Single-chip solution for advanced automotive HMI helps lower design costs

By Gina Roos, editor-in-chief

Designed for human-machine interface
(HMI) designers who are using gesture recognition to improve driver and vehicle
safety, Microchip Technology Inc. has launched a new 3D gesture recognition controller that touts the
lowest system cost in the automotive industry, delivering a single-chip
solution for advanced automotive HMI. With gesture recognition, designers can
add features that allow drivers to control things such as light switching and
answering phones while focusing on the road, without sacrificing interior
design, said Microchip.

The capacitive-based MGC3140 is Microchip’s first
family of 3D gesture controllers qualified for automotive use, including
applications that limit driver distraction and add driver convenience such as navigating
infotainment systems, sun shade operation,
interior lighting, and foot-activated rear liftgates.



The MGC3140 is Automotive Electronics Council AEC-Q100 qualified
with an operating temperature range of -40°C to +125°C and meets the electromagnetic
interference (EMI) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements of
automotive system designs.

Other key specs include the following:

  • Sensing Type: E-Field
  • Detection Range: 0 to 20 cm
  • Resolution: 200 dpi
  • 5 pin Gesture Port
  • Package Type: 48-pin 6x6mm UQFN

In addition, the MGC3140 can operate in full sunlight and harsh
environments unlike some other existing solutions such as infrared and
time-of-flight technologies that “operate poorly in bright or direct sunlight,”
said Microchip.

Development tools are available. Microchip offers the Emerald
evaluation kit, which includes a reference PCB with the MGC3140 controller, a
PCB-based sensor to recognize gestures, all required cables, software, and
documentation. All parts are compatible with the company’s Aurea software
development environment that supports all Microchip 3D gesture controllers.

The MGC3140 is available now in sampling and volume production
quantities, direct from the manufacturer or through its distribution