Energy Micro partners Mjolner Informatics to create high-end touch graphics solution for energy efficient MCU applications

February 13, 2013 // By Paul Buckley
Energy Micro has partnered with Mjolner Informatics to demonstrate a smartphone-like graphical user interface running on Energy Micro’s EFM32 Giant Gecko microcontroller.

The demonstration, developed using Mjolner's TouchGFX technology and featuring full touch control, will be demonstrated on Energy Micro's booth at Embedded World later this month. Mjolner will also present a paper in one of the conference sessions at this event to explain more about the features and benefits of TouchGFX for ARM Cortex-M3.

The control of products designed for markets such as home automation, medical and healthcare along with many other industrial applications often depends on a relatively low-cost microcontroller (MCU) platform with limited hardware resources. Increasingly these designs are for handheld, wearable or similar battery-powered devices that also demand a power-saving, low-energy solution. This is all at odds with the type of graphical user interface (GUI) we've become familiar with from our smartphones, e-readers and tablets, which normally requires a powerful and expensive high-end MCU based around a processor core such as the ARM9.

Mjolner's TouchGFX changes all that and provides a framework for developing sophisticated graphics with touch controls that can operate on MCUs such as Energy Micro's EFM32 Giant Gecko. An on-chip Direct Drive TFT peripheral provides unique features that reduce the Cortex-M3 load to close to 0% while running high frame rates on screens up to 3.5 inches.

Jørgen Mygind, from Mjolner Informatics, said, "Our TouchGFX framework minimizes the MCU load and memory footprint. The Giant Gecko microcontroller's unique TFT capabilities such as hardware alpha blending, in addition to the low-energy performance these MCUs are renowned for, enables us to provide smart graphics on ultra-low power platforms."

Andreas Koller, VP of Worldwide Sales at Energy Micro said, "We've all come to value simple and intuitive touch controls but previously these required MCU performance that could not be justified for most industrial applications. Now with TouchGFX we've shown what can be done using our EFM32 Cortex-M3 MCU, enabling leading-edge product designs that continue to provide our customers with low-cost, low-energy solutions."

Embedded World 2013 takes place in