FTDI Chip unveils high resolution EVE devices

Feb. 24, 2015

FTDI Chip’s Embedded Video Engine (EVE) portfolio for advanced human machine interface (HMI) implementation has been further strengthened with the introduction of four new ICs in the FT81xQ Series. These new EVE devices support higher maximum screen resolutions than previously possible—increasing from the 512×512 pixels of the company’s FT800Q/801Q to 800×600 pixels, in order to address larger displays (7-inch and above) used in point-of-sales units, information kiosks, and so on.

The FT810Q has 18-bit RGB interfacing and resistive touch functionality, while the FT811Q has 18-bit RGB interfacing and is designed for capacitive touchscreen implementation (with provision for 5-point touch detection). These are complemented by the FT812Q and FT813Q for use, respectively, with resistive and capacitive touchscreens, but each with 24-bit RGB.

As a direct result of algorithm enhancements, the devices in the FT81xQ Series have much smoother video playback. Furthermore, screen rotation through 90° is easier to achieve, permitting both landscape and portrait orientations—a clear benefit when these ICs are utilized in handheld designs. The memory capacity has also been increased from 256 kB up to 1 MB, and a quad SPI interface accelerates data transfer rates. Multiple palettes are supported, covering 16-bit and 32-bit colors with transparency. Extra-large ROM fonts have also been added so that there is greater scope when it comes to using different text options.

These features result in major performance improvements, with JPEG loading being 500 to 1,000 times faster than previously possible and the ability to draw up to 16 pixels within every clock cycle (compared with four for the FT800/801 offering). Firmware memory operations (such as copy, fill and CRC) are two to four times faster due to the tuned inner loops that have been utilized, while the CMD SNAPSHOT function is now hundreds of times faster. An analog pin allows the input of external audio, temperature, or light sensor data (allowing the system to benefit from voice inputs, light adjustment, etc.). These devices are, to a high degree, code compatible with the previous generation of resistive (FT800) and capacitive (FT801) EVE ICs.

“It is now two years since the first EVE devices were introduced to the market, and in that time we have seen considerable buy-in to the concept, due to the simplified HMI system architecture that EVE enables. Now with these latest additions to the offering we are giving engineers higher resolution, greater color depth, larger memory capacity, and audio input, so that they can construct HMIs that have a much higher degree of sophistication and enhance the overall user experience,” explaind Fred Dart, CEO and founder of FTDI Chip.

FTDI Chip’s EVE technology allows display, audio, and touch functionality to be incorporated into a single IC. It takes an unconventional approach to HMI implementation, whereby images, overlays, fonts, bitmap images, templates, beeps, and chirps are treated as objects. Acting as a companion chip to the system microcontroller, an EVE device will significantly simplify the implementation process, so that graphics are rendered line-by-line at 1/16th pixel resolution, rather than pixel-by-pixel, with the upshot that there is no longer a requirement for large flash memories, frame buffers, or high-performance microcontrollers. Furthermore, the inclusion of both audio and touch control functionality dispenses with the need for separate controllers for each. Thanks to the combination of its object-oriented approach and high level of integration, EVE enables the development time, bill of materials cost, and board space that are normally associated with HMI implementation to all be reduced.

The FT810Q and FT811Q are both supplied in 48-pin VQFN packages, while the FT812Q and FT813Q come in 56-pin VQFN packages.


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