Synaptics 10.1-Inch ClearPad 7200 Series Multitouch Panels Target Win7 & Android Slates

Synaptics has announced its play for the tablet touchscreen market, with the new ClearPad 7200 Series of capacitive touch-panels.  Available in sizes up to 10.1-inches, the ClearPad 7200 Series supports up to ten simultaneous points of contact together with the usual multitouch gestures like pinch-zoom and chiral-rotate.

Unsurprisingly, the company is billing the new touch-panels as offering high accuracy, low latency, a high report rate and precise finger disambiguation.  They should start showing up on various different devices, too, since they support Windows 7 touch together with Linux-based OSes such as Android and, we're guessing, Google Chrome OS.

Synaptics expects the first OEM products using the ClearPad 7200 Series panels to hit the market in late 2010, though there's no word on how the new touchscreens compare in price to existing capacitive technology.

Press Release:

Synaptics Enters Large Touchscreen Market with Introduction of ClearPad™ 7200 Series

Technology Positioned to Address Growing Market Popularity of Consumer Electronics Devices with Screens as Large as 10.1"

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – July 27, 2010 – Addressing the growing trend of large touchscreen consumer electronics products, Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA), a leading developer of human interface solutions for mobile computing, communications, and entertainment devices, is announcing its ClearPad™ 7200 Series technology offering. Utilizing the feature-rich capability offered by Synaptics-designed all points addressable full image sensor technology, the ClearPad 7200 Series is ideal for OEMs designing a wide range of products that require multi-finger touch capability, including clamshell notebooks, slates/tablets, and "fourth screen" devices like digital photo frames and electronics readers.

The "fourth screen" category, which includes electronic readers, digital home controllers, and digital photo frames, is providing new ways for end users to create and consume content in a versatile multi-function capable device. These devices shed traditional keyboards and excessive buttons, substituted with a new demanding interaction model that is touch and gestures-based. High-performance touchscreen performance is critical for consumers to fully immerse themselves in the user experience of products.

"2010 will be remembered as the year when the slate category emerged as a compelling new form factor that consumers enthusiastically embraced for digital media consumption and untethered access to the Internet," said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies. "Touchscreen functionality is becoming a 'must have' feature that consumers are demanding to empower their digital lifestyles."

Designed to support glass-based screens up to 10.1", the ClearPad 7200 Series utilizes a high-performance, multi-ASIC based architecture that has the ability to distinguish up to 10 simultaneous finger touches and complex multi-finger gestures (such as pinch and rotate) with fine accuracy, low latency, high report rate, and precise finger disambiguation. Because consumer electronics products with large touchscreen requirements, like slates, are increasingly utilizing rich graphical user interfaces, the ClearPad 7200 Series is perfectly suited for products that require advanced power management and highly accurate sensing. The ClearPad 7200 Series, which will implement algorithms that provide accurate gesture detection, will support both I2C and USB interfaces, which is most commonly needed with consumer electronics devices that support Microsoft Windows 7 and Linux-based operating systems like Google Android. In addition, the Synaptics ClearPad 7200 Series will be fully compliant with the Microsoft Windows 7 Touch API for large touchscreens by being fully tested and certified in the Windows Hardware Quality Labs ("WHQL").

"The ClearPad Series 7200 Series will allow Synaptics to address the tremendous opportunity in the large touchscreen space as users increasingly embrace consumer electronics devices with finger-based touch requirements," said Mark Vena, senior vice president and general manager of Synaptics PC division. "Synaptics' incomparable expertise in the handheld category with small touchscreens, strengthened by its TouchPad™ leadership in the notebook category, allows us to provide design, performance, and functionality advantages that go directly to our value proposition with customers."

Beginning immediately, Synaptics will work with OEMs and ecosystem suppliers on select "alpha" product engagements that will utilize ClearPad 7200 Series technology. Synaptics anticipates that OEM products featuring ClearPad 7200 Series technology will ship in late 2010.

About Synaptics

Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA) is a leading developer of human interface solutions for the mobile computing, communications, and entertainment industries. The company creates interface solutions for a variety of devices including notebook PCs, PC peripherals, digital music players, and mobile phones. The TouchPad™, Synaptics' flagship product, is integrated into a majority of today's notebook computers. Consumer electronics and computing manufacturers use Synaptics' solutions to enrich the interaction between humans and intelligent devices through improved usability, functionality, and industrial design. The company is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif.