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FTDI video engine eliminates frame buffer, cuts costs

Posted: 30 May 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:video engine? display controller? touch screen? graphics engine? frame buffer?

Future Technology Devices Int. Ltd (FTDI), better known for its USB controllers and bridges, is entering the display controller segment with a soon-to-be-launched chip, the FT800. The FT800 is part of their Embedded Video Engine (EVE) series, fondly called "Eve" by Gordon Lunn, FTDI's customer engineering support manager.

The chip will enable designers to generate graphics for WQVGA (480-by-272 pixels) and QVGA (320-by-240 pixels) with functional support for 512-by-512 pixel displays. The FT800's colour dithering allows calculation of 8bit colour despite providing pins for 6bit colour. The IC also supports resistive touch screen stimulus with median filtering and touch force sensing to adjust the screen's sensitivity, and offers audio output (64-voice polyphonic synthesiser and pre-recorded sounds).

FT800 architecture

Figure 1: The EVE architecture offers in-built touch control and audio, enabling an implementation with reduced component count and cost (see figure 2).

So what's unique about this product? Lunn told me that it's significant cost reductions and compared a typical display system with one enabled by the FTDI product (see block diagrams next page).

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