ONE MAJOR PROBLEM with touch screens, at least for the manufacturers, is that most touch screen controllers have relied on USB signalling which has required extra wires not just internally between the touch screen and the controller, but also externally between the display and the system in the case of desktops. IDT has found a clever solution to the problem by using the auxiliary channel on the DisplayPort interface to send the touch screen data over, something that should make it a lot easier to implement touch screen technology.
IDT has announced a solution that consists of a DisplayPort receiver, an FPGA and a monolithic timer controller combined with LED driver and power management. Although this solution is currently only in a working prototype stage, it shouldn’t be too long until it’s ready for prime time. This is great for desktop touch screens, but where it really comes in handy is in notebooks that use embedded DisplayPort connectivity. Here, it further helps reduce the wire count that has to be run through the hinge up to the display.
This solution will also help reduce the component count on the display controller side, which in turn should allow for more affordable touch screen panels. Although not mentioned in the press release, this should also affect devices such as high-end tablets that use eDP to connect the graphics with the touch screen. eDP should hopefully start to take off this year displacing LVDS, a technology which requires a lot of wires, especially for higher resolution displays. We’re anything but huge fans of touch screens on notebooks or desktops, but anything that will help push new technology into the market at a more affordable price is a good thing in our eyes.S|A
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