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Semtech releases LoRa smart-home device for IoT apps; MachNation offers software for IoT platform performance testing; STMicroelectronics, Fieldscale add touch-sensitive controls to smart devices; Roambee raises funding to help shippers monitor and automate supply chains; DeltaTrak intros real-time loggers; PVH Corp. seeks RFID rollout coordinator.
By Rich Handley

STMicroelectronics, Fieldscale Add Touch-Sensitive Controls to Smart Devices

STMicroelectronics, a semiconductor company serving customers in the electronics sector, has partnered with Fieldscale, a provider of simulation software, to simplify the development of touch-enabled user interfaces for smart devices containing ST's STM32 microcontrollers (MCUs).

According to ST and Fieldscale, touch-sensitive controls can enhance product reliability, ingress protection and cost-effectiveness, though development can prove challenging. The two companies are introducing support for ST's Arm Cortex-based 32-bit MCUs to Fieldscale's SENSE development platform. Fieldscale SENSE is an end-to-end solution for the design, schematic capture and system-level simulation of capacitive touch sensors. The latest version lets STM32 users design the touch sensor and PCB layout for virtual system simulation purposes.

The cloud-based development platform implements electromagnetic algorithms that allow accurate prediction of system performance, the companies report. Users can optimize design and re-simulate to finetune performance before committing to hardware. With greater assurance that prototypes will deliver close to desired performance levels, the partners explain, users can lower development costs and accelerate time to market.

"At Fieldscale, our goal is to offer to all capacitive-touch design engineers a complete software solution supporting them end-to-end, from the early design up to the tuning of the final system. Integrating STM32 support is a major achievement towards this goal and we couldn't be more satisfied," said Yiorgos Bontzios, Fieldscale's CEO and co-founder, in a prepared statement. Patrice Hamard, ST's microcontroller product marketing manager, added in the statement: "Customers using our STM32 microcontrollers can now take full advantage of Fieldscale SENSE to implement simple and intuitive touch-based controls for smart devices and give their products a competitive edge."

Fieldscale SENSE is available now as an online service and comes with a flexible pricing model. As a cloud-based development platform accessed via a Web interface, Fieldscale SENSE enables users to evaluate touch sensors using proprietary field solvers and algorithms. Unlike with conventional PC-based software, the company indicates, there are no installation challenges or system-performance limitations.

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