Is a display design difficult? Leave it to „Eve“!

FTDI introduces on the market technology EVE - complete graphic solution suitable also for slower microcontrollers.

This is an archive article published 09/05/2013. Some information may no longer be up to date and in line with the current state. Please contact us in case of interest.

Paraphrase with the woman´s name is very near to a name of a new technology of display control - EVE - embedded video engine. Company FTDI as a well known producer of USB solutions with a slogan USB-made-easy, decided to bring this philosophy even to a field of graphic solutions. The first representative of a new family is the FT800 graphic chip, containing all necessary to create a powerful graphic output. Perhaps the biggest advantage of this solution is, that „EVE“ puts only minimal requirements on the speed (and resources) of a Host processor, that´s it can cooperate even with smaller „low-end“ microcontrollers (Atmega, PIC, 8051,....) with a very small power consumption.

The essence of small requirements for a Host processor resides in a fact, that FT800 contains al functional blocks necessary for graphic operations and control of the display itself like:



Is a display design difficult? Leave it to „Eve“!
● graphic controller with a clock (timing) generator

● touch panel controller

● frame buffer

● memory (registers, ROM, RAM)

● graphic processor and co-processor

● MCU interface (I2C, SPI) and other blocks.

Moreover FT800 also contains an audio module (synthesizer and a DSP sound processor with DAC) thus FT800 also provides a sound output (mono).

Besides a significant simplification of a graphic output is the idea of „EVE“ also based on a fact, that it has to enable a cheap production of a graphic output for a target device. According to an example from FTDI (displayed on an attached picture), it´s possible to simply build a powerful „display“ for the price of under 19 USD (at a volume production). At the same time this solution lowers requirement for a count of components (BOM) and also for a PCB space. Graphic capabilities of a new chip are really impressive as it features even such properties like anti-aliasing (subjectively sharper image even on a low resolution display), alpha blending (shading, 3D,...) and built-in complex pre-defined shapes and tools. All programming of FT800 is object-oriented, so for example drawing of a simple bargraph takes only 5 commands. To create a graphic user interface (GUI), the user initializes an object memory (up to do 256 kB) and then controls specified objects and their attributes. The result is the above-mentioned low load on a Host processor.

Only a brief description of all technical features would take a few pages, that´s why we rather recommend you to look at the attached video, FTDI EVE presentation, and to study FT800 datasheet. Further information will provide you documents FT800_Programmer_guide, AN_240_FT800_From_the_Ground_Up and AN_252_FT800_Audio_Primer. For a development support, there are also available various evaluation boards of the VM800 series. Guide price of the FT800 is 2,75 USD (100 000 pcs).

For a detailed information about prices, availability and further support, please contact us at info@soselectronic.com.

Is a display design difficult? Leave it to „Eve“!














Videos

New object-oriented graphic platform for an easy-to-integrate display solutions

Advantages/ Features:

  • powerful graphic chip „3in1“ with a 6-bit output (RGB-6,6,6)
  • including Audio and Touch controller (4-wire)
  • enables to create an affordable graphic output with minimal requirements for a Host processor
  • suitable also for slower microcontrollers like AtMega328, PIC, 8051,...
  • simply applicable, object-oriented architecture
  • built-in complex shapes and tools
  • WQVGA (480x272) and QVGA (320x240) output
  • SPI and I2C for a system Host
  • Anti-Aliasing, Alpha blending and masking algorithms
  • doesn´t need a costly RAM for a frame buffer
  • colour dither - 8-bit computing for a better appearance of half-tones
  • programmable timing for various displays
  • mono audio out PWM, 64-voice synthesizer
  • audio wave playback, 8-bit linear PCM
  • 1,8-3,3V, 35 mA Active, 25uA Sleep
  • -40 to +85°C
  • 48 pin QFN

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Get the VM800 evaluation board for free!

Competition with the following question has been published here:

What does the „EVE“ abbreviation mean?

The correct answer was: Embedded Video Engine
We have drawn the following winners:
Jiří Leták [CZ]
Congratulations to winners. We´ll inform them by e-mail.

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