PenMount PCI Supports Virtual Buttons

07/27/2017 | Bulletin No. : PMY17007

The PenMount team is committed to industrial, medical, and commercial markets and to becoming the leading supplier for total touch solutions.  PenMount projected capacitive (PCI or PCAP) touch products continuously offer new functionality.  Whether electrical specifications, support for various glove types, water handling, high EMC standards, our products have always enjoyed praise from our customers.  At the same time, the superior design of PenMount PCI touch controllers provide flexible, compatible, and reliable service and support.  Assisting customers create added value in product design has always been a goal PenMount strives to achieve.

In terms of PCI design principle, the topmost layer is décor glass while the bottom layer is sensor film.  Normally, the sensor is the active area and, if button keys are required, physical function buttons are embedded separately.  This is the most common method employed by customers.  Regarding this type of application, PenMount provides two other flexible design selections for your reference:

  1. Design PCI sensor circuits outside the PCI touch panel active area according to the locations of virtual buttons. The advantage of this method is the complementary button area is separated from the PCI sensor’s view area and the controller firmware can easily process the actions of the virtual buttons.  The PCI controller uses two signal processing pins to receive the signal from one button.  For example, if five buttons are required, a six pin requirement is expected for reception.  Thus, number of PCI controller signal pins must be considered.  As the number of connections increase, more latitude is required in touch panel trace design.  Normally, utilizing this method for projects requiring relative few virtual buttons is recommended.
  2. Use the same circuit path in the virtual button area as the PCI touch panel active area. This means, the PCI active area encompasses both the LCD panel’s view area and the expected complementary bottom area.  Please reference the following diagram as an example: outside the view area of a 10.35” LCD panel, five touch button functions must be added in the area delineated by the green rectangle.  We can expand the PCI active area to include the green rectangle so that all required buttons can be defined within this extended range.  The advantage of this method is it reduces controller signal connection pin usage and conserves touch panel signal traces.  In terms of the PCI touch panel, overall border area can be reduced.  Currently, many successful PenMount projects employ this type of design.


Using a USB interface with the two aforementioned methods is recommended because built-in system drivers can directly support the PenMount PCI USB interface.  The USB interface can transmit keyboard events and link virtual buttons and customer systems through software.  If you have other communications interface or button control method requirements, you are welcome to contact us.

PenMount’s design philosophy involves added consideration on behalf of customers and understanding real customer needs.  Through providing comprehensive touch solutions, we help customers introduce PCI touch products.  The smooth progress of your projects is our ultimate goal.  PenMount has also prepared complete utilities to satisfy your common user setting requirements and facilitate the design and development of your products.

You are welcomed to download all of PenMount’s standard product data and drivers directly from our website at: and If you have any suggestions or comments please send e-mail to: .

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