Development modules for intelligent display systems

September 04, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Adding further dimensions to its EVE graphic control concept, FTDI Chip, says it can enable quicker and easier implementation of next-generation HMIs, with fast configuration and programming via an object-oriented and library-based support offering.

VM800C is a family of credit card sized (85.6 x 54.1 mm) development modules, and VM800B is a cased version of this module in a fitted, plastic bezel. The range comprises 11 specific part types in total, all based on the company’s Embedded Video Engine (EVE) platform - which provides display, audio and touch capabilities on a single chip.

EVE, which was introduced in February 2013, has the goal of changing the way engineers create human machine interfaces (HMIs) on QVGA and WQVGA based TFT displays. Thanks to a unique object-oriented approach, it allows more advanced HMIs to be realised across a broad spectrum of application areas - with display, audio and touch functionality all being included. Furthermore, it manages to do this while minimising the bill of materials costs, lowering the PCB space required and shortening the development process normally associated with such implementations.

The VM800C module, which uses a highly integrated FT800 EVE graphical controller IC, is offered with a choice of 3.5-, 4.3-, or 5-in. format LCDs. A 4-wire resistive touch screen is integrated onto the specified LCD. The module also supports mono audio output with an on-board audio power amplifier and a micro speaker both included. It can be powered at 3.3V or 5V through either a 2.1 mm power jack, a SPI master connector or via its USB Micro-B port. The module has a standard SPI interface so that the any microcontroller with this commonly used IO can be easily connected with EVE technology. Similar in functionality to the VM800C, the VM800B systems are offered with the same screen size options. The primary difference is that the display and PCB are designed to securely fit into a plastic bezel encasement, with easy access to power and interface ports. It is offered in either a black or pearl finish.

“This streamlined and cost-effective methodology for implementing HMIs is proving attractive for many reasons. Specifically, it is