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FTDI announces EVE, Embedded Video Engine chip

Posted on Sunday, March 3rd, 2013 in components, News by the machinegeek

eve_block
FTDI has announced the introduction of the FT800, Embedded Video Engine (EVE).

FTDI Chip is redefining the cost and quality paradigm for graphic user interface (GUI) development with the introduction of the FT800, Embedded Video Engine (EVE). With 3 in 1 functionality including display, audio, and touch operations, engineers now have an advanced solution to easily create and output state-of-the-art interactive display systems. Targeted at QVGA and WQVGA TFT display panels, EVE’s object orientated approach eliminates the traditional frame buffer memory as it renders an image, on a line by line basis, to 1/16th pixel resolution.Simply, initialize the object memory, then control the objects and their attributes by creating and manipulating a small display list buffer, which can be done even with a low-end 8-bit CPU. The embedded audio controller allows midi-like sounds or PCM audio playback. Packaged in a space-saving 48LD QFN package, the FT800 comes preloaded with a useful set of fonts and sounds in ROM, making it suitable for many applications.

Further information can be found in FTDI’s product brochure or on their website.

They anticipate mass market release later in 2013.

Drone via the contact form.

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8 Responses to “FTDI announces EVE, Embedded Video Engine chip”

  1. Chuckt says:

    There isn’t a datasheet yet and we’ll see but I’m guessing there isn’t an available frame buffer from the outside.

  2. For similar devices, also see 4D systems and MMC Electronics –

    http://www.4dsystems.com.au/
    http://www.mmselectronics.co.uk/lcdedip.htm
    http://hackaday.com/2013/01/04/touchscreen-control-for-a-reprap/

    (last one is a control for a reprap which uses one of 4D systems’ displays)

  3. Chuckt says:

    Currently, in order to have video, people are thinking about using the Raspberry Pi, FPGA, the EVE chip, the 4D system board or something else. There is an Arm device that has a GPU built in.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allwinner_A1X

    The Allwinner A1X, known under Linux as sunxi, is a family of single-core SoC devices designed by Allwinner Technology from Zhuhai, China. Currently the family consists of the A10,[1] A13,[2] A10s[3] and A12. The SoCs incorporate the ARM Cortex-A8 as its main processor[4] and the Mali 400 as the GPU.

    The video formats include:

    Quote:
    Multi-channel HD displays
    Built-in HDMI
    YPbPr, CVBS, VGA
    LCD interfaces: CPU, RGB, LVDS up to Full 1080P HDTV

    -Wikipedia

    • magetoo says:

      A full-on ARM SOC is probably not something that FTDI intends to compete with with this family though; I guess the target market is probably those who would want to add a display to existing (low-end) projects?

      There seems to be quite a few Cortex-Mx chips with LCD interfaces too. But then you would still have to write all the GUI code and poke at the frame buffer yourself, presumably..

    • Avishay says:

      Most of the boards using those chips don’t expose the LCD interface directly.
      Anyway, the FTDI chip looks interesting, but it will be worthless if not coupled with a good GUI design tool.

      • Bruce Boyes says:

        There is a “Visual TFT” tool for $89 http://www.mikroe.com/visualtft/ which I have not used.
        FT800/EVE is interesting to attach to a low end controller like AVR with few signal lines and also at a remote distance (at least a foot or two) from the controller. We have a kiosk app where we may want to use a local small TFT or OLED in 12 places per unit. So cost matters. We have a smallish AVR there now in either all 12 places or clumping 3 together into one of four AVRs. We don’t want to add $5 or $20 x 24 if we can avoid it. And the local AVR doesn’t want to hold the display buffer or push pixels around. Is EVE a solution? Maybe.

        The other piece needed is a “generic” C library for Arduino or whatever with source code. MikroElektronika doesn’t advertise that their source code is available. Their free library is available as a “package” for their own compilers.

        I have not investigated further: has anyone else?

  4. I agree with Bruce Boyes, sounds like a great chip, it now just needs a more open software platform. At first glance, the program/library provided by MikroElektronika seems rather closed, and seems to limit you to using it only with their own compilers.

    This thing needs an open source, GitHub/BitBucket hosted GUI design/C library code repo that is compatible with at least GCC and possibly Clang. C++ support could be a neat feature also.

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