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The popularity of smartphones, tablet computers and many types of information appliances is driving the demand and acceptance of common touchscreens, for portable and functional electronics. With a display of a simple smooth surface, and direct interaction without any hardware (keyboard or mouse) between the user and content, fewer accessories are required. Touchscreens are popular in the medical field, and in heavy industry, as well as kiosks such as museum displays or room automation, where keyboard and mouse systems do not allow a suitably intuitive, rapid, or accurate interaction by the user with the display content.
Historically, the touchscreen sensor and its accompanying controller-based firmware have been made available by a wide array of after-market system integrators, and not by display, chip, or motherboard manufacturers. Display manufacturers and chip manufacturers worldwide have acknowledged the trend toward acceptance of touchscreens as a highly desirable user interface component and have begun to integrate touchscreens into the fundamental design of their products.
The market for the touch controller IC has emerged due to the heavy penetration of touch screens in electronics devices. More than 80% of the revenue of the touch controller IC market is contributed by the consumer electronics segment. The reason for the high share of the consumer electronics segment is due to the rapid adoption of touch screens for mobile phone and tablets.
The technology segment of the touch controller IC market is split in to the four different IC types. Different IC types are used for different applications. These types are; ASIC, MCU, Custom Controller, and Analogue Controllers. Of all four IC types, ASIC and MCU are the ones with maximum market share. Analogue Controller’s share is on decline.
The product market for the touch controller IC is segmented in three different ways; by functionality, by module type, and by the panel technology type. Panel technology is the working principle of a touch panel/module. These technologies are resistive, capacitive, infrared, optical, on-cell, and in-cell. Capacitive technology heavily dominates the market because of the advantages such as multi-touch, zero pressure touch, and long life. Because of these advantages, many mobile phones and tablets come with capacitive technology.
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