The onset of the first smartphone with a touch interface took place in 2006. Following this, almost all smartphones are now enabled with a touch interface. Further to this, there are numerous other devices, which have now integrated touch interface technology. All of this is made possible through the aid of touch controller ICs. Touch controller ICs basically perform the function of being able to provide an electrical output based on an input, which could either be through force or through a change in the capacitance over a particular area. In any case, the touch controller IC forms an integral part of any touch interface system.
Touch interface systems provide a number of advantages. The most obvious of them being is that the interface is a lot more human friendly than using a system with buttons and switches. Another key advantage is in the form of design for the engineers of various products and systems. Looking at the automotive sector for example, the dashboard of the vehicles is slowly transforming. An infotainment system is already available with a touch interface which wherein a number of functions can be utilized within a particular screen. Engineers are trying to integrate touch interface as much as possible for the automotive sector as this would bring down the cost in terms of integration of a number of components, as everything would eventually be available through a touch screen. Numerous consumer electronic devices have already integrated touch interfaces such as smartphones, music players, smart watches and so on. The total addressable market for touch controller ICs is every possible consumer electronic device that is made available in the market. Higher integration, greater sensitivity of these ICs will drive the growth for this market.
In terms of regional contribution, the APAC region is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to remain the highest contributor till well beyond the forecast period. Almost all of the device manufacturers are located in this region and will be responsible for the consumption of all the touch controller ICs during the forecast period.
The Touch controller IC Market can be segmented as
- on the basis of technology
- ASIC, MCU, Custom Controllers, & Analogue Controllers
- In terms of product
- Resistive, Capacitive, Optical, Infrared, In-Cell, & On-Cell
- In terms of application
- Entertainment, Infotainment, Retail, Education, Medical, Banking, & Industrial and Others
- By Geography
- North America, South America, APAC, Europe, Middle East and Africa
Following are just a few of the companies that are operating in the Touch controller IC market.
- 3m Touch Systems
- Analog Devices, Inc.,
- Atmel Corporation
- Broadcom Corporation
- Cirque Corporation
- Freescale Semiconductor.