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Synaptics and others to support Nvidia DirectTouch for improved touchscreen performance

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Nvidia's DirectTouch touchscreen processing arcitecture gained the support of touchscreen controller companies Synaptics, Cypress, Atmel, and more today. DirectTouch hands off some of the touch processing duties from a discrete touch module to either a fifth core on the Tegra 3 SoC or the chip's primary cores. It's promised to bring increased performance and battery life.

Nvidia DirectTouch
Nvidia DirectTouch

We all know the pain of a laggy touchscreen experience, and Nvidia is working on a solution with its DirectTouch architecture that uses a Tegra 3 chip to process touch input. The technology was originally announced at CES this year, but now it looks like we're closer to seeing DirectTouch make its way into a future tablet or smartphone, as touch controller companies Synaptics, Cypress, Atmel, N-Trig, Raydium, and Focaltech have jumped on board to build controllers that support the technology.

DirectTouch offloads some touch processing onto a low-power fifth core on the Tegra 3 chip, unlike current touchscreens which have a discrete module that accomplishes the task. Nvidia's solution hands off the touch processing duties to the primary cores of the Tegra 3 when CPU-intensive programs are being used on the device. According to Nvidia, the technology will result in improved touch performance — especially with multiple finger inputs — because the Tegra 3 is far more powerful than traditional touch controllers. It's also supposed to simplify the internal design and increase the battery life of devices that use the technology, since there's no discrete touch module taking up space and constantly consuming energy. We haven't yet played with a DirectTouch-enabled device — we hope to see one at MWC this week — but if the video below is any indication, the improvements look promising.