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Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW)

Sensor Materials

Glass, piezoelectric transducers


Principle of Operation

  • Piezoelectric transmitters on the sensor generate acoustic waves on the surface of the glass substrate on alternating X-axis and Y-axis patterns.
  • The acoustic waves are reflected by a pattern of edge ridges directing the energy to piezoelectric receivers.
  • A touch to the surface of the sensor causes attenuation to a portion of the wave corresponding to touch position.
  • Touch location is based on the time delay from the transmitted pulse to the center of the attenuation area of the wave.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Touch activated by bare finger, some gloves, or soft conductive stylus Moving liquids or solid contaminants may cause false touches or
Light transmission typically 92 % Dirt and water seal can be difficult
  Typically wide border
  Limited to 1 resolvable points

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