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Embedded QVGA/VGA/WVGA Display Controller, 4DGL/Serial US$65.00

Embedded QVGA/VGA/WVGA Display Controller, 4DGL/Serial

The μVGA-III module is a compact and cost-effective standalone VGA graphics engine powered by the PICASO graphics controller. It can provide a QVGA/VGA/WVGA graphics solution to any embedded project, with its powerful graphics, text, image, animation, audio and other features built in.

Audio support provided on the display module is supplied by its PICASO processor, which puts out a line-level audio signal ready to drive an external amplifier of choice. A simple instruction enables you to play audio files while continuing the execution of your application code, such as display updates, communications, etc.

The microSD card slot provides you with expandable memory space suitable for multimedia file retrieval, including images, animations and movie clips, as well as data-logging applications.

The module can be programmed as a standalone device using the Workshop 4 IDE software, but also can be configured as a serial slave for use with your favorite host controller.

When configured as a standalone device, the µVGA-III is programmed in 4DGL (4D Graphics Language). 4DGL is a graphics-oriented language allowing you to write applications in a high-level language with syntax similar to popular languages such as BASIC, C and Pascal. This method eliminates the need for an external host controller/processor to drive the uVGA-III module via serial commands. It provides you with complete control of all available resources on the μVGA-III hardware platform such as the Serial Ports, microSD memory card, I/O pins, etc.

The PICASO processor on the display module can be re-programmed with different ‘Personality Module Micro-Code’ (PmmC) files for updates and future proofing (as well as with your 4DGL program downloads). This process requires the use of a USB converter that uses the DTR signal to pulse the Reset line on the processor. Two converters that can plug directly into this module are available from the "Optional Recommended Products" list below.

VGA Display Controller Features

  • Simple VGA interface to a variety of monitors and LCD screens
  • Supports 320 × 240 (QVGA), 640 × 480 (VGA), and 800 × 480 (WVGA)
  • Supports RGB 65K colors
  • Easy 5-pin interface to any serial device: VCC, TX, RX, GND, RESET
  • Powered by the 4D-Labs PICASO processor
  • 14K bytes of Flash memory for user code storage, and 14K bytes of SRAM for user variables, or 14KB shared user code and program variables
  • Two asynchronous hardware serial ports (COM0, COM1), TTL interface, with 300 baud to 600K baud
  • One I2C interface (Master)
  • Eight 16-bit timers with 1 millisecond resolution
  • 13 General Purpose I/O pins. Upper 8 bits can be used as an I/O Bus for fast 8-bit parallel data transfers
  • On-board microSD memory card adapter for multimedia storage and data logging. HC memory card support is available for cards larger than 4GB
  • DOS-compatible file access (FAT16 format) as well as low-level access to card memory
  • Dedicated line-level PWM Audio pin supports FAT16 audio WAV files and complex sound generation
  • Built-in extensive 4DGL graphics and system library functions for all available features and functions under the 4DGL programming language
  • Display full-color images, animations, icons and video clips
  • Supports all available Windows fonts and characters (imported as external fonts)
  • A 2×15-pin header for I/O expansion (pins are supplied but not soldered)
  • A 2×5-pin header with VGA signals (a ribbon cable is included that plugs into this header and provides a standard 15-pin D-type VGA connector for interface to any external VGA monitor)
  • 4.0V to 5.5V range operation (single supply, 5V nominal)
  • Dimensions: 39 × 63 × 21.5 mm
  • Weight: about 17 grams

Four different usage methods

The 4D Systems Workshop 4 IDE supports multiple development environments, to cater for different user requirements and skill level.
  • The Designer environment enables you to write 4DGL code in its natural form to program the display module.
  • The ViSi visual programming experience enables drag-and-drop placement of objects to assist with 4DGL code generation and allows you to visualize how the display will look.
  • The ViSi-Genie advanced environment doesn't require any 4DGL coding at all; it is done automatically for you. Simply lay out the display with the objects you want (similar to ViSi), set the events to drive them and the code is written for you automatically. Arduino and Raspberry Pi libraries are available for use with ViSi-Genie.
  • The Serial environment is provided to transform the display module into a slave serial display module, allowing you to control the display from any host microcontroller or device with a serial port. Serial libraries are available for C, Pascal, PicAxe, and Arduino.
By default, the module will come ready for Serial usage. You can change environments or customize the serial firmware using a programming cable and the Workshop 4 IDE software.

VGA Display Controller Resources

  • 4D Workshop4 IDE Tool: This is a free software tool for Windows. The 4D-Workshop4 IDE provides an integrated software development environment for the PICASO processor and associated display modules. The IDE combines the Editor, Compiler, Linker and Downloader to develop complete 4DGL application code. All user application code is developed within the Workshop4 IDE. After clicking the above link, scroll down to find links to the software and the documentation of its various components. Some of the reference manuals, and the links to Arduino serial libraries, have versions for three different graphics chips; be sure to download the PICASO versions.

  • uVGA-III module datasheet
  • uVGA-III module 3D PDF
  • uVGA-III module CAD model (STEP)
  • PICASO graphics controller datasheet
  • Firmware PmmC R44 for PICASO Modules (plus R39 for legacy PICASO modules)
  • Application Notes (additional documentation; filter for PICASO and Others in the Processor category)

The module ships with a 150mm five-pin female-female jumper cable and a five-pin male adapter for that cable, so you can connect the module to another device or breadboard that has male or female headers. It also includes the previously mentioned VGA cable to connect to the 2×5-pin VGA headers, and a 2×15-pin surface-mount header that you can solder to the H1 pads on the bottom of the board for I/O expansion.

Optional Recommended Products for this Item
USB to Serial TTL Cable, 3.3V, 5-pin Female Header, 1.8m+ US$19.00

This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 07 February, 2013.


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