#EFM32howto 7: Providing high-end graphical user interface with low power TFT controller


Even without looking around, you will probably find yourself surrounded by a few applications with a graphical user interface (GUI) these days. Some of these GUIs are really high-end, like the ones on your smart phone and tablet, while another one may consist only of a good old segment LCD and a few buttons. One thing is still for sure, as more users familiarize with the more advanced GUIs, the expectation to see the same quality is not applied only to the smart devices, but also to general electronics such as home remote controls, portable medical devices, and transport information displays. With enhanced display technology available, consumer electronics vendors can respond to the market demand and give users faster more vivid user experience, and also differentiate and stand out among the competition.

As Jon Gabay addressed in his recent article, Getting Graphic – Marrying the Low-Power Giant Gecko with emWin™ Graphics, it is not easy to merge excellent display features with low cost and low power. This is because the typical modern display requires the control of an expensive and powerful high-end MCU, which also consumes considerable amount of power. To address the MCU issue, the EFM32 microcontroller’s on-chip direct drive TFT peripheral has been added to provide low-cost high-functional display drive functionality, while still consuming as little power as possible. A full color, 320 by 240 pixel, touch TFT display can be driven directly by the EFM32 without using CPU capacity. Automatic updates and high frame rate gives smooth motions, enabling designers to develop a wide variety of applications which require a large color display, full screen transitions, and flickerless rendering without using expensive alternatives. So with the EFM32 your embedded system can be powered by batteries, with high-end and smooth graphical user interface, and stand out from the crowd.

Watch how the EFM32 Giant Gecko works with Mjolner’s TouchGFX GUI framework.

Download a relevant application note: Energy Optimized Display Application

Check out the 320×240 resistive touch color TFT display on the EFM32 Giant Gecko development kit

Read the case-study: How the EFM32 Giant Gecko MCU helped Mjolner’s TouchGFX become high-end touch graphics device with 0% CPU load

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