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April 15, 2009

Whirlpool selects Cypress’s CapSense Plus service

CapSense proximity sensing, with detection range up to 25 cm, provides power savings by activating an interface

By CBR Staff Writer

Whirlpool, a manufacturer and marketer of home appliances, has selected PSoC-based CapSense Plus service from Cypress Semiconductor to control the touch-sensing buttons in the new AWOE Premium Collection line of washing machines.

Cypress claimed that the service offers noise immunity and water-resistance to deliver uninterrupted operation in the harsh sensing conditions prevalent in household appliances. Engineers can take advantage of programmable system-on-chip (PSoC) flexibility to implement functions beyond CapSense, a capability called CapSense Plus.

The portfolio enhances proximity sensing where direct touch is not required, claims the company. CapSense proximity sensing, with its detection range up to 25 cm, provides power savings by activating an interface only when needed while further enhancing industrial designs by only exposing interfaces when necessary.

Furthermore, it said that the CapSense Plus capability controls the sixth Sense indicator lighting on the main display. The interface in the Whirlpool line employs one CapSense Plus device to implement 14 buttons and drive light-emitting diodes (LED) in the rotary dial control. A second device in the control display powers eight buttons, LED backlighting with dimming functionality and a buzzer.

Giorgio Zambon, project manager of Whirlpool, said: We wanted an intuitive, durable control panel for the Premium Collection line that was also attractive to end-users. CapSense Plus service delivered a smart user interface and simplified the design process by controlling multiple functions beyond the touch-sensing interface.

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