Tag Archives: display

The ezPixel is an Upcoming FPGA based WS2812B Controller Board

FPGAs are field programmable gate arrays which basically means they are reconfigurable hardware chips. FPGAs have found applications in different industries and engineering fields from the defence, telecommunications to automotive and several others but little application in the maker’s world. Mostly, as a result of being largely difficult and high cost as compared to the likes of Arduino, but the introduction of the ezPixel and other similar FPGA boards is making this a possibility.

Prototype modules.

The ezPixel board, by Thomas Burke of MakerLogic, is a small size FPGA based circuit board that can be used to drive up to 32 strings of WS2812Bs, for up to 9,216 LEDs in total, a very first of its kind. These WS2812B programmable color LEDs have been a phenomenon in the maker’s world, being used in various Led Lights and creating of various Light Artworks. These popular LEDs comes in strings that can be cut to any length, and only require a single wire serial data connection to control all the lights in the string individually, and multiple strings can be stacked together to create large two-dimensional displays.

ezPixel description.

Most WS2812B controller boards can be used to control up to hundreds of these LEDs, but not thousands of them. The ezPixel board is a perfect fit for applications that use thousands of these LEDs. The ezPixel board is powered by the Intel MAX FPGA, a single chip small form factor programmable logic device with full-featured FPGA capabilities, and it’s designed to interface with other Micro-controllers or any SPI/UART host device. The ezPixel board serves as bridge between microcontrollers and long WS2812B strings. A user sets the length of each string using simple commands that are sent via the SPI or USB/UART communication link.

The following below are the features of the ezPixel:

  • WS2812B Smart Pixel Controller.
  • Up to 32 Strings can be controlled independently.
  • Up to 9216 LEDs can be controlled.
  • Communication:
    • USB/UART Interface.
    • SPI Interface.
  • Read/Write Pixel Memory.
  • FPGA – Intel MAX10M08 FPGA.
  • Dimension:
    • 1” x 3” (25mm x 76mm).
  • SPI Flash.

The ezPixel can run as a standalone display controller as a result of its serial flash memory chip, and this board is slated for a crowdfunding campaign in early 2018.

Details of Waveshare e-paper displays

Erich Styger has a nice write-up on Waveshare e-paper displays:

I have used E-Ink displays in projects three years ago, but from that time the technology has greatly evolved. That time displays were hard to get, expensive and difficult to use. Now things seem to change with e-ink displays available to the maker market :-). I’m able to get a 128×296 pixel e-paper display for $10! And for little more money I can have displays with black/white/red colors!

Details of Waveshare e-paper displays – [Link]

How to drive Nokia 5110 84×48 LCD display with Arduino

In the previous tutorial I showed how to build a weather station using DHT11 and BMP180 with an Arduino. However, the project has a downside which is the power consumption of the 16X2 LCD. If we were building a battery powered project with the desire to last for several weeks and probably several months, like a weather station for instance, then we’ll have to replace the LCD keypad shield from the previous tutorials and go for something like the low powered Nokia 5110 84×84 LCD display. In this tutorial I will be showing you how to drive this display with the Arduino and thus build projects with longer battery life.

How to drive Nokia 5110 84×48 LCD display with Arduino – [Link]

20 Segment Jumbo Size SPI BarGraph Display

Jumbo 20 Segment SPI (Serial) bar graph driver using 74HC595 serial to parallel converter IC and BC635 display driver transistor. This project is useful for application like Amusement machines, arcade gaming, voltage display, current display, pressure sensor display, temperature sensor display , process control equipment, battery condition monitor and many more. Each segment of display consist 10 LED Bargraph display. It is easy to view from long distance, and easy to control by Micro-Controller.

20 Segment Jumbo Size SPI BarGraph Display – [Link]

8 Digit Numerical 7 Segment SPI Display Shield for Arduino UNO

8 Digit serial numerical display shield for Arduino has been designed for various applications like digital clock, stop watch, score display, temperature meter, frequency counter, digital meters etc. The circuit uses popular MAX7219 IC and two common cathode 0.5inch red seven segment displays. The MAX7219 is a compact, serial input/output common-cathode display drivers that interface Arduino UNO to 7-segment numeric LED displays of up to 8 digits. Included on-chip are a BCD code-B decoder, multiplex scan circuitry, segment and digit drivers, and an 8×8 static RAM that stores each digit. Only one external resistor R1 provided to set the segment current for all LEDs. A convenient 3-wire serial interface connects to all Arduino UNO. Individual digits may be addressed and updated without rewriting the entire display. The MAX7219 also allows the user to select code-B decoding or no-decode for each digit. The devices include a 150µA low-power shutdown mode, analog and digital brightness control, a scan-limit register that allows the user to display from 1 to 8 digits, and a test mode that forces all LEDs on. The project works with 5V DC and SPI interface connected to Arduino Digital pins D4, D5 and D6.

8 Digit Numerical 7 Segment SPI Display Shield for Arduino UNO – [Link]

4 Digit 7 Segment Display Shield For Arduino Nano

4 Digit Multiplexed display shield for Arduino Nano with on board 2 tactile switches and LM35 temperature sensor. This shield helps you to develop many projects that require 4 digit display. For example a thermometer can be made using on board LM35 sensor.  7 Seven segment multiplexed display is a tiny board and has been designed around Common cathode 4 digit Display. Display has 12 Pins. The board is provided with current limiting resistors on all LED segments and 4 NPN Transistors to drive 4 digits. This tiny board directly seats on Arduino Nano.  Nano analog pin A0 connected to LM35 sensor, A1 and A2 connected to Switch 1 and switch 2 with pull down resistors. Digital pin D2-D8 connected to displays segment A-F, Digital pin D9 connected to DP of display, D10-D12 pins are associated to Digit 1-4 common cathode.

Features

  • Supply 5V DC
  • 4 Digit 0.3 Inch Common Cathode 7 segment display
  • On board 2 Tact switch
  • On Board Female Connector to install LM35 Temperature sensor

4 Digit 7 Segment Display Shield For Arduino Nano – [Link]

1.3” circular AMOLED modules only 0.6mm thick

by Julien Happich @ eedesignnewseurope.com
andersDX has added a round AMOLED (Active Matrix OLED) display to its range for wearable and instrumentation applications, complementing the circular PMOLED and touchscreen modules that it already offers.

1.3” circular AMOLED modules only 0.6mm thick – [Link]

Paperino, The ePaper Display Shield

ePaper displays  (EPDs) are becoming a trend in application, just like the display used in Amazon Kindle,  for their low power consumption due to the  to the underlying ‘bistable’ display technology. These displays can continue to show information without any power at all. It is only required while updating the display with new information, otherwise there won’t be any power consumption.

Providing such revolutionary displays to your applications will be a professional approach. For this, a new crowdfunding campaign is providing Paperino, an easy-to-use, micro ePaper shield for the Particle & Arduino community. Paperino simplifies driving ePaper displays with clean, simple, and short script examples.

Thanks to the plug-and-play shield for particle family, Paperino can be used with the following boards: Photon, Electron, or Bluz without manual wiring. It can also be wired easily to be connected with Arduino and other compatible boards.

Paperino Features

Glass-free Display

Paperino is lightweight and thinner than other ePaper products because it uses a glass-free ePaper display from Plastic Logic. It weighs 1.2 grams and is only 0.5 mm thick.

Supports Four Gray Levels

Unlike many other ePaper products out there, Paperino can support four gray levels instead of two (black and white).

Fast, Partial Updates

You don’t have to wait for slow, full screen updates to load. With Paperino, you can quickly update only parts of the screen.

Accelerometer

The integrated accelerometer lets you interact with your Paperino in all sorts of ways, including tap sensing. Tap sensing capability can trigger screen updates or wake up your microcontroller.

Paperino Specifications

The Paperino breakout board can be used for manually wiring your favourite, Arduino-compatible microcontroller with 3.3 V and >4kb of free RAM.

  • Resolution: 148 x 70 px
  • Pixel density: 150 ppi
  • Grey levels: 4
  • Weight: 1.2 g
  • Thickness: 500 µm
  • Power consumption: 4.5 mA (mean current for typical image update)
  • Operating conditions: 0°C .. 40°C
  • Storage conditions: -25°C .. 50°C

You can pre-order your own Paperino for $20 and with a driver board for $30. The crowdfunding campaign still has 16 days to go, and you can learn more details by checking it out.

FPGA eink controller

Julien @ hackaday.io build a custom board to control e-ink display. He writes:

The idea is to control an old broken kindle 3 eink display with a FPGA. I started looking at http://essentialscrap.com/eink/waveforms.html and http://spritesmods.com/?art=einkdisplay since eink constructor is so secretive that you can’t find any information. I got some success with a stm32f4 microcontroller but was disapointed by the poor performance (low refresh, black and white only). So I decided to do something better using an FPGA and some memory, I started with the ice40 Olimex board https://www.olimex.com/Products/FPGA/iCE40/iCE40HX1K-EVB/open-source-hardware.

FPGA eink controller – [Link]

Using I2C SSD1306 OLED Display With Arduino

Sometimes it may be necessary to use a display when making a hardware project, but one confusing thing is the size of the display and the required pins to control it. This tutorial will show you how to use a small I2C OLED display with Arduino using only two wires.

The display used in this tutorial has a very small (2.7 x 2.8cm) OLED screen, that is similar to Arduino Pro Mini size, with 128 x 64 screen resolution. The OLED Driver IC is SSD1306, a single-chip CMOS OLED/PLED driver with controller for organic / polymer light emitting diode dot-matrix graphic display system. The module has only 4 pins, two of them are the supply pins, while the others are SCL and SDA, I2C protocol pins, which will be used to control the display.

Using I2C SSD1306 OLED Display With Arduino – [Link]