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Triscend Introduces Graphic Lcd Design
Triscend, a provider of Configurable System-on-Chip (CSoC) devices, has announced that for the first time, designers have access to an 8-bit microcontroller with a graphic LCD driver built-in. Based on the 8051-powered E5 CSoC, the new Graphic LCD Development Kit from Triscend provides a one-stop hardware and software solution for rapid monochrome or color display system development.
As embedded applications include more functionality, the challenge is making these functions accessible to the end user in a meaningful way. The increasingly popular approach is to use a graphic LCD display, which is becoming very attractive in a variety of application markets. Stanford Resources, a leading market and technology research firm specializing in the electronic display industry, reports that the North American market for small size (2.x" - 4.x") passive LCD displays will exceed $500 million in 2004.
"Designing a graphic LCD panel into a system can be a serious headache -- there's a long list of hardware and software components coming together -- panels, microcontrollers, display controllers and graphics software. Unfortunately, no component vendor provides the documentation and firmware routines needed to connect everything and turn it into a working system," said Geir Kjosavik, Product Marketing Manager at Triscend. "Triscend's Graphic LCD Development Kit contains all the hardware, software and documentation needed to put a graphic display design together and make it work in a short time. When our customers realize that our integrated chip solution also reduces their component cost, going with Triscend is a no-brainer."
The Graphic LCD Development Kit overcomes the difficulties in handling complex LCD panel specifications and the divergence in timing parameters and electrical connections. This E5-based approach offers a cost saving alternative to a dedicated LCD controller and a flexible replacement for CPU and controller combinations, and it supports displays with up to 256 colors and QVGA resolution (320 x 240 pixels)
"Triscend's graphic LCD solution makes it much easier to produce a hand-held device," said Joe Maurer, LCD Marketing Manager at Kyocera. "The control interface to our small color panels is all worked out and the LCD control function itself is completely integrated. The applications are limitless."
Residing in the E5's embedded programmable logic, a royalty-free graphics controller IP module is parameterizable to drive any single scan passive LCD display panel. The module uses very little programmable logic, meaning it will fit in a TE502, the smallest device in the E5 CSoC family. The module is 100% autonomous and leaves the CPU and bus with full capacity to control the rest of the application. Also included, a graphics software toolbox comes complete with text and graphics routines written in C to reduce graphics software development time. The IP module and the graphics software toolbox are included with Triscend FastChip software.
The Graphic LCD Development Kit contains the Graphic LCD Interface Board that is designed for use with the Triscend E5 Development Board. The Graphic LCD Interface Board provides standard connectors for interfacing with popular Kyocera, Samsung, and Seiko panels and a 40-pin universal adapter to accommodate panels from all other vendors. An on-board bias voltage generator caters to the multiple signal level requirements. An application note, a tutorial and sample code, and a panel timing calculator complement the Interface Board and will be downloadable from the Triscend website. The application note explains IP module use and operation via Triscend's FastChip software, the tutorial and sample code illustrate a working example project, and the panel timing calculator identifies key display metrics for interfacing with non-default graphic LCD panels. The Graphic LCD Development Kit is priced at US$198, and can be ordered from Triscend's distributors worldwide.