You think smartphones are skinny now?

You think smartphones are skinny now?You might never have heard of Synaptics, but there's every chance the touchscreen phone in your pocket would be pretty useless without it.

The Californian company makes touchscreens, you see – or capacitive multi-touch interface solutions, as it prefers to call them. It's just announced its latest line of displays, the ClearPad Series 3 and Series 4, and says the technology at play should allow devices using them to be skinnier than ever before.

The key to that promise is Synaptics' success in merging the touchscreen layer and the display itself into a single pane, while the multitouch and display drivers are also bundled together.

The means a trimmed down package overall, and the promise of smaller than ever gadgets.

“Display-integrated touch is a whole new paradigm for touch sensor design, enabling our customers to deliver a thinner, higher-performing, multi-touch experience to the end user. ClearPad Series 3 and our new Series 4 solution are the only products on the market that can offer this” said Synaptics VP Kevin Barber. Yes, paradigm.

Still, with the touchscreen business set to more than treble in value to around $14 billion by 2016, no wonder he's excited.

Synaptics says it should be in position to start supplying its next-gen panels to manufacturers by mid-year, so we shouldn't have too long to wait for the next wave of slender smartphones to start gliding onto the shelves.

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