While TFTs have been the mainstay of displays for years, OLEDs are becoming more prevalent as their price drops due to the phenomenal increase in quality from TFT to OLED technology. We received this demo board from Newhaven that effectively illustrates side by side the differences between TFT and OLED technology, using a 1.69 inch 160 x 128 OLED display and a 1.8 inch 160 by 128 TFT display.
Tech Lab – Newhaven Full Color OLED Displays - [Link]
by Colin Jeffrey @ gizmag.com:
Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are a common and increasingly pervasive method of displaying information for everything from watches to giant TV screens. Though, like most other displays, LCDs require electrical energy to constantly display an image. Researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, however, have produced an ultra-thin LCD screen prototype that is not only capable of displaying images without continuous power, but in 3D as well.
Energy-efficient 3D display maintains images without power - [Link]
TinyScreen is a tiny customizable display. Play games, get notifications from your phone and display useful information.
TinyScreen is the new way to visualize your environment. With a beautiful color OLED display, TinyScreen is designed to be used to display information from the TinyDuino platform, which stack together like little electronic Lego’s.
With TinyScreen there are several default apps that will work right out of the box – like a Smart Watch app, a Video player app and a video game app. You can use these default apps with NO PROGRAMMING AT ALL!
Arduino TinyScreen - [Link]
LG Display has an excellent article on how they build TFT LCD displays:
Ever wondered how the TV and monitor displays you use every day work? The TFT-LCD manufacturing process consists of a set of processes for producing TFT, color filtering, cell, module and others. LG Display Newsroom gives a detailed, but easy to follow explanation of the entire steps below.
Let’s take a closer look at the production process for a TFT board, the bottom-most layer of an LCD panel. The image above depicts a TFT board, which consists of rows of small rectangular sections that together resembles a chessboard. Each rectangular section is a pixel, and each pixel contains a transistor that controls its function. The TFT process is the process that builds these transistors on top of a glass substrate.
TFT-LCD Production Process Explained - [Link]
With the Bolymin BE635 graphic embedded module it´s possible to focus only on software development – hardware is done.
A possibility to interactively adjust various parameters and at the same time to see a “result” of our settings (for example a status of a given device) considerably increases safety and reliability in various industry sectors. That´s probably one of reasons why a graphic output becomes a standard even in devices, where they were recently used very rarely so far.
From the development point of view, one of the key deciding factors is a platform, on which a given system is built (processor, OS).
PIC32 family certainly belongs to popular microcontrollers (32 bit RISC CPU), that´s why the new graphic embedded module Bolymin BE635 addresses all, who know PIC32, or they want to become familiar with it. For everyone, who´ve ever worked with PIC32 family, a development of application will be much easier with BE635, as practically all necessary hardware is on one board and at the same time we get a support in a form of various drivers for communication as well as graphic output. For programming purposes a new Microchip PICkit3 is suitable and SW development can be done in the known environment Microchip MPLAB IDE. BE635 is designed as a universal module, where only a designer decides, how much computing power of a processor will use on which activity (displaying, data processing, external HW control, communication, …), that´s why possibilities of its usage are really very wide.
Compact module (93x67x15mm) with a 3,5“ TFT LCD display (320x240px) is equipped sufficiently, to become attractive. For example:
- built-in 512kB ISP flash/ 64 kB SRAM/ 16 kB EEPROM
- support of microSD
- 1x RS232, 1x SPI, 1x I2C
- selectable 1x RS232/422/485/USB (depending on a version)
- 1x 10bit ADC, 12x GPIO
- libraries for successful programming, drivers for interfaces and a touch panel
BE635 is available in 4 versions, differing by an additional RS232/485/422/USB port. Single supply 5V and easy mechanical assembly by means of a metal frame with mounting holes also belong to pluses of a new BE635. Soon, there will be available also other similar modules with the same functionality but with bigger displays, for example BE657 with a 5,7“ (640x480px) display, thus an application for BE635 will be usable for the BE657 alike.
Bolymin BE635 – for all PIC32 lovers - [Link]
Featuring 3 OLED screens on a flexible circuit board, this minimalist electronic wearable is stunningly bright, likes to be touched and features a rechargeable 10 hour battery. Apologies about the hairy arms (and the dubstep)!
This is just a prototype but with a just a little more work this could easily be thinner and more attractive to wear. Be on the look out for a new version with some 3d printed parts to present a more honest take on the bracelet.
From the Makers of Arduboy: Ardubracelet - [Link]
Peter Jakab has written a new article on how to adapt character LCD modules for 3 volt operation.
Generic character LCD modules contain an industry standard HD44780 compatible controller, which can operate down at 3 volts. But the modules are usually specified to work only at 5 volts, unless you choose a specific one designed for 3V operation. It is possible and simple to adapt the 5V modules to work on 3 volts.
Getting character LCDs to work at 3 volts - [Link]
The evolution sometimes shows, that not everything “new” is automatically better than something „well-proven“. One of examples was also a „boom“ of digital panel meters, when it seemed for a while, that the life of analog panel meters is coming to an end. However it showed very soon, that an analog display has a huge advantage in a very fast legibility – i.e. already a brief look at a meter is enough to realize the position of a needle of a meter. Naturally, accuracy of reading of value from an analog meter is lower, than that of a digital (7-sgment) display. mainly at the beginning of a range, but this doesn´t matter in many cases and a certainty of a fast check, whether for example a given variable is in normal is often much more important.
Fortunately, classic electromechanical panel meter can be replaced by graphic displays thus obtaining a free hand at design of your own panel meter. At the same time, the combination of an analog and a digital meter can be created this way. Perhaps the best “replacement” for analog meters is a round display, which has a minimum space requirement in a target device. Novelty in this segment is the uLCD220RD (round) display module with a circle active surface (circle 220 px, 1,38“). Despite the fact, that it´s a small size display, it´s driven by the most powerful processor from 4D Systems – Diablo 16, which gives it a big versatility of usage, many interfaces and GPIO pins.
New version of a well known SW package for development of graphic applications – 4D Workshop IDE from 4D Systems already supports this new module even in the Visi Genie environment, enabling a „drag&drop“ development of application. In praxis a 220 px circle is able to display a considerable amount of information. On attached pictures we bring you a small demonstration of uLCD220RD module imaging.
Round panel meter by means of a display? - [Link]
Customizable, hackable real-time display used to inform you of notifications, tasks, metrics, emails and many more! by Jack Trowbridge:
Noteu is one of the first customizable, hackable real-time displays that keeps you updated in life, social media and business. Instead of needing to check multiple websites, apps or open any windows Noteu tells you what you need to know at a glance all in one place. With its easy to use Java application compatible on Windows, Mac and Linux you can choose amongst a wide range of updates and alerts with huge customization. Noteu being Open Source, based on the Ardunio platform, interfaceable with Java API’s and a simple serial protocol allows for infinite hacking.
Noteu: USB Hackable Real-Time Display - [Link]
Flat displays of the EA DOG series are now available even with a bigger resolution or with more characters.
EADOG series is familiar to many of you and probably it´s your favorite one from these main reasons:
- displays are unusually flat (thin)
- the have a very low power consumption of 100-s uA (without backlight)
- wide possibilities of backlight, monochrome and also RGB
- some types are well legible even without backlight
- simple communication through 4/8 bit or SPI interface and newly even I2C
So far, types with up to 128x64px or 3×16 characters were available. The most recent additions to the EADOG family are bigger types with resolution of 160x104px (EADOGXL160), 240x64px (EADOGM240), 240x128px (EADOGXL240) and 4×20 characters (EADOGM204) and appropriate backlight modules EALED66x40, EALED94x40 and EALED94x67. Also these new types maintain a low profile – only 5.8 or 6.5mm with backlighting. A positivity is that even these new types are based on standard LCD controllers.
A guide at a choice of a suitable combination of display +backlight will provide you the application described in our article – Start with the EA DOG displays for free.
Detailed information will provide you the datasheets at particular types.
EA DOG displays with a minimal power consumption now available in bigger sizes - [Link]