Atmel Showcases Futuristic Curved Touch-Centric Automotive Center Console Concept at CES 2014

Featuring Atmel XSense Flexible Touch Sensor Technology and Highlighting Next-Generation HMI Interfaces, Atmel's AvantCar Center Console Concept Demonstrates Sleek, Curved Capacitive Touchscreens With No Mechanical Buttons

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 7, 2014 — (PRNewswire) —  Atmel® Corporation (NASDAQ: ATML), a leader in microcontroller and touch technology solutions, today announced it will be showcasing Atmel AvantCar™, a next-generation automotive center console concept with curved touch screens, demonstrating the future of human machine interface in upcoming automobiles. The demo will be showcased at Atmel's Meeting Room #MP25958 located in the Lower Level of the South Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center, January 7-10, 2014.

Next-generation Automotive Requirements

Today's drivers are demanding richer user experiences in the automobile, similar to smart devices in the consumer market. This includes capactive touchscreens, curved form factors, personalized color schemes and navigation menus via touch buttons and sliders. AvantCar addresses all these requirements with an advanced user interface in the center console to include these cutting-edge technologies.

AvantCar is Atmel's first fully functional concept showcasing groundbreaking solutions within the automobile. This is the first automotive concept the company is demonstrating to highlight innovative Atmel solutions that offer drivers an advanced, contemporary experience in the car.

Atmel Combines Automotive and HMI Leadership

As a leading supplier for automotive products and touch-based human machine interface (HMI) solutions, Atmel's AvantCar concept demonstrates a fully functional center console highlighting two large curved touchscreen displays with no mechanical buttons. Instead, the touchscreens integrate capacitive touch buttons and sliders allowing the user to navigate general applications typically found within an automotive center console including global navigation system (GPS), car thermostat, audio controls for a radio or media player, seat controls, and more. AvantCar also allows drivers to personalize their car environment through advanced touch capabilities and the automotive local interconnect network (LIN) connectivity system, allowing each driver to simply push a single button to change the car's ambient lighting to fit the driver's needs.

The entire AvantCar center console is powered by Atmel's cutting-edge solutions including its XSense® touch sensor, maXTouch® controller, QTouch®, and automotive-qualified MCUs and LIN drivers for the ambient lighting control in the demonstrator.

More technical details about how Atmel technologies support the key features of this next-generation automotive center console are highlighted below:

  • Curved touchscreen Display. XSense, Atmel's highly flexible touch sensor, using metal mesh technology, can be used on curved surfaces and edges, giving this new center console a sleeker, more elegant design versus older, traditional generation designs that are not entirely conducive to a driver's needs. XSense also allows for the replacement of mechanical switches or rotary knobs on the curved center console with moisture resistance and glove support for drivers in cold climates.
  • Large capacitive touchscreens. AvantCar offers superior touch performance using Atmel's automotive-qualified maXTouch controllers that support touchscreens and touchpads up to 12 inches. maXTouch controllers provide faster response times, more accurate touches and lower power consumption than other solutions on the market today.
  • Proximity sensing and capacitive touch buttons and sliders. Atmel's QTouch technologies provide a more intuitive user interface replacing mechanical buttons or rotary knobs and adds capacitive proximity detection, all embedded in a single controller. Proximity sensing will detect the approaching hand and then control, for example, lights to turn on/off and the touchscreen backlight accordingly. This feature is also ideal for night time driving especially for GPS, radio control and thermostat checks. 
  • Ambient lighting controls. Atmel's LIN solutions, based on the company's RF and automotive-qualified AVR® MCUs, offer an ambient lighting control option for each driver to personalize the lighting in the car. For instance if a car is shared by a couple, one driver may want all the lights in the car to turn pink while another driver wants the ambient car lighting to turn yellow.

"Atmel's AvantCar is designed to show an avantgarde concept of what future car center consoles are likely to look like and how responsive they will be to a driver's touch using advanced HMI interfaces," said Stephan Thaler, Marketing Director, Atmel Corporation. "As a leader in both capacitive touch-based HMI and microcontroller-based solutions for the automotive market, Atmel understands the driver's requirements today and tomorrow, and is excited to be the first semiconductor supplier to demonstrate a fully functional car center stack with innovative, next-generation interfaces. We are pioneering new ground with our technologies for the automotive segment and are thrilled to add more focus in this area for the upcoming years."

The demo was defined and designed in conjunction with Germaneers GmbH, an automotive design house in Germany.

For media or industry analysts interested in seeing the AvantCar concept at CES 2014, please contact Email Contact to schedule an appointment.

More Information
Atmel maXTouch  Solutions:
Atmel XSense Solutions:
Atmel Automotive-qualified MCUs:
Atmel QTouch Technologies:
Embedded Design Blog:
Atmel YouTube Channel at  
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About Atmel
Atmel Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers, capacitive touch solutions, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and radio frequency (RF) components. Leveraging one of the industry's broadest intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is able to provide the electronics industry with complete system solutions focused on industrial, consumer, communications, computing and automotive markets.

© 2014 Atmel Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Atmel®, Atmel logo and combinations thereof, XSense®, QTouch®, AVR®, maXTouch® and others are registered trademarks or trademarks of Atmel Corporation or its subsidiaries. Other terms and product names may be trademarks of others.

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