Oslo, Norway: In a joint effort between Energy Micro and Pervasive Displays Inc. (PDI), and aided by Energy Micro’s Taiwanese partner Retronix, the companies crafted a reference design platform to help optimise e-paper display (EPD) designs. The project combines Energy Micro’s low-power MCUs with PDI’s EPDs.
Energy Micro feels its EFM32 Gecko range is a natural partner for EPD technology because both are defined by their minimal power consumption. By using the EFM32 series, says Andrea Marchi, Energy Micro’s VP of sales and marketing Asia Pacific, a single lithium battery can power a PDI display for several years in a typical application.
PDI’s EPDs for industrial and commercial applications require power only when updating the display, while the EFM32 Gecko series draws 180µA/MHz at 3V in active mode and down to 20nA at 3V in shut-off mode.
The EFM32 series also delivers the processing power needed to quickly refresh the EPD display. The “EPD-On SK2” reference design uses the standard EFM32 Gecko starter kit (STK) to handle waveform library functions and image transmission via a USB and UART bridge. It also drives the electrophoretic display’s chip-on-film controller, and displays the optimised result. A USB or CR2032 coin cell battery powers the complete reference design.