FTDI Chip launches development modules for intelligent display systems

FTDI Chip has released the VM800C – a family of credit card sized (85.6mm x 54.1mm) development module, and the VM800B – an encased version of this module in a fitted, plastic bezel. The portfolio is comprised of 11 specific part types in total, all based on the company’s Embedded Video Engine (EVE) platform – which provides display, audio and touch capabilities on a single chip.

EVE, which was unveiled in February 2013, is intended to change the way engineers create human machine interfaces (HMIs) on QVGA and WQVGA based TFT displays. Thanks to its object-oriented approach, it allows more advanced HMIs to be realised across a broad spectrum of application areas – with display, audio and touch functionality all being included. Furthermore, it manages to do this while minimising the bill of materials costs, lowering the PCB space required and shortening the development process normally associated with such implementations.

The VM800C module, which utilises a highly integrated FT800 EVE graphical controller IC, is offered with a choice of 3.5”, 4.3”, or 5” format LCDs. A 4-wire resistive touch screen is integrated onto the specified LCD. The module also supports mono audio output with an on-board audio power amplifier and a micro speaker both included. It can be powered at 3.3V or 5V through either a 2.1mm power jack, a SPI master connector or via its USB Micro-B port.

The module has a standard SPI interface so that the any microcontroller with this commonly used IO can be easily connected with EVE technology. Similar in functionality to the VM800C, the VM800B systems are offered with the same screen size options. The primary difference is that the display and PCB are designed to securely fit into a plastic bezel encasement, with easy access to power and interface ports. It is offered in either a black or pearl finish.

“The response we have had to EVE from the electronics design community has been very encouraging. This streamlined and cost-effective methodology for implementing HMIs is proving attractive for many reasons. Specifically, it is delivering solutions with lower component count, less board real estate, reduced engineering resources and shorter development times. In a fast moving, highly competitive marketplace, these benefits can give OEMs the edge,” commented Fred Dart, CEO of FTDI Chip. “The VM800C and VM800B systems mean engineers can rapidly get their HMI implementations up and running. With this, as well as the various software tools that can now be used with EVE, we are building up a comprehensive ecosystem.”


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