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Press Releases

February 24, 2015

Sharp Develops New Touch-Panel Handwriting Input System*1
Suitable for Interactive Whiteboards

Paper Accepted for ISSCC 2015*2 International Conference on Semiconductor Technologies

Sharp Corporation has developed a touch-panel system that allows multiple handwriting pens (or "styluses"*3) to be used simultaneously to input text and lines in varying colors and thicknesses. Sharp aims to quickly commercialize the system, which represents a new method to input handwriting on interactive whiteboards.

In December 2012, Sharp developed a touch-panel system that employs a unique parallel drive method*4 for detecting and processing multi-point inputs. The system enables multi-touch operations in which up to 50 multi-point inputs can be recognized simultaneously.

Sharp has since modified the controller IC software for the touch-panel system, while also developing a new "active stylus"*5 that incorporates a circuit that communicates with the controller IC. These developments enable the system to identify each individual stylus on the touch panel.

Through this system, it has become possible to use multiple styluses to achieve simultaneous input of handwritten text and lines with varying colors and thicknesses. Furthermore, handwritten input from a particular stylus can be selected and deleted as desired. Sharp proposes a new handwriting system that will be suitable for use with interactive whiteboards installed in classrooms where the teacher and students fill in questions and answers. The system will be equally useful in business meetings and negotiations.

A paper on this recently developed technology was accepted for inclusion in the ISSCC 2015 International Conference on Semiconductor Technologies, which is being held in San Francisco from February 22. Sharp held a presentation at the conference.

ISSCC 2015

・Venue: San Francisco, USA
・Duration: February 22 (Sunday) to 26 (Thursday)
・Paper by Sharp: "240 Hz-Reporting Rate Mutual-Capacitance Touch-Sensing Analog Front-End Enabling Multiple Active/Passive Styluses with 41 db/32 db SNR for 0.5 mm Diameter" (Paper number 6.6)
  • *1 This system enables touch operation when installed on liquid crystal displays, etc. It incorporates a sensor sheet that detects touch input and a controller IC that controls the sensors.
  • *2 The International Solid-State Circuit Conference is the world's largest international conference on semiconductor technologies and integrated circuits.
  • *3 A dedicated conductive pen for use with touch panels.
  • *4 Sharp's unique method for simultaneously driving and processing multiple touch sensors. Realizes high-sensitivity performance (S/N rate) compared to standard sequential drive methods that detect sensors line by line. (Announced by Sharp on December 10, 2012.)
  • *5 A high-function pen dedicated for use with touch panels. Installed with buttons, etc. to allot various functions for touch-panel input.

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