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Featured Product: Fujitsu enhances economical automotive display controllers

The latest addition to Fujitsu's graphic display controller (GDC) family, the MB88F322, is designed to deliver enhanced graphics performance of complex graphics in a compact two-chip solution. The controller is designed for popular display-based automotive applications including instrument clusters, head-up displays, central information displays, and rear-seat entertainment. Functioning as a sprite engine optimized to process and animate sprites and bitmaps in a variety of sizes and color depths, the device incorporates new features to reduce bill-of-materials cost, form factor, and power consumption.

The MB88F322 does not incorporate a traditional 2D/3D rendering engine, which allows it to operate at frequencies of just 80 MHz with significantly reduced power consumption. The sprite engine also does not require the more expensive frame buffer memory typically needed for graphics rendering units. Instead the GDC uses a simpler line-buffering technique. As a result, the device needs only minimal on-board memory, but which is more than enough to support the bit maps and sprites typical in auto applications. For splash screens and other more complex content, the MB88F322 features run-time data compression for expansion of run-length encoded data.

Support for the APIX Interface
The MB88F322 also supports the Inova Semiconductors' Automotive Pixel Link (APIX) interface, enabling multiple remote display subsystems to be managed by one controller. This new standard for the transmission of image and peripheral data meets the requirements of the latest vehicle display applications, leading to higher performance and lower implementation costs.

The MB88F322 couples the APIX interface with other interfaces to control LEDs, display backlights, stepper motors for controlling mechanical gauges, an enhanced sound generator, and on-board memory. Combined with an MCU, the MB88322 provides a two-chip solution for a variety of economical cluster configurations.

An advanced image-processing system provides 1-, 2-, 4-, and 8-bit indirect color palettes, along with 14-bit and 16-bit direct color modes for finer gradient coloring. A 4/8 bit alpha-plane and dithering-and-gamma unit boosts image quality. The display controller supports a variety of display sizes with resolutions up to 800 x 600 and color depths of 8-, 16- and 24-bits. An integrated programmable timing control unit enables the device to directly interface with a bare display panel, further reducing system cost.

An industry common 5V device, the MB88F322 includes six on-chip stepper motor controllers for applications in mixed clusters that feature both TFT and mechanical gauges.

The MB88F322 also integrates on-chip pulse width modulators, ADCs, I2 C, UARTs, and a sound generator, allowing control of all the peripheral functions (including backlight circuits, LEDs, sensors, and on-board communication) in a display subsystem.

The combination of functionality and the elimination of frame-buffer memory means new designs can be deployed on cheaper two-layer boards with a minimum of external components.

Packaged in a low-cost 208-pin quad-flat package (QFP), the MB88F322 is available now, with pricing available upon request. For the MB88F322 product fact sheet, visit: http://www.fujitsu.com/downloads/MICRO/fma/pdf/MB88F322FS.pdf.

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