Ultra-compact navigation device acts as mouse or joystick

Avago Technologies is launching an innovative thin, ultra-compact input device that combines a navigation pad module with a motion sensing and interface integrated circuit (IC) to provide mouse-like outputs for use in a variety of mobile devices. Typical applications include mobile phones, ultra-miniature PCs, digital still cameras, computer peripherals and other handheld and gaming applications.

With a low profile height of 1.7mm and a diameter of 14mm, this new navigation pad incorporates a self-centring button with click function. Based on embedded capacitive sense technology, this miniature input module enables designers to develop input devices for mobile devices that can greatly enhance the user's experience by providing analogue cursor control for web browsing, gaming or digital camera applications.

Avago's latest input device combines its AMRT-1410 Ultra-Compact Navigation Pad Module and AMRI-2000 Mobile Navigation Sense and Interface IC. The AMRT-1410 incorporates a self-centring snap-on button, which can be customised to meet industrial design requirements, with an integrated click function in an ultra-compact package. The AMRI-2000 IC enables the input module to operate either as a four- or eight-way switch with scrollwheel functionality or as an analogue mouse or joystick to provide end-users with new navigation experiences such as rapid scrolling and panning of menus and long lists, mouse-like navigation of web pages, drag and drop operations, as well as analogue joystick-like control to make mobile gaming more enjoyable. In addition, with the capacitive sense technology incorporated into this input device, bare skin contact is not required for operation of the navigation pad module. As a result, end-users will have the added benefit of being able to operate the input device while wearing gloves.

Dynamic reconfiguration

The operating mode of the AMRT-1410 and AMRI-2000 input device can be dynamically reconfigured to provide the best user navigation experience for any active application. Moreover, the backward-compatible digital switch mode with scroll function provides the user with a well known interface for menu and list navigation. For example, the navigation pad can function as an analogue joystick for a gaming application, as a digital four-way switch with scrollwheel functionality for menu navigation and phonebook or MP3 list scrolling, and as a mouse for web page navigation and image manipulation.

Khin-Mien Chong, vice president and general manager of Mobile Input Device Operations at Avago Technologies, comments: "This latest input device solution from Avago addresses the need in the market for an ultra-compact, small form factor advanced analogue input device that can provide joystick or mouse-like cursor navigation with an integrated select button for mobile and handheld devices. The unique arrangement of this input device solution with its centre button supports single-handed operation including drag-and-drop functionality. In addition, the input module provides backward-compatible digital rocker switch modes including scrollwheel functionality for ease of first time use."

Avago's AMRT-1410 and AMRI-2000 provides designers with an input module that provides tactile feedback for intuitive use, an integrated tactile click, and a capacitive sensor IC. The IC interfaces to the host over an I2C-compatible or SPI serial bus. Moreover, this IC was designed specifically for low battery power operation and includes programmable auto wake-up power saving modes to conserve power and extend battery life.

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