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This article is about the touchpad manufacturer. For other uses, see Synaptic (disambiguation).
Industry Computer hardware
Founded California (1986)
Headquarters San Jose, California, USA
Key people
Federico Faggin, Co-founder
Carver Mead, Co-founder
Rick Bergman, CEO
Kathleen Bayless, CFO
Products TouchPad
Synaptics Scrybe
Revenue Increase $947.5 million USD (2014) [1]
Increase $72.5 million USD (2014) [2]
Increase $46.7 million USD (2014) [3]
Number of employees
1,100 (2014)[4]

Synaptics develops human interface solutions for consumer electronics companies, such as Acer, Apple Inc., Asus, Dell, Gateway, HP, HTC, Lenovo, LG, Logitech, Nokia, Samsung, Sony, Sony Ericsson, and Toshiba. The products include touchpads and touchscreens for devices including notebook PCs, PC peripherals, mobile phones, digital music players, and remote controls.[5]


Synaptics was founded as a neural network research company in 1986 by Kevin J. Kinsella, Gary Lynch, Lauren Yazolino, Federico Faggin (co-inventor of the microprocessor) and Carver Mead (VLSI pioneer). The company began to apply semiconductor hardware design techniques to a computing technology known as neural networks.[6]

The company started shipping commercial products in 1995, with its flagship TouchPad interface for notebook PCs. The TouchPad is a touch-sensitive pad for notebooks or keyboards that senses the position of a user’s finger(s) on the surface to provide screen navigation, cursor movement, application control, and a platform for interactive input.

Synaptics went public in 2002 and is currently listed on the NASDAQ exchange. The IPO of 5 million common stock shares at a price of $11.00 per share received a 57% return at the close of Q1 2002.[7]

On November 7, 2013, Synaptics completed its acquisition of Validity Sensors, a fingerprint sensor vendor based in San Jose, CA.[8]

On June 10, 2014, Synaptics announced their acquisition of Renesas SP Drivers Inc., a Japanese company that specializes in chips that manage LCD displays. Synaptics purchased Renesas SP for approximately JPY48.5B ($475 million) for 100% of the company.[9]


Synaptics products are based on capacitive sensing technology, as opposed to resistive touchscreen technologies. Capacitive touch sensing works by sensing the electrical properties of the finger(s) touching the sensor; a resistive touchscreen senses direct pressure between two clear electrical layers that are separated by a small space, requiring an amount of force.[10] Capacitive touch sensing solutions are solid state, making them more robust than resistive solutions.


A touchpad is integrated into the majority of today's notebook computers. Synaptics' share for touchpads in the notebook PC market is in the 65-70% range.[11]

Some of Synaptics' products are listed below:

  • ClickPad – The ClickPad allows users to press down on the TouchPad itself to perform a left or right click.[12]
  • ClearPad – The ClearPad was the world's first clear capacitive touchscreen sensor for mobile devices. LG Electronics was the first to offer a mobile phone with this sensor with the LG Prada (KE850) in December 2006.[13]
  • Gesture Suite (SGS) – SGS provides Synaptics TouchPad users a variety of gestures for cursor commands, available for Windows. One feature of the Suite is the Scrybe gesture workflows, announced in January 2010. Users launch the gesture window by tapping three fingers on the touchpad. The user can then trace a question mark gesture directly on the touchpad to open the browser, or draw an “@” sign to open a predefined email application. Or, instead of having to cut and paste text from a document into a browser-based search engine box, users can simply highlight the term and draw a question mark with their finger to trigger an automatic web search on the query.[14]


  1. ^ "Revenue for Synaptics (SYNA)". 2014-07-31. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  2. ^ "Revenue for Synaptics (SYNA)". 2014-07-31. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  3. ^ "Revenue for Synaptics (SYNA)". 2014-07-31. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  4. ^ "Synaptics CEO Urges Staffers to Pounce on Opportunity". 2014-02-07. Retrieved 2014-08-07. 
  5. ^ "Synaptics Annual Report;— Shareholder". 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  6. ^ Markoff, John (1994-10-24). "Pad to Replace Computer Mouse Is Set for Debut — The New York Times". Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  7. ^ "Hoover's Quarterly IPO Analysis Now Available On Hoover's IPO Central — Hoovers Online". 2002-04-01. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  8. ^ "Synaptics Closes Acquisition of Validity Sensors". 2013-11-08. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  9. ^ "Synaptics Accelerates Mobile Display Leadership with Acquisition of Renesas SP Drivers". 2014-06-10. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  10. ^ "Capacitive Touch   — Phone Scoop". 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  11. ^ "UPDATE 2-Synaptics Q3 beats, sees strong Q4 profit — Reuters". 2010-04-22. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  12. ^ "Synaptics intros ClickEQ, multi-finger TouchPad-IS trackpad solutions — Engadget". 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-06-10. 
  13. ^ "LG Prada KE850 Touch Screen Phone officially launches  — UnwiredView". 2007-01-18. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  14. ^ "Synaptics Scrybe TouchPad software set to revolutionise PC interaction — Pocket-Lint". 2010-01-04. Retrieved 2010-06-09. 

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