Alps Alpine Commences External Sales of ICs, Starting from a High-Sensitivity Capacitive Sensor IC
Applicable to a Wide Range of Applications Including Touchless Operation, Automotive Touch Panels, and Liquid Level Sensors
Munich, Germany, February 27, 2024 – Alps Alpine announced the commencement of external sales of ICs, which were formerly designed and developed only for internal use in in-house manufactured products, under the Alps Alpine brand. As a first step, Alps Alpine has developed the HSLCMB series ICs that incorporate a capacitance measurement circuit and 32-bit CPU to enable capacitive sensing with higher sensitivity and noise robustness than their conventional products and has commenced domestic and international promotions. The HSLCMB series is applicable to a wide range of applications, including touchless operation, automotive touch panels, and liquid level sensors.

Alps Alpine’s semiconductor business began in 2005 with the establishment of the IC Design Department. In nearly 20 years since then, Alps Alpine has designed and developed a wide variety of sensor ICs for automotive and consumer electronics markets, including magnetic, geomagnetic, humidity, barometric, millimeter-wave, and capacitive sensors. Alps Alpine’s ICs are packed with a wealth of expertise in not only low-noise analog front ends, but also mixed signal IP-based sophisticated signal processing algorithms, space-saving design, and functional safety support.

Until now, stand-alone ICs have been designed and developed only for internal demand, whereas modules in which sensor electrodes and ICs are integrated have been supplied to customers. Many of them, however, have asked for sensor ICs to be provided on a stand-alone basis. As a first step to meet these needs, Alps Alpine has started external sales of the HSLCMB series high-sensitivity capacitive sensor ICs.

Advantages of Alps Alpine’s capacitive sensing
(Figure 1)

High sensitivity
The signal-to-noise ratio is higher than conventional products, allowing for sensing distant objects. The same distance can be covered by smaller sensor electrodes.

High noise robustness
Even under a noisy environment due to surrounding devices, the signal-to-noise ratio is maintained higher than that of conventional products. Automotive specifications can be satisfied even in the vehicle cabin full of signals, such as road noise, engine noise, and radio waves.

Absolute self-capacitance sensing
The IC properly controls the guard electrodes provided for shielding the parasitic capacitance of the sensor electrodes so that only the capacitance of the target can be sensed.

Product information
The HSLCMB series IC incorporates a capacitance measurement circuit and 32-bit CPU.
Operating voltage range: 4.75-5.5V
Operating current: 14.5mA typ.
Package: QFN 48pin (6mm x 6mm, t=0.9mm)
Interface: SPI, EUART
Number of sensor electrodes: 16 ports
Reliability: AEC-Q100 grade2 (-40~105℃)
Functional safety: ASIL-B compatible
(Figure 2)

Example applications
Touchless operation
Alps Alpine’s sensor ICs that enable new input methods, such as proximity sensing and spatial gesture operation, can fulfill the needs of “contact-less operation” in medical practice areas, public institutions, and manufacturing sites.

Automotive touch panel
Taking advantage of its high noise robustness and sensitivity, the HSLCMB series IC enables a user interface with touchless inputs in the vehicle cabin that is full of noise sources such as radio waves and motors.

Liquid level sensor
The achieved high sensitivity and noise robustness enable contactless measurement from outside a plastic tank. This requires no mechanical parts inside the tank, contributing to enhanced flexibility in the tank‘s shape.

Capability of Alps Alpine’s semiconductor development and upcoming plans
In semiconductor development, Alps Alpine, as a fabless manufacturer outsourcing manufacturing only, has an integrated development system from product planning to system design, analog design, digital design, testing, startup of mass production, mass production support, and prompt quality issue support.
Alps Alpine will further expand the product lineup, focusing on custom design activities in addition to sales expansion of existing semiconductor products (standard products), to realize the technological evolution of customers and Alps Alpine and improve the competitiveness of the products.

Product details
Please refer to the product information section in Alps Alpine webpage.

Alps Alpine Co., Ltd., founded in 1948 in Japan, is one of the world's largest independent manufacturers of electromechanical components and in-vehicle infotainment products. Headquartered in Tokyo, Alps Alpine maintains ca. 100 group companies across the Americas, Europe and Asia. With ultimate specialist knowledge and reliability, Alps Alpine develops, produces, and markets electromechanical components as well infotainment and next generation mobility lifestyle products such as Audio, Display, Communication and Drive Assist on a worldwide basis.

As a subsidiary of Alps Alpine Co., Ltd., Alps Alpine Europe GmbH has been serving European customers for more than 40 years. Based in Munich, our head office in Europe combines a team of specialists in Sales, Marketing, Engineering and R&D. Including our sales offices in many other major cities such as Duesseldorf, Stuttgart, Wolfsburg, Gothenburg, Milton Keynes, Milan and Paris, Alps Alpine Europe GmbH employs around 560 people. Alps Alpine also has manufacturing locations in Ireland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to serve primarily our European customers.

» Alps Alpine Europe
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» Press Release
Date: 27.02.2024 11:00
Number: PR01/24EN
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