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Electronic Design

Graphics Controller Takes Aim At Embedded Applications

The MB86276 graphics display controller targets 2D applications in the U.S. like mid-range car navigation systems and entertainment products—similar to products now being designed into high-end vehicles in Japan and Europe. Developed by Fujitsu Microelectronics, it's a streamlined version of the company's previous MC86296 3D device.

Still, the MB86276 includes many of the MC86296's special features. These include dual display support, video capture, and multiple alpha-blending options. Also, a 16-bit Z buffer enables low-level 3D operations.

The chip incorporates the display controller, rendering engine, and video-input unit developed originally for the company's 3D version. It also features built-in alpha-blending, anti-aliasing, and chroma-keying capabilities, as well as an up/down video scaler (see the figure).

An optimized central processor interface allows more direct CPU connections. So, the 2D chip can be linked to a wide range of processors and controllers from various manufacturers. Additionally, all operating-system drivers developed for the 3D chips can be used with the 2D devices with only minimal modifications.

The MB86276's internal and memory frequency is 133 MHz. The base clock for display operates at 400.9 MHz. Display resolutions range from 320 by 240 to 1280 by 768 pixels. Six layers of overlay windows, all of which have a color depth of 8, 16, or 24 bits/pixel, can be used simultaneously. They also can be changed in size, position, and priority.

The maximum logical layer size is 4096 by 4096 pixels. Specific layers can be blended easily using the alpha map, which can be freely assigned to any of the six layers. The map also permits the assignment of 8 bits per pixel. Each pixel can be mixed to provide excellent control of transparency levels.

Applications for the 2D graphics controller include in-dash navigation and infotainment systems, heads-up displays, fish finders, marine navigation systems, medical instrumentation, and industrial automation systems.

The chip offers dual display support (two RDB666 output channels) in addition to a standard RGB digital output (three 8-bit channels). Able to use either low-cost SDRAM or higher-performance FCRAM at speeds of up to 133 MHz, the graphics interface can support buffer sizes of up to 64 Mbytes.

Prices for the MB86276 start at $12 each in lots of 100,000. The chip is housed in 256-contact BGA packages. Units are immediately available. Fujitsu Microelectronics Inc. graphic-display

TAGS: Components
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