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What is a Digitizer on a Phone?

What is a Digitizer on a Phone?

A digitizer is a thin membrane that is placed over the LCD display of a touchscreen device, and does the job of recognizing the user's touch input. Take a look at a detailed explanation of a touchscreen digitizer given by Techspirited.
Vibhav Gaonkar
Flex Cable
Every digitizer has a cable that is connected to the motherboard or the main circuit board of the touchscreen device. The digitizer communicates with the motherboard via this cable.
The touchscreen technology has emerged quite recently into the mobile phone market, and has proved to be a game-changer in the segment. Today, almost each of us owns a mobile phone having a touchscreen; there would be quite a few who still use the alphanumeric keypad.

A digitizer is a very essential component of a touchscreen assembly. In case you crack your screen such that you can see a display, but touching the screen produces no response, it is a case of a dysfunctional digitizer. In cases like these, it is recommended that you take the mobile phone to the nearest service center of the respective manufacturer, and get the digitizer replaced.
What is a Digitizer on a Phone?
❖ A digitizer on a mobile device is mostly referred to the topmost surface of the device that receives the user's input via touch. A lot of people confuse the digitizer, sometimes called LCD digitizer, as the display or an LCD screen, which it isn't.

❖ The touchscreen assembly of a touch-enabled device is composed of two parts: (i) the LCD display, which does the job of producing visual output similar to a TV or a computer; (ii) the LCD digitizer, which is responsible for converting the user's touch input to digital signals.
Touch screen mobile teardowm
How Does a Digitizer Work?
❖ To understand the working of a digitizer, let's learn some basic information about the components of a touch-enabled mobile device.

❖ Any and every touchscreen device has certain main components which include a motherboard, a plastic or metal housing, an LCD screen, and a digitizer―all this powered by a battery. It also has certain secondary components such as the charging connector, earpiece, microphone, camera, headphone jack, and input buttons (lock, camera, volume).

❖ The motherboard and the touch assembly need to be taken into consideration when discussing the working of the digitizer. So, the whole process of a digitizer functioning begins by a touch. When a user touches the screen of the touchscreen phone, he/she actually transmits an analog signal.

❖ A digitizer has small, invisible electrostatic nodes spread in an equidistant manner across the screen. When the user touches the screen, one or more of these nodes are activated.

❖ These activated nodes represent a certain portion of the screen in terms of coordinates. The digitizer passes the information about the touch location to the motherboard via a small flex cable.

❖ The motherboard processes the received data, and from its memory of the currently displayed image on the LCD, activates the function specific to the location of the touch.

❖ For instance, if the user touches number five on the dial pad, which is located somewhere at the center, the digitizer would pass these coordinates to the motherboard, which would then process and activate the function of number five in reference to the dial pad screen. The resulting output would be displayed on the LCD, visible through the digitizer.

❖ The whole process takes less than a fraction of a second.
Cracked Digitizer
❖ A cracked digitizer is very irritating; however, it can be fixed without much trouble. A lot of people try replacing digitizers themselves which is strongly 'not recommended'. Although it looks pretty simple after reading a few do-it-yourself guides, it isn't.

❖ Some phones have a separate digitizer; however, some have it fastened with the LCD display. In the latter case, separating the cracked digitizer from the LCD could be very tricky in case you try it yourself; it can also damage the LCD and internal circuitry.

❖ In case you decide on doing it yourself, thinking of it as cheap and convenient, the chances are more that you'll end up doing more damage to your phone and worsen the problem. The ideal way to deal with a cracked digitizer is to visit the nearest service center and get your phone repaired, even if it costs a bit more than the DIY experiment.
TouchScreen Digitizer
There could be three possibilities of you reading this article―first - you are a geek and like to read about different aspects of developing technology, second - you have a cracked touchscreen, and are looking for information on your issue, or third - you're reading this article to increase your knowledge base. Whatever be the reason, we have tried to answer everything related to a digitizer.