8-wire resistive touchscreen devices have become a popular alternative to traditional 4- and 5-wire devices. They use the same pressure-based sensing method to detect a user’s touch commands. However, their are nuances regarding their functionality and features. Whether you’re looking to buy a single touchscreen device or hundreds, you should consider 8-wire models.

8-Wire Touchscreens Explained

8-wire touchscreen devices are a step up from their 4-wire counterpart. As explained in a previous blog post, 4-wire touchscreens feature two layers, one of which contains electrodes in a Y formation while the other layer contains electrodes in an X formation. In other words, the two layers feature vertical and horizontal electrodes that create a grid. And 4-wire touchscreens work by measuring the voltage of the opposite layer.

4-, 5- and 8-wire touchscreens all use resistive technology to detect touch commands. Unlike capacitive devices, they don’t rely on changes in an electrostatic field to detect commands. They still use electricity, but essentially they rely on pressure to detect commands. With the aforementioned 4-wire touchscreens, for example, touching the display interface causes the top layer to press against the bottom layer. In turn, the voltage applied to these layers decreases, which an embedded controller detects and registers as a touch command.

So, how does an 8-wire touchscreen work exactly? They are designed in a similar way as 4-wire touchscreens, except 8-wire devices feature two extra traces splitting each axis. You can check out the image above for an overview of the design. Basically, though, they are 4-wire touchscreens with an extra pair of conductive traces on each axes.

Benefits of 8-Wire Resistive Touchscreens

There are several reasons to choose 8-wire touchscreens instead of other touchscreen devices. For starters, they are more accurate than than 4-wire counterpart. With two additional traces, 8-wire touchscreens can easily detect the precise location of touch commands, making them ideal for applications in which precision is critically important.

Additionally, 8-wire touchscreens are highly stable. With more conductive tracers than 4- and 5-wire touchscreens, they are less likely to experience phantom touch commands or other stability problems.

8-wire resistive touchscreens also work with a stylus. Capacitive touch-sensing technology is used in countless smartphones, tablets and other touchscreen devices. But unlike resistive technology, including that powering 8-wire touchscreens, capacitive doesn’t support the use of a stylus.

To recap, 8-wire touchscreens are essentially 4-wire touchscreens with an additional pair of conductive tracers on each axis. While still relatively new, they are gaining popularity for their superior accuracy, stability and stylus support.