the 1000 Series, a low-cost solution with single-finger and limited two-finger gestures. Leveraging years of delivering a solution that leads in optical clarity, reliability, and power management, with today’s 3000 and 1000 Series announcements, Synaptics has expanded its touch sensor portfolio to serve the growing touchscreen market with a complete portfolio of touch solutions. OEMs can now select from a full range of touch and gesture capabilities, from single-finger touch with simple gestures to multi-finger touch with complex gestures.

““By enabling more devices to have multi-finger gesture capabilities, our premium ClearPad 3000 Series opens the door for innovative software developers to push the edges of the user interface envelope by creating exciting new classes of applications — such as multi-user gaming — not possible before, giving OEMs greater flexibility to differentiate their products,” said Tom Tiernan, Synaptics president and COO. ““Synaptics’ leadership is built on leveraging our industry-leading complete solution stack, driving innovation and best-in-class R&D, and enabling our customers with powerful and easy-to-use interface solutions to differentiate their products. The 3000 Series is the latest demonstration of our commitment to providing our customers with complete touchscreen solutions.”

With its ability to distinguish up to 10 simultaneous finger touches and complex multi-finger gestures (e.g., pinch, pivot rotate and rotate) with fine accuracy and low latency, the ClearPad 3000 Series sensors are ready for the next generation of 3D graphical user interfaces on a broad array of handheld consumer electronics devices. The ClearPad 3000 Series is based on new, proprietary Synaptics technology that features 48 sensing channels and advanced power management, allowing for larger screen sizes up to 8 inches diagonally with more accurate sensing and low power consumption. Engineered to be nearly borderless with best-in-class edge performance and high noise immunity, the ClearPad 3000 Series offers a thin, low-profile design that enables OEMs to create sleeker, more compact, and stylish product solutions, optimizing industrial design while using any industry standard LCD display.

ClearPad3000 Series touch sensors feature an accuracy of ±1 mm, are only 0.400 mm thick, offer full multi-finger tracking and are available in sizes up to 8 inches diagonally. ClearPad 3000 Series solutions offer low power consumption with 5 mA in full active mode, 150 µA nominal, and 12 µA in deep sleep mode for extended battery life.

““While other vendors may be able to show a slick demo of their multi-touch sensor solutions, only Synaptics understands the complexities of making them work in the harsh, challenging environments of real-world products,” said Gopal Garg, senior vice president of Synaptics’ handheld business unit and corporate marketing. ““We have the experience and expertise to help customers get to production quickly, with products that not only work as per expectation, but also offer advanced functionality.”

Synaptics provides an industry-leading and comprehensive suite of software tools with an easy-to-use interface for the ClearPad 3000 Series that enable manufacturers to rapidly transition from design to development to prototyping stage to mass production. Synaptics also offers its customers PC-based pre-production and production test support hardware and software optimized for speed and full coverage of sensor manufacturing defects, which includes software limits to optimize yield.

As with all ClearPad solutions, the ClearPad 3000 Series is supported by Synaptics’ exclusive solution stack and engineering services from its worldwide customer design centers to address the multi-dimensional engineering challenges customers face when creating and implementing advanced human interfaces. The Solution Stack delivers a broad range of services and deep knowledge in the multiple engineering disciplines required to create reliable products that go far beyond standard chip offerings, and integrates these key capabilities to help OEMs create reliable, highly intuitive human interfaces that meets their design and usage requirements.
A Complete Solution Stack
Synaptics’ market leadership is built upon its Solution Stack, a complete and reliable design process which includes systems engineering and system integration, firmware/software design, module design, mixed-signal ASIC development, gesture/character development, human factors/usability, supply and support, concept prototyping, and testing and qualification. The Synaptics Solution Stack addresses multi-dimensional engineering challenges customers face when creating and implementing advanced human interfaces — challenges best solved at specific steps in the design process. Synaptics delivers a broad range of services with deep knowledge in multiple engineering disciplines that go far beyond standard chip offerings, and that integrate these key capabilities to deliver a reliable, highly intuitive human interface that meets customers’ design and usage requirements.

““Multi-touch lays the foundation for a better user interface. DisplaySearch forecasts that the market for touchscreens with multi-touch capability will grow from $0.8 B in 2008 to over $4B in 2015,” said Dr. Jennifer Colegrove, director of display technologies at DisplaySearch. ““OEMs welcome touchscreen suppliers who can provide the whole multi-touch solution with low risk, reliable manufacturing, design flexibility, and a seamless production ramp.”
Availability and Pricing
Synaptics ClearPad 3000 series engineering samples for general release will be available in November 2009. For pricing and more information about Synaptics and its ClearPad product line, please visit

About Synaptics
Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA) is a leading developer of human interface solutions for the mobile computing, communications, and entertainment industries. The company creates interface solutions for a variety of devices including notebook PCs, PC peripherals, digital music players, and mobile phones. The TouchPadâ„¢, Synaptics’ flagship product, is integrated into a majority of today’s notebook computers. Consumer electronics and computing manufacturers use Synaptics’ solutions to enrich the interaction between humans and intelligent devices through improved usability, functionality, and industrial design. The company is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif.