Microchip Technology offers a new GUI development toolkit for its portfolio of 32-bit MPUs running Linux, assisting designers of industrial, medical, consumer and automotive graphical displays to lower development cost and time-to-market.
The company's new Ensemble Graphics Toolkit is a free and open-source C++ GUI suite for the company’s SAMA5 and SAM9 series of Arm Cortex-A5 and ARM926EJ-S processor-based MPUs including the SiP and SoM products. The toolkit is optimised for the company's 32-bit MPUs running the Linux operating system. By taking advantage of underlying hardware acceleration, incorporating graphics controllers and video decoders when available, the toolkit offers a high-performance user experience on low and mid-range graphical displays up to XGA (1024 x 768 pixels) resolution.
Optimised code enables a smaller memory footprint, saving BOM cost. The excellent performance relative to other graphics solutions that depend on higher-performance cores and 3D graphical acceleration enables rich GUIs to be made for the company's power-efficient MPUs. Also, the toolkit and Linux can be optimised for fast cold boot – with boot times less than three seconds from cold reset that is needed for applications including automotive dashboard clusters.
“Whereas other tools require ever higher-performing, higher-power and costlier microprocessors, this no-cost development suite is an enabler that optimises processing power,” said Rod Drake, vice president of Microchip’s MPU32 business unit. “Developers can achieve modern graphical user interfaces with excellent user experience with a lower bill of material cost, lower power and longevity of solution – while providing a high-end look.”