Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Single Integrated Circuit Configured to Operate Both a Capacitive Proximity Sensor Device and a Resistive Pointing Stick", for Approval
The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Input devices including proximity sensor devices (also commonly called touchpads or touch sensor devices) and pointing sticks are widely used in a variety of electronic systems.
"A proximity sensor device typically includes a sensing region, often demarked by a surface, in which the proximity sensor device determines the presence, location and/or motion of one or more input objects. Proximity sensor devices may be used to provide interfaces for the electronic system. For example, proximity sensor devices are often used as input devices for larger computing systems (such as opaque touchpads integrated in, or peripheral to, notebook or desktop computers). Proximity sensor devices are also often used in smaller computing systems (such as touch screens integrated in cellular phones and tablet computers). Such touch screen input devices are typically superimposed upon or otherwise collocated with a display of the electronic device.
"A pointing stick is typically implemented as a bridge circuit arrangement of resistors or one or more half bridge circuit arrangements of resistors which change in value in response to forces applied to the pointing stick. Pointing sticks are also integrated in many small computing systems, some of which also include a proximity sensor device."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "A single integrated circuit configured to operate both a capacitive proximity sensor device and a resistive pointing stick comprises sensor circuitry to drive a first varying voltage signal onto a transmitter electrode of the capacitive proximity sensor device. The sensor circuitry is also configured to drive a second varying voltage signal onto a voltage divider of the pointing stick and a third varying voltage signal onto the voltage divider of the pointing stick. The sensor circuitry is configured to receive a first resulting signal from a receiver electrode of the proximity sensor device and receive a second resulting signal from the pointing stick. The single integrated circuit includes determining circuitry configured to determine positional information for input received in a sensing region of the proximity sensor device based on the first resulting signal; and to determine force information received as input to the pointing stick based on the second resulting signal.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
"The drawings referred to in this Brief Description of Drawings should not be understood as being drawn to scale unless specifically noted. The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and form a part of the Description of Embodiments, illustrate various embodiments and, together with the Description of Embodiments, serve to explain principles discussed below, where like designations denote like elements, and:
"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of multiple example input devices coupled with a single integrated circuit, in accordance with embodiments;
"FIG. 2 shows a portion of an example sensor electrode pattern which may be utilized in a sensor to generate all or part of the sensing region of a capacitive proximity sensor input device, such as a touch screen, according to some embodiments;
"FIG. 3 shows a circuit diagram of a resistive pointing stick, according to some embodiments;
"FIG. 4A illustrates a block diagram of a single integrated circuit coupled as part of both a resistive pointing stick circuit and a capacitive proximity sensor, according to some embodiments;
"FIG. 4B illustrates an expanded block diagram of the basic components of sensor circuitry illustrated in FIG. 4A.
"FIGS. 5A-5C illustrate some techniques for coupling a single integrated circuit with a resulting signal from a resistive pointing stick circuit, according to various embodiments;
"FIG. 6 illustrates sensor circuitry configured to weight transmitters to adjust the transmitter impedance used to drive a resistive pointing stick circuit, according to various embodiments;
"FIG. 7 illustrates sensor circuitry configured to utilize offset voltages compensate for variations in resistances associated with operation of a resistive pointing stick circuit, according to various embodiments;
"FIG. 8 illustrates sensor circuitry configured to utilize offsetting charges to compensate for variations in resistances associated with operation of a resistive pointing stick circuit, according to various embodiments;
"FIGS. 9A and 9B illustrate a flow diagram of a method of operating both a capacitive proximity sensor device and a resistive pointing stick with a single integrated circuit, according to various embodiments; and
"FIGS. 10A and 10B illustrate variations of the block diagram of FIG. 4A, in which an additional resistor divider has been added to detect common mode noise, according to some embodiments."
For additional information on this patent application, see: HARGREAVES, Kirk; KIRYASHOV, Dmitriy. Single Integrated Circuit Configured to Operate Both a Capacitive Proximity Sensor Device and a Resistive Pointing Stick. Filed
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