Broadline technical distributor Future Electronics has announced that it is making the latest capacitive sensing evaluation kit from Cypress Semiconductor available free to design engineers on its ‘My Board Club’ website.

The CY3280-MBR3 CapSense MBR3 Evaluation Kit helps designers to evaluate the third generation of Cypress Semiconductor’s capacitive-sensing technology. It can be used to develop CapSense button designs, and to implement proximity sensing.

The CapSense MBR3 devices are register-configurable, and require no firmware development on the part of the system designer. The devices and the kit use the EZ-Click software tool to configure capacitive sensing features.

The CapSense MBR3 solution also supports Cypress’s SmartSense Auto-tuning technology, which reduces design effort by eliminating manual tuning for variations in PCB, overlay, paint and manufacturing. The kit can be used to evaluate the advantages of SmartSense Auto-tuning.

The kit also demonstrates the water tolerance of the CapSense MBR3 devices. The MBR3 ICs retain CapSense functionality in the presence of water droplets, streaming water and mist. Included in each MBR3 Evaluation Kit is a dropper for users to place water on the plastic overlays, enabling them to evaluate the water tolerance of the MBR3 device.

The kit’s board also includes a proximity loop which can detect the presence of a finger or hand up to 30cm away.

The kit works as a stand-alone unit and as an Arduino-compatible shield. It can be used to add a capacitive-button user interface to Arduino projects. Arduino-based example projects for the kit are available at

The new MBR3 kit is available to members of the FTM Board Club, a website provided by Future Electronics (EMEA) to offer OEM engineers access to free evaluation, development and prototyping boards. Any OEM engineer starting development of a new or substantially enhanced product design may apply for a free development board at the FTM Board Club.

Stephen Carr, vice-president (technical and vertical) of Future Electronics, said: ‘The new CapSense MBR3 evaluation kit is a brilliant tool for prototyping and developing capacitive sensing products. I’m delighted that it is now available free from Future Electronics, which has many years of experience of supporting engineers with their touch-sensing designs.’