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MCU maximizes e-paper performance, boost energy-efficiency

Posted: 16 Dec 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:e-paper? 16-bit microcontroller? chip-on-flex?

Seiko Epson Corp has just announced that it is shipping samples of the S1C17F57, a 16-bit microcontroller with a built-in driver optimized for small- and medium-sized segmented electronic paper displays (e-paper displays or EPDs)such as E-Ink SURF. The company plans to begin volume shipments in March 2011, with monthly production of one million units. Likewise, Epson has also announced the shipment of S1D14F50 series of energy-efficient driver ICs capable of wringing the maximum performance from segmented EPDs.

With the S1C17F57, Epson offers a microcontroller with standard functions such as memory (ROM and RAM), timers, and serial interfaces. The chip also includes embedded features such as a real-time clock, theoretical regulation, a high performance segmented EPD driver, and a temperature sensor. As a result, the device does not simply drive the display, but also corrects temperature effects that may potentially distort the display image thus maximizing the characteristics of an e-paper display. Additionally, using Epson's energy efficient technologies, these chips also permit low power draw (120 nA in Sleep mode). These can be shipped as bare die of 200-microns thick, making it suitable for applications in smart cards and other small mobile devices which demand long battery life and thin form factors.

Furthermore, Epson has jointly developed with Citizen Seimitsu, an integrated e-paper display module that includes the S1C17F57. This chip-on-flex (COF) module has an attached an e-paper display which makes it easy for manufacturers to design e-paper products.

Finally, Epson has also begun shipment of low-power driver ICs, called the S1D14F50 series. Drawing just 100 nA of power in Deep Standby mode, these driver ICs can expand the segment display domain when merged with the S1C17F57. Since display circuitry optimized for driving EPDs is built-in, outstanding performance is also exhibited even when used as a standalone driver IC.

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