Some exciting news for embedded hardware design – Microchip has announced the 32-bit PIC32MZ DA series microcontroller (MCU) with integrated high performance 2D graphics processing unit (GPU) capable of driving Super eXtended Graphics Array (SXGA) 1280×1024 displays with an industry first of 32MB of onboard integrated DDR2 SDRAM memory (externally expandable to 128MB), leading the way for the next generation of high end internet of things (IoT) devices with highly functional and fast user interfaces (HMI). The hardware sprite engine supporting alpha blending/transparency, line and polygon fills and blitting is included, with 3 composition layers and DMA support making interfaces highly responsive and crisp.
With a 200MHz clock and 330 DMIPS of peak performance from its MIPS M5150 (MIPS32) DSP and FPU enabled core CPU, together with support for OmniShield ready hardware virtualisation allowing secure segmentation of kernel and userspace, it is possible to take HMI microcontroller based products to the next level. Traditionally this sort of power would only be available in high end system-on-chips (SoCs) found in smartphones, however this device bridges the gap allowing complex graphical apps to be developed on a relatively low cost device (prices start at $7.73 for 10k quantities). Software development is in the usual Microchip IDE environments MPLAB X and MPLAB HARMONY.
If this looks like the type of technology that you would like to integrate into a product, please get in touch with us. We have over 40 years combined experience working with Microchip products, including 8, 16 and 32-bit microcontroller ranges, developing both hardware and software products for a variety of applications – from consumer to aerospace – including advanced HMI touchscreen displays and with feature rich functionality.