maXTouch KoD controller enables innovative Human Machine Interface (HMI) solutions by combining mechanical knobs with existing multi-touch displays
Many automotive and industrial touch HMI designers are looking to merge the
benefits of a mechanical rotary encoder input with the flexibility of modern multi-touch displays.
Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP) today announces the maXTouch ® Knob on
Display™ (KoD™) controller as the first automotive-grade touchscreen controller family to
natively support the detection and reporting of capacitive rotary encoders, as well as mechanical
switches on top of a touch panel. Unlike traditional mechanical rotary encoders, this new
technology enables the mounting of the knob directly onto the display without an opening in the
panel or any customization of the touch pattern, increasing design flexibility and system cost
The KoD technology eliminates the need for custom touch sensor patterns, providing designers
the ability to easily implement a different knob count, shape and position to accommodate a
variety of end-user products. The customized configurations are adjustable without changing the
embedded firmware of the maXTouch KoD touch controller, leading to a faster and more flexible
development cycle. The maXTouch KoD controller allows designers to keep the comfort of a
rotary encoder input device but combine it with a modern and innovative interior design using
smart surfaces and multi-touch displays.
An added benefit designers can expect to experience is the ease of building a sealed Human
Machine Interface (HMI) module, which is increasingly popular for in-home appliance and
industrial applications. Using a knob on a display will also increase safety for the end user, for
example, they won’t need to look at the display while driving to adjust their sound or air
“Modern user interfaces commonly use multi-touch displays, removing mechanical keys for
cutting-edge designs. Yet, functions like temperature or audio volume remain best controlled
though a rotary encoder,” said Clayton Pillion, vice president of the Human Machine Interface
business unit at Microchip Technology. “The new maXTouch KoD technology offers the benefits
of both worlds by providing the support of a capacitive rotary encoder with a turn-key touch
controller family and a comprehensive suite of dedicated tools for a fast implementation.”
With the release of the maXTouch KoD family, Microchip offers two variants to allow customers
the design freedom and flexibility to choose how they will implement the capacitive rotary
encoder. The KD variant enables customers to choose their knob design partner and create
their own solution using a reference design jointly developed with BNL Bearings—offering the
option to fully customize the design for specific applications.
New maXTouch Knob on Display Touch Controller Family Disrupts Traditional Touchscreen Designs
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The additional MK variant supports the Magic Knob ™ developed by Panasonic Industry Co., Ltd.
While keeping the flexibility to be mounted on standard touch sensor patterns, the Microchip
Panasonic Magic Knob (MPMK) solution provides a high level of customization for rotation and
push haptic feedback, as well as for the top cover material selection.
Microchip provides a comprehensive suite of both hardware and software development tools to
shorten the development cycle with a capacitive rotary knob.
o ATEVK-MXT2912TDAT-A: 15.6” / ATEVK-MXT2113TDAT-A: 13.3” OGS touch
panel kit including development board with USB bridge
o Capacitive rotary encoder knob reference design with 30 detents and push
o maXTouch ® Studio (IDE – development tool) with dedicated KoD family plug-ins for
knob design and parameter settings
The maXTouch Knob on Display (KoD) controller is currently available for purchase. To
purchase, contact a Microchip sales representative.
maXTouch KoD Family Overview:
ATMXT2912TD-A KD variant; up to 112 touch channels; LQFP 176
ATMXT2113TD-A KD variant; up to 97 touch channels; LQFP 144
ATMXT2912TD-A MK variant; up to 112 touch channels; LQFP 176
ATMXT2113TD-A MK variant; up to 97 touch channels; LQFP 144
High-res images available through Flickr (feel free to publish):
Application image: www.flickr.com/photos/microchiptechnology/52115358955/sizes/l