FTDI: FT800 (EVE) graphic chip #FT800 #FTDI #ICLibrary

It’s  always nice to see IC’s that can make a circuit simpler. These posts are really meant to keep track of such devices is I so choose to use them in future projects. I’ll be creating a specific category for these called “IC Library”. Now for the description.

Description: Paraphrase with the woman´s name is very near to a name of a new technology of display control – EVE – embedded video engine. Company FTDI as a well known producer of USB solutions with a slogan USB-made-easy, decided to bring this philosophy even to a field of graphic solutions. The first representative of a new family is the FT800 graphic chip, containing all necessary to create a powerful graphic output. Perhaps the biggest advantage of this solution is, that „EVE“ puts only minimal requirements on the speed (and resources) of a Host processor, that´s it can cooperate even with smaller „low-end“ microcontrollers (Atmega, PIC, 8051,….) with a very small power consumption.

The essence of small requirements for a Host processor resides in a fact, that FT800 contains al functional blocks necessary for graphic operations and control of the display itself like:

● graphic controller with a clock (timing) generator
● touch panel controller
● frame buffer
● memory (registers, ROM, RAM)
● graphic processor and co-processor
● MCU interface (I2C, SPI) and other blocks.
Moreover FT800 also contains an audio module (synthesizer and a DSP sound processor with DAC) thus FT800 also provides a sound output (mono).

Besides a significant simplification of a graphic output is the idea of „EVE“ also based on a fact, that it has to enable a cheap production of a graphic output for a target device. According to an example from FTDI (displayed on an attached picture), it´s possible to simply build a powerful „display“ for the price of under 19 USD (at a volume production). At the same time this solution lowers requirement for a count of components (BOM) and also for a PCB space. Graphic capabilities of a new chip are really impressive as it features even such properties like anti-alias

ing (subjectively sharper image even on a low resolution display), alpha blending (shading, 3D,…) and built-in complex pre-defined shapes and tools. All programming of FT800 is object-oriented, so for example drawing of a simple bargraph takes only 5 commands. To create a graphic user interface (GUI), the user initializes an object memory (up to do 256 kB) and then controls specified objects and their attributes. The result is the above-mentioned low load on a Host processor.

Only a brief description of all technical features would take a few pages, that´s why we rather recommend you to look at the attached video, FTDI EVE presentation,  and to study FT800 datasheet. Further information will provide you documents FT800_Programmer_guide,  AN_240_FT800_From_the_Ground_Up and AN_252_FT800_Audio_Primer. For a development support, there are also available various evaluation boards of the VM800 series. Guide price of the FT800 is 2,75 USD (100 000 pcs).


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