What Is a Touchscreen Digitizer?

Sep 11, 2019

The advent of touchscreen technology has revolutionized the way in which we control computers, smartphones and other devices. No longer are we required to use mechanical keyboards and peripherals. With touchscreen technology, we can now control them through physical contact. While touchscreen devices contain a variety of components to achieve this goal, a component that’s frequently overlooked is a digitizer.

Overview of Touchscreen Digitizers

In touchscreen devices, the digitizer is a layer of glass that’s designed to convert analog touch comments into digital signals. Both capacitive and resistive touchscreen devices have a digitizer. It’s essentially a glass layer that’s placed over the device’s liquid-crystal display (LCD) layer. The digitizer’s primary purpose is to convert the analog signals from your touch commands into digital signals that they device can read.

To better understand how a digitizer works, you should familiarize yourself with the basic design of touchscreen devices. Capacitive touchscreens have a layer of glass on top, which is basically the digitizer. Below this glass layer is an LCD layer. The digitizer connects to the LCD using a flex cable, and the flex cable is able to transmit the converted digital signals to the LCD.

What Happens If the Digitizer Breaks?

You might be wondering whether or not you can continue to use a touchscreen device with a physically broken digitizer. Being that digitizers are made of glass, they aren’t immune to damage. Like other glass objects, they can crack or otherwise break when exposed to stress. If a touchscreen device’s digitizer breaks, it may affect the device’s functionality.

As previously mentioned, the digitizer is responsible for converting analog signals into digital signals. If it breaks, it won’t be able to perform this conversion process. When you attempt to tap or touch an icon, the touchscreen device may fail to respond with the appropriate action.

Do All Touchscreen Devices Have a Digitizer?

Although there are exceptions, most touchscreen devices have a digitizer. Without this otherwise essential component, you wouldn’t be able to control the device’s display using touch commands.

Touch commands are nothing more than analog signals created through contact with a finger or stylus. These signals are converted into digital signals by the digitizer. Once converted, the analog signals are transmitted to the LCD, thereby changing what’s displayed on the device’s display interface.

To recap, a digitizer is a layer of glass that’s designed to convert analog signals into digital signals, and it’s connected to an LCD by a flex cable.

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