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Combination touch, handwriting and fingerprint sensor

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Title: Combination touch, handwriting and fingerprint sensor.
Abstract: This disclosure provides systems, methods and apparatus implementations of a display device with a cover glass apparatus that serves as a single or multi-touch sensor, as a handwriting (or note capture) input device, and in some configurations as a fingerprint sensor. Sensor functionality and resolution can be tailored to specific locations on the cover glass apparatus. In some such implementations, the area in which the fingerprint sensing elements are located may provide not only fingerprint detection, but also handwriting and touch functionality. In some other implementations, the fingerprint sensor may be segregated into a separate, high-resolution zone that only provides fingerprint functionality. ...


Qualcomm Mems Technologies, Inc. - Browse recent Qualcomm patents - San Diego, CA, US
Inventors: Srinivasan Kodaganallur Ganapathi, Nicholas Ian Buchan, Kurt Edward Petersen, David William Burns
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120092294 - Class: 345174 (USPTO) - 04/19/12 - Class 345 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120092294, Combination touch, handwriting and fingerprint sensor.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/394,054, entitled “COMBINATION TOUCH, HANDWRITING AND FINGERPRINT SENSOR” (Attorney Docket No. QUALPO45P/102908P1) and filed on Oct. 18, 2010, which is hereby incorporated by reference and for all purposes. This application is related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, entitled “FABRICATION OF TOUCH, HANDWRITING AND FINGERPRINT SENSOR” (Attorney Docket No. QUALPO45B/102908U2) and filed on Oct. 11, 2011, to U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, entitled “TOUCH, HANDWRITING AND FINGERPRINT SENSOR WITH ELASTOMERIC SPACER LAYER” (Attorney Docket No. QUALPO45C/102908U3) and filed on Oct. 11, 2011, to U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, entitled “TOUCH SENSOR WITH FORCE-ACTUATED SWITCHED CAPACITOR” (Attorney Docket No. QUALPO45D/102908U4) and filed on Oct. 11, 2011, to U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, entitled “WRAPAROUND ASSEMBLY FOR COMBINATION TOUCH, HANDWRITING AND FINGERPRINT SENSOR” (Attorney Docket No. QUALPO45E/102908U5) and filed on Oct. 11, 2011, to U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, entitled “MULTIFUNCTIONAL INPUT DEVICE FOR AUTHENTICATION AND SECURITY APPLICATIONS” (Attorney Docket No. QUALPO45F/102908U6) and filed on Oct. 11, 2011, to U.S. Patent Application No. _____, entitled “CONTROLLER ARCHITECTURE FOR COMBINATION TOUCH, HANDWRITING AND FINGERPRINT SENSOR” (Attorney Docket No. QUALPO45G/102908U7) and filed on Oct. 11, 2011, all of which are hereby incorporated by reference and for all purposes.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This disclosure relates to display devices, including but not limited to display devices that incorporate multifunctional touch screens.

Description of the Related Technology

Electromechanical systems (EMS) include devices having electrical and mechanical elements, actuators, transducers, sensors, optical components (including mirrors) and electronics. Electromechanical systems can be manufactured at a variety of scales including, but not limited to, microscales and nanoscales. For example, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices can include structures having sizes ranging from about a micron to hundreds of microns or more. Nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) devices can include structures having sizes smaller than a micron including, for example, sizes smaller than several hundred nanometers. Electromechanical elements may be created using deposition, etching, lithography, and/or other micromachining processes that etch away parts of substrates and/or deposited material layers, or that add layers to form electrical and electromechanical devices.

One type of EMS device is called an interferometric modulator (IMOD). As used herein, the term interferometric modulator or interferometric light modulator refers to a device that selectively absorbs and/or reflects light using the principles of optical interference. In some implementations, an interferometric modulator may include a pair of conductive plates, one or both of which may be transparent and/or reflective, wholly or in part, and capable of relative motion upon application of an appropriate electrical signal. In an implementation, one plate may include a stationary layer deposited on a substrate and the other plate may include a reflective membrane separated from the stationary layer by an air gap. The position of one plate in relation to another can change the optical interference of light incident on the interferometric modulator. Interferometric modulator devices have a wide range of applications, and are anticipated to be used in improving existing products and creating new products, especially those with display capabilities.

The increased use of touch screens in handheld devices causes increased complexity and cost for modules that now include the display, the touch panel and a cover glass. Each layer in the device adds thickness and requires costly glass-to-glass bonding solutions for attachment to the neighboring substrates. These problems can be further exacerbated for reflective displays when a frontlight also needs to be integrated, adding to the thickness and cost of the module.

SUMMARY

The systems, methods and devices of the disclosure each have several innovative aspects, no single one of which is solely responsible for the desirable attributes disclosed herein. Some implementations described herein provide a combined sensor device that combines aspects of capacitive and resistive technologies for touch sensing, handwriting input and fingerprint imaging. Some such implementations provide a touch sensor that combines capacitive and resistive technologies to enable a multi-feature user input sensor overlaid on a display.

In some such implementations, a cover glass apparatus of a consumer device such as a cell phone, an e-reader, or a tablet computer serves additionally as part of a combined sensor device having a single or multi-touch sensor, a handwriting or stylus input device, and/or a fingerprint sensor. The cover glass apparatus may include 2, 3 or more layers. The substrates used to form a cover glass apparatus may be formed of various suitable substantially transparent materials, such as actual glass, plastic, polymer, etc. Such a cover glass apparatus with touch, handwriting and/or fingerprint detection capability may, for example, be overlaid on a display.

One innovative aspect of the subject matter described in this disclosure can be implemented in an apparatus that includes a first substantially transparent substrate. A first plurality of substantially transparent electrodes may be formed in a first handwriting and touch sensor zone of the first substantially transparent substrate and a second plurality of substantially transparent electrodes may be formed in a first fingerprint sensor zone of the first substantially transparent substrate. A first plurality of resistors may be formed on some, but not all, of the first plurality of electrodes and a second plurality of resistors may be formed on the second plurality of electrodes. A handwriting sensor zone of the apparatus may include the second plurality of resistors formed on the second plurality of electrodes.

The apparatus may include a second substantially transparent substrate. A third plurality of substantially transparent electrodes may be formed in a second handwriting and touch sensor zone of the second substantially transparent substrate. A fourth plurality of substantially transparent electrodes may be formed in a second fingerprint sensor zone of the second substantially transparent substrate. The fourth plurality of electrodes may have a spacing that is substantially the same as that of the second plurality of electrodes and the fourth plurality of electrodes may have first electrode positions that correspond to second electrode positions of the second plurality of electrodes. The apparatus may include a force-sensitive resistor material disposed between the second plurality of electrodes and the fourth plurality of electrodes.

The first plurality of resistors may be formed on first instances of the first plurality of electrodes. The first plurality of resistors may not be formed on second instances of the first plurality of electrodes. The second instances of the first plurality of electrodes may be configured as touch sensor electrodes. The touch sensor electrodes may be configured to detect changes in capacitance between the third plurality of electrodes and the second instances of the first plurality of electrodes. The touch sensor electrodes may be configured to function as projected capacitive touch sensor electrodes.

The first instances of the first plurality of electrodes may be configured as handwriting sensor electrodes. The second instances of the first plurality of electrodes may be configured to detect changes in capacitance caused by changes in a distance between the third plurality of electrodes and the second instances of the first plurality of electrodes. The second instances of the first plurality of electrodes may be configured to determine, according to the detected changes in capacitance, an analog change in a displacement of the second substantially transparent substrate caused by an applied force or pressure. The first instances of the first plurality of electrodes are configured to detect changes in resistance caused by changes in a distance between the third plurality of electrodes and the first instances of the first plurality of electrodes.

The apparatus also may include a substantially transparent elastomeric material extending from the second instances of the first plurality of electrodes to the second substrate. In some implementations, the substantially transparent elastomeric material may not extend from the first instances of the first plurality of electrodes to the second substrate. The apparatus may include a substantially transparent and force-sensitive resistor material disposed between the first plurality of electrodes and the third plurality of electrodes.

The apparatus may include a display and a processor that is configured to communicate with the display. The processor may be configured to process image data. The apparatus may include a memory device that is configured to communicate with the processor. The apparatus may include a driver circuit configured to send at least one signal to the display and a controller configured to send at least a portion of the image data to the driver circuit. The apparatus may include an image source module configured to send the image data to the processor. The image source module may include at least one of a receiver, transceiver, and transmitter. The apparatus may include an input device configured to receive input data and to communicate the input data to the processor.

Another innovative aspect of the subject matter described in this disclosure can be implemented in an alternative apparatus including a first substantially transparent substrate. A first electrode array may be formed in a first handwriting and touch sensor zone of the first substantially transparent substrate. A second electrode array may be formed in a first fingerprint sensor zone of the first substantially transparent substrate. In some implementations, the second electrode array may be spaced more closely than the first electrode array. However, in other implementations, the second electrode array may not be spaced more closely than the first electrode array.

First resistors may be formed on some, but not all, of the first electrode array. Second resistors may be formed on the second electrode array.

The apparatus may include a second substantially transparent substrate. A third electrode array may be formed in a second handwriting and touch sensor zone of the second substantially transparent substrate. A fourth electrode array may be formed in a second fingerprint sensor zone of the second substantially transparent substrate. The fourth electrode array may have a spacing that is substantially the same as that of the second electrode array. The fourth electrode array may have first electrode positions that correspond to second electrode positions of the second electrode array.

The first resistors may be formed on first instances of electrodes in the first electrode array. The first resistors may not be formed on second instances of electrodes in the first electrode array. The second instances of electrodes may be configured as touch sensor electrodes. The apparatus may be configured for detecting changes in capacitance between electrodes of the third electrode array and the second instances of electrodes. The apparatus may be configured for projected capacitive touch sensor operation. The first instances electrodes may include handwriting sensor electrodes. The apparatus may be configured for detecting changes in capacitance caused by changes in a distance between electrodes of the third electrode array and the second instances of electrodes. The apparatus may be configured for detecting changes in resistance caused by changes in a distance between electrodes of the third electrode array and the first instances of electrodes.

Another innovative aspect of the subject matter described in this disclosure can be implemented in an alternative apparatus including a first substantially transparent substrate having a first plurality of substantially transparent electrodes formed in a first handwriting and touch sensor zone and a second plurality of substantially transparent electrodes formed in a first fingerprint sensor zone. The second plurality of electrodes may or may not be spaced more closely than the first plurality of electrodes, depending on the implementation. The apparatus may include a first plurality of resistors formed on some, but not all, of the first plurality of electrodes and a second plurality of resistors formed on the second plurality of electrodes.

The apparatus may include a second substantially transparent substrate having a third plurality of substantially transparent electrodes formed in a second handwriting and touch sensor zone and a fourth plurality of substantially transparent electrodes formed in a second fingerprint sensor zone. The fourth plurality of electrodes may have a spacing that is substantially the same as that of the second plurality of electrodes. The fourth plurality of electrodes may have electrode positions that correspond to electrode positions of the second plurality of electrodes.

The apparatus may include a sensor control system configured for communication with the second and fourth pluralities of substantially transparent electrodes. The sensor control system may be further configured for processing fingerprint sensor data according to electrical signals received from the second and fourth pluralities of substantially transparent electrodes.

The sensor control system may be further configured for communication with the first and third pluralities of substantially transparent electrodes. The sensor control system may be further configured for processing handwriting and touch sensor data according to electrical signals received from the first and third pluralities of substantially transparent electrodes.

The apparatus may include a display and a processor that is configured to communicate with the display. The processor may be configured to process image data. The apparatus may include a memory device that is configured to communicate with the processor. In some implementations, the sensor control system includes the processor. In alternative implementations, the sensor control system is separate from, but configured for communication with, the processor. The processor may be configured to control the display, at least in part, according to signals received from the sensor control system. The processor may be configured to control access to the display, at least in part, according to signals received from the sensor control system. The processor may be configured to control the display, at least in part, according to user input signals received from the sensor control system.

Details of one or more implementations of the subject matter described in this specification are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Although the examples provided in this summary are primarily described in terms of MEMS-based displays, the concepts provided herein may apply to other types of displays, such as liquid crystal displays, organic light-emitting diode (“OLED”) displays and field emission displays. Other features, aspects, and advantages will become apparent from the description, the drawings, and the claims. Note that the relative dimensions of the following figures may not be drawn to scale.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an example of an isometric view depicting two adjacent pixels in a series of pixels of an interferometric modulator (IMOD) display device.

FIG. 2 shows an example of a system block diagram illustrating an electronic device incorporating a 3×3 interferometric modulator display.

FIG. 3 shows an example of a diagram illustrating movable reflective layer position versus applied voltage for the interferometric modulator of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 shows an example of a table illustrating various states of an interferometric modulator when various common and segment voltages are applied.

FIG. 5A shows an example of a diagram illustrating a frame of display data in the 3×3 interferometric modulator display of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5B shows an example of a timing diagram for common and segment signals that may be used to write the frame of display data illustrated in FIG. 5A.

FIG. 6A shows an example of a partial cross-section of the interferometric modulator display of FIG. 1.

FIGS. 6B-6E show examples of cross-sections of varying implementations of interferometric modulators.

FIG. 7 shows an example of a flow diagram illustrating a manufacturing process for an interferometric modulator.

FIGS. 8A-8E show examples of cross-sectional schematic illustrations of various stages in a method of making an interferometric modulator.

FIG. 9A shows an example of sensor electrodes formed on a cover glass.

FIG. 9B shows an alternative example of sensor electrodes formed on a cover glass.

FIG. 10A shows an example of a cross-sectional view of a combined sensor device.

FIGS. 10B-10D show examples of cross-sectional views of alternative combined sensor devices.

FIGS. 11A-11D show examples of cross-sectional views of combined sensor devices having high-modulus and low-modulus compressible layers.

FIG. 12 shows an example of a device that includes a cover glass with a combination touch, handwriting and fingerprint sensor.

FIG. 13 shows an example of a top view of a force-sensitive switch implementation.

FIG. 14 shows an example of a cross-section through a row of the force-sensitive switch implementation shown in FIG. 13.

FIG. 15A shows an example of a circuit diagram that represents components of the implementation shown in FIGS. 13 and 14.

FIG. 15B shows an example of a circuit diagram that represents components of an alternative implementation related to FIGS. 13 and 14.

FIG. 16 shows an example of a flow diagram illustrating a manufacturing process for a combined sensor device.

FIGS. 17A-17D show examples of partially formed combined sensor devices during various stages of the manufacturing process of FIG. 16.

FIG. 18A shows an example of a block diagram that illustrates a high-level architecture of a combined sensor device.

FIG. 18B shows an example of a block diagram that illustrates a control system for a combined sensor device.

FIG. 18C shows an example representation of physical components and their electrical equivalents for a sensel in a combined sensor device.



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Capacitive touch screen having dynamic capacitance control and improved touch-sensing
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Controller architecture for combination touch, handwriting and fingerprint sensor
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Computer graphics processing, operator interface processing, and selective visual display systems
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Key IP Translations - Patent Translations


stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120092294 A1
Publish Date
04/19/2012
Document #
13271049
File Date
10/11/2011
USPTO Class
345174
Other USPTO Classes
345173
International Class
/
Drawings
36



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