Gameduino exploits FTDI Chip’s FT800 graphic controller

October 09, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
FTDI Chip has disclosed that its FT800 Embedded Video Engine (EVE) is a key component in a Kickstarter project - the Gameduino2 game adaptor shield from Excamera.

In 2011, the Kickstarter-funded Gameduino made major industry impact by successfully bringing vintage gaming to the popular Arduino platform. Now, with the introduction of Gameduino 2, users will be able to transform their Arduino units into modern handheld gaming systems that feature touch control, 3-axis accelerometers, headphone audio outputs and microSD data storage for game assets. In addition, they will benefit from the shield’s support of next generation graphics via its built-in 4.3-inch display.

The Gameduino 2's graphical capacity, which stems from FTDI Chip’s highly-integrated FT800 IC, is much greater than that of its predecessor; its OpenGL-style command set makes programming far simpler to carry out. It can load JPEGs, support alpha transparency and has a full 32-bit colour pipeline.

Incorporating a 4-wire touch controller and a single channel audio controller that allows MIDI-like sound quality, the FT800 EVE graphic controller employs an object-oriented approach (where objects are images, fonts, specific sounds, templates, overlays, etc.). This renders images in a line by line fashion with 1/16th of a pixel resolution, while still maintaining high-quality graphical representation. It means that system designs based on it are more streamlined - requiring fewer supporting components, less board space, a lower power budget and shorter development times.

“With the EVE concept FTDI Chip is looking to change the way in which people interact with everyday technology, by providing the display, audio and touch functionality needed to create innovative new products, while simultaneously being very cost effective and not placing heavy demands on the developers.” states Fred Dart, CEO and Founder of FTDI Chip. “Gameduino 2 is a prime example of what can be achieved.”

Gameduino 2;

FTDI Chip;