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RS introduces advanced Diablo16- and Picaso-based LCD modules

RS Components (RS) has introduced the Gen4 Series of integrated TFT LCD modules and related starter packs from embedded graphics specialist 4D Systems.

The Gen4 display modules are designed to be easily integrated by design engineers developing touch screen interfaces, achieving high functionality with a limited space requirement.

These modules are powered by either a Diablo16 or a Picaso GPU, both of which are manufactured by 4D Systems, and incorporate advanced graphics functionality. The displays come in a number of sizes from 2.4" (240 x 320 pixels) up to 7.0" (800 x 480 pixels). Resistive and capacitive touch screen options are available, and RS can also offer non-touch-sensitive versions.

Each module incorporates a 30-pin ZIF (zero insertion force) FFC (flexible flat cable) socket for easy connection to an application or motherboard, or to peripheral boards providing additional functionality. An onboard microSD memory card connector allows for multimedia storage and data logging, while a dedicated PWM audio pin enables sound generation via an external amplifier.

The Gen4 Series is fully compatible with the 4D Systems Workshop4 IDE, which offers a choice of four development environments: Designer, for programming in native 4DGL (4D Graphics Language) code; ViSi, providing drag-and-drop object placement to aid 4DGL code generation, and allowing the developer to visualise how the display will look when in use; the fully object oriented ViSi-Genie, which performs all 4DGL coding automatically; and a Serial mode that allows the Gen4 module to be controlled from a host device with a serial port.

As a space-saving measure, all display related circuitry in Gen4 Series modules is recessed into the plastic mounting base. A pre-installed cover lens bezel (CLB) option — a glass cover with overhanging edges — allows the display to be mounted flush within a panel or enclosure using double-sided adhesive tape on the overhanging glass, without the need for any mounting hardware.

For first-time 4D Systems users, RS suggests that they use the Gen4 Starter Kit range, which bundles all hardware required to get up and running. Starter kits typically include a Gen4 display module, an interface module, a programming adaptor, a 4 Gbyte microSD card, a 5-way cable for easy connection to a breadboard or host, a 150 mm 30-way FFC and a quick start guide.

The 4D Systems Gen4 Series is now shipping.

Neil Tyler

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