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Semtech’s Customizable Single IC Provides All Human Interface, Intelligent Power & Battery Management Functions for Wireless Internet Appliances

Semtech’s USAR, a leading producer of Human Interface Device (HID) and System Management electronics, today announced a unique modular approach for implementing Human Interface Devices (HIDs), intelligent power and battery management, smart cards and other features in Wireless Internet Appliances (WIAs) and other RISC-based battery-operated systems.

Designers of such systems may select from a list of available modules for the Zero-Power(TM) Juno(TM) series, mixing and matching the features they need. Some of the modules available include:

1. Scanning of a keyboard or keypad, in various matrix sizes

2. Resistive touch screen control

3. Pointing device control, either single or multiple, including control of force sticks, such as those by CTS, resistive touch pads, micro joysticks and various sensors provided by such companies as Interlink and Varatouch

4. Power management for typically Zero-Power(TM)(less than 1uA) operation

5. Battery management, including the ability to monitor temperature and currents for single and dual batteries

6. Smart Card interface

7. PWM or D/A for various analog functions, such as audio or backlight control

8. Hot-swappable, hot-pluggable, auto-recognizing, auto-initializing PS/2 ports

9. High-resolution general purpose A/D and traditional digital GPIO functions

Alternately, designers may select from one of the several standard configurations available. Regardless, what is delivered is a highly integrated, flexible and exceptionally low-power (typ. less than 1uA) single IC that interfaces the system either via SPI or the Asynchronous Serial port. Depending on the configuration/level of integration, both larger (80-pin) and smaller (32-pin) LQFP packages are available. Cost-reduction and real estate savings are achieved through comprehensive feature integration. Implementation is simplified through the use of a single communication channel, over a single port, using a single clearly defined protocol.

Implementing the Human Input Device, power management and battery management subsystems in Wireless Internet Appliances and other RISC-based portable systems can be tricky. Designers charged with incorporating such functions as touch screen and/or single or multiple pointing device control, keypad control, power management, battery monitoring, etc. using discrete, costly and real-estate consuming components often must contend with a shortage of ports, complicated driver development and other headaches.

To further ease design, Semtech’s USAR offers several development kits to simplify the implementation process and speed time to market. The kits — readily available — come with full and detailed documentation, boards, cables, relevant input devices and testing software. Comprehensive engineering support is also provided.

Included as part of the documentation is the Juno(TM) Technical Reference Manual. This manual is addressed to design engineers and software driver developers and contains detailed specifics on the IC including human input device handling, power management, protocol and low-level communication information.

About Fabrizio Pilato

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