Monday, September 19, 2016

Touch technology for all – with the Embedded Video Engine from FTDI electronics practice

The Touch technology lay dormant until the iPhone came out almost a decade ago on the market and a Revolution in the Design of user interfaces for embedded systems.

Although touch screens have been used for several decades prior to the iPhone in different systems – from computer – aided design terminal (CAD) to the highly developed industrial control, has just revealed the Integration of Gestures in man-machine interfaces, many new possibilities of interaction.

For users was the use of touch, together with Gestures for Pinch and zoom. Prompt these skills were required in many other systems with which they interact. This in turn forces manufacturers of various systems in the user interfaces of their products to upgrade. The traditional combination of buttons and a simple 7-Segment LCD or LED Display can discriminate against a product on the market, in comparison to the animated graphics displays, and helpful hints and other explanatory texts are displayed.

As the cost of touch panels have fallen due to the demand, can the manufacturer of a LCD-based Interface cost advantages. With simple Firmware Changes or registry settings, a product can be fully localized. Thus, the printing of different languages on control panels with knobs and buttons redundant. Also, savings in storage costs can improve the business efficiency considerably.

Although the move to touch panels based on User benefits, the Changes in the Design have a significant impact on the architecture of the core system.

The exchange of a simple 7-Segment LCD, and a button Matrix to a fully graphical touch-screen brings a huge increase in the required computing power, and potentially extensive and expensive Changes to the core software. The graphics should run on a single processor, requires you probably have a 32-Bit processor to be able to in a high-resolution frame buffer (image buffer write). Without the need for complicated Paging and segmentation procedure on an 8 – or 16-Bit micro-controller implemented System is not able to describe the entire address range of the frame buffer or to provide enough space for an elaborate graphic.

Although the market price for graphic-capable 32-Bit processors in the past few years, for Change, re-registration and examination of the application required time and cost could, however, be unacceptable. But there is a path existing applications with a powerful touch-screen Interface upgrade that runs on a relatively simple micro-controller with few resources and without the extensive post-processing. The Embedded Video Engine (EVE) from FTDI Chip, is a series of integrated Circuits (IC), which are designed in a way so that the interactions with LCD-based touch screens at the expense of a Host micro-controller further.


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