Wacom New Touchscreen Perfect for Fabled Tablet MacBook

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Wacom, maker of the best graphic tablets available—as our video review of the latest Cintiq points out—says their new technology may be the key in developing perfect tablet computers, like the fabled MacBook Tablet. Their new surface has pressure-sensitive pen input and "pinpoint precision and drift-free" finger touch capability for low-power operation and lower cost for device manufacturers.


Wacom claims that their RRFC (Reversing Ramped Field Capacitive) display is the only surface capacitive touch technology in the world that works with "excellent accuracy, stability and sensitivity even when working on battery power." The features seem similar to N-Trig's DuoSense technology, except Wacom's product apparently also have their tablet's precision and sensitiveness specs, something that the DuoSense doesn't offer. They also say that their design is immune to noise, as well as having "highly durable and transparent glass sensors" which actually is tougher than glass.

We will have to wait to May 20, when it will be presented at the International Society for Information Display Exhibition, to see how it looks like.

Press Release:


Introduces Major Innovations In Capacitive Touchscreen Technology

New human interface solution to debut at the Society for Information Display exhibition

Tokyo, Japan and Vancouver, WA, USA

April 22, 2008

Wacom announced today a major innovation in capacitive touchscreen technology, called Reversing Ramped Field Capacitive (RRFC

) touch, that will be publicly unveiled at the International Society for Information Display Exhibition, booth #1129, May 20 to 22, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. Wacom's patent-pending technology employs newly designed low-power circuitry and revolutionary reversing ramped electro-static fields to deliver pinpoint precision and drift-free performance to touchscreen users. The technology can be integrated into dual-input applications with Wacom's market-leading EMR

pen-input technology for Tablet PC OEMs or work by itself on other platforms that require only a finger touch interface. With this newly developed technology, Wacom can provide true flexibility to OEM partners seeking best-in-class interface solutions.

"Wacom's latest capacitive touch innovation is truly another technology breakthrough for Wacom," said Masahiko Yamada, President and CEO of Wacom Company Ltd. "It demonstrates our calling and commitment to bringing human interface products to market that make computing more natural, easy and fun."

Intuitive Integration

Wacom's RRFC touch technology overcomes many limitations that are inherent in surface capacitive touchscreens available today. For starters, Wacom employs new static field engineering for increased stability and drift-free performance. With advanced ASIC design and high resolution signal processing, RRFC touch is effectively immune to noise. It is also the only surface capacitive touch technology that can demonstrate excellent accuracy, stability and sensitivity even when working on battery power. As an additional benefit, both Wacom's RRFC touch and EMR pen input technologies can work together off of a single ASIC and MCU pair, significantly reducing overall bill of materials and manufacturing costs. Furthermore, Wacom incorporates highly durable and transparent glass sensors with multiple coating and bonding options as well as intuitive driver software, creating a compelling portfolio of human interface solutions for OEM partners seeking cost-effective, state-of-the-art technology for system integration.

"Our new proprietary RRFC touch technology is exciting on a couple of fronts," said Shawn Gray, Wacom's Director of Touchscreen Operations. "New controller processing methods and system design provide extremely accurate pointing at much lower power consumption levels and without increased cost. These factors and others, such as ease of integration and stability, position Wacom RRFC touch as a natural alternative to resistive, surface acoustic wave and infrared touch technologies. Any OEM should seriously look at Wacom's solution when deciding to move beyond resistive touch solutions on portable devices or when seeking to find new and exciting capacitive touch performance in AC-powered applications."

Benefit of Wacom

s RRFC Dual Touchscreens

Compared to touchscreens with resistive capacitive, an older touchscreen technology, Wacom's RRFC touch offers superior optical performance, while having increased sensitivity and durability. Wacom touchscreens have greater transmissivity of up to 95 percent, compared to transmissivity of only 80 to 85 percent in resistive capacitive touch screens. Wacom RRFC touch technology requires less pressure, that is, only a very light stroke to activate a signal, compared to the force required in a resistive touch screen. The hard surface in Wacom's RRFC touchscreen is also tougher than glass, which helps eliminate wear and scratching.

History of Innovation in Human Interface Technology

For the last 25 years Wacom has brought people and technology closer together through its natural and highly intuitive line of pen tablets and interactive pen displays. The company's electro-magnetic resonance (EMR

) technology, bolstered by its patented battery-free and cordless digital pen, dubbed Penabled

, has played a significant role in the development and success of the mobile computing industry, culminating with the introduction of the first Tablet PC in 2001. As OEM and consumer demand for new and more natural input options increased, Wacom took the lead by offering electronic solutions for its pen together with 3rd party resistive touch input to manufacturers of Tablet PCs. To date, Wacom's pen and resistive touch systems can be found on some of the world

s leading convertible notebook computers including, Lenovo, HP, Toshiba and Gateway. Wacom's introduction of its own RRFC touch technology continues the strong tradition of developing human interface solutions solely aimed at creating and delivering affordable, ergonomically sound, efficient and enjoyable computing experiences to both consumer and professional users.

Engineering, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management Expertise

A global company with a wealth of experience producing large volumes of components for PC OEMs, as well as its own branded products, Wacom's engineering, manufacturing and supply chain management teams will work closely with OEMs looking to integrate Wacom's technology into their computing devices. Wacom's modern, high-capacity manufacturing facilities provide OEM system integrators with low-cost, high-quality products. Its extensive design and testing services allow integrators to find the right solution so that they may compete for larger, more profitable business.



Interesting, the touch display definitely seems like a great candidate for next generation tablets, but it may be a stretch to think that Apple is coming out with a tablet so soon after the MBA has debuted. I mean we are still waiting for a MBP update.