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Controller chips for LCDs?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Rajiv Ghanta, Nov 3, 2005.

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  1. Rajiv Ghanta

    Rajiv Ghanta Guest

    As part of a home project, I would like to add an LCD screen. The
    larger the screen, the better. The cheaper the screen, the better. My
    friend pointed me to http://www.timeline-inc.com. I was taken aback by
    the price of some of the larger LCDs listed on that website (640 x 480
    LCD, Color LCD - Single Scan, etc.). I figured they were being sold
    for those prices because they weren't being sold with the controller.
    Am I right, or am I totally off? Where could I find the controller
    chips for these LCDs? Or better yet, where can I get a cheap large LCD
    with a controller chip?

    Thanks,

    Rajiv
     
  2. Hello Rajiv,

    Some of these LCD's appear to have been intended for laptop computers, given
    the resolution and size these would probably have some sort of parallel
    interface, needing some timing signals and video data - between 4 - 8 bits
    per colour. 'Driver chips' may not may not be such an easy thing to find as
    they would have been driven by the VGA chipset on a laptop motherboard, if
    you could get the chip loose and wire it up you would have only ended up
    creating a VGA card & screen. It might be possible to 'roll your own' using
    an FPGA and interesting hint at that can be found here:
    http://www.electricstuff.co.uk/ektapro.html

    Another point to note is that these screens may not come with any backlight
    inverter so you would need to obtain one that matched the CCFL on the panel.
    It might be easier and cheaper to buy an old 386, 486 laptop, then you will
    have a working system on which to experiment and emulate the necessary
    signals for the LCD. Avoid newer laptops as the LCD is likely to have an
    LVDS interface making it more difficult to interface form a hobbyist point
    of view.

    hope this helps,

    Philip
     
  3. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    http://www.dontronics.com/micro-lcd.html
    http://www.dontronics.com/micro-vga.html
    may give you some alternatives

    Don...


    --
    Don McKenzie
    E-Mail Contact Page: http://www.dontronics.com/e-mail.html

    Micro,TTL,USB to 1.5" color LCD http://www.dontronics.com/micro-lcd.html
    USB,RS232 or TTL to VGA Monitor http://www.dontronics.com/micro-vga.html
    World's smallest USB 2 TTL Conv http://www.dontronics.com/micro-usb.html
     
  4. Rajiv Ghanta

    Rajiv Ghanta Guest

    Philip,

    Thanks for the info, and the awesome link. It looks like I'm way in
    over my head. So let me ask you this (or anyone else who is reading
    this) - what's the easiest way for me to add a graphics LCD (however
    large or small, and hopefully cheap) to my project? My only experience
    working with LCDs is those easy-to-use character LCDs, controlled by
    Hitachi's HD44780 controller. I would really like to add a screen that
    can handle graphics to my home project.

    Thanks again,

    Rajiv
     
  5. Guest

    Check out Farnell: www.farnell.com

    They stock several graphical LCDs designed for use by microcontrollers,
    meaning non-VGA. They have embedded controllers similar to the Hitachi
    alphanumeric controllers and just as poorly documented in most cases
    ;-)

    Farnell typically overcharge by 50% but they should be the place where
    you first look for stuff. In the previous company I worked with there
    was a saying when it comes to electronics components: if it's not
    available at Farnell, it's not off-the-shelf, it must be custom.

    Also, you must locate one physically since they don't do deliveries
    unless you are a regular customer or a company.
     
  6. Guest

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