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

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

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.

Is a display design difficult

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:

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.


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