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QVGA TFT direct drive cuts down costs

Posted: 17 Aug 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:TFT direct drive? microcontroller? MCU?

QVGA TFT direct drive

Renesas Technology Europe has released an ultralow-cost QVGA TFT direct drive solution based on the R32C/111 32bit CISC microcontroller, which is part of the company's M16C MCU platform. The solution uses an R32C/111 StarterKit and a TFT-add-on-board developed by Segger, who recently became a Renesas Platinum Alliance Partner.

Offering a large embedded RAM and flash as well as the standard peripherals, using the R32C MCU for the QVGA drive means there is no need for any additional external components, such as a display driver or external memory components. This keeps the total solution cost to a minimum. To scale peripheral, performance and RAM usage, the solution provides four different color modes: Monochrome, 4 greyscale, 8 greyscale and 8 color.

The R32C/11x group has a maximum operating frequency of 50MHz, which in combination with the enhanced CPU core architecture, delivers an overall processing performance of 42 DMIPS executing code from embedded flash at zero wait. It also incorporates an on-chip 32bit multiplier, single-precision floating-point unit and 32bit enhanced barrel shifter for dramatically improved operation processing performance.

The R32C/11x group includes a variety of on-chip peripheral functions, including high-functionality timers and four DMA controller channels, as well as 16ch for PWM generation and measurement. Additional features include nine free scalable USART, 26 channels of 10bit A/D converter, two 8bit DAC channels and a CRC calculation circuit to reliability.

"TFT displays are becoming ever more popular, and a full color depth solution is not mandatory for all application fields. The R32C solution is ideal for applications requiring an optimum balance between cost effectiveness and color depth", said Bernd Westhoff, product marketing manager of the Renesas Technology Europe CID BU. "We believe that this concept is the smartest lowest cost solution in the market for providing an R32C-based eight color TFT user interface and is therefore an excellent addition to Renesas' Graphical Human Machine Interface Solutions product portfolio based on R32C, H8S and SH products."

Typical applications for this smart solution include the EPOS market, HVAC, energy and security panels and a broad range of industrial equipment, where external memory requirements make a 16bit color depth TFT solution too expensive.

The combination of Segger's GUI "emWin" and RTOS "embOS" with the hardware from Renesas is the perfect foundation for the development of an embedded product with QVGA-display-system. Both middleware products follow Segger's strict and efficient coding and documentation standards. These standards result in the very small emWin and embOS memory footprints as well as high execution speed and easily readable code. For easy implementation, Segger offers board support packages for embOS and emWin optimized for use with the R32C/11x group and TFT-add-on-board, as well as a complete trial package.

"The combination of the R32C/11x group, the TFT-add-on-board and our middleware emWin and embOS offer a very powerful solution for QVGA-display-systems. Even without a dedicated display controller this combination matches the performance of controller-based solutions," says Rolf Segger, founder and CTO of Segger.

The R32C/11x group comes in 64-, 80-, 100- and 144-pin packages scalable with on-chip flash memory from 128Kbyte to 1Mbyte and RAM memory from 32Kbyte to 63Kbyte.

The QVGA TFT direct drive demo set is available now. Interested parties should contact Renesas' sales office or Segger directly.

- Henri Arnold
EE Times Europe

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