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Graphics application kit speeds dev't of evaluation systems

06 Nov 2014

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Fujitsu Semiconductor America (FSA) has recently unleashed a graphics application development kit that affords designers, programmers and hobbyists with a low cost, self-contained, self-starting kit for evaluation systems. IdeaBoxx is geared to allow users to be ready and running in minutes, not hours, as with typical evaluation systems, indicated the company.

The first in the Fujitsu series of IdeaBoxxes is the Linux-based 'Jade' kit, which includes a specially developed low cost module containing Fujitsu's 'Jade' graphics display controller. The module contains all the required hardware including graphics memory (frame buffer), flash memory and support for Jade's multiple I/O functions including USB and SD Card. The board also contains an Ethernet controller and HDMI for added functionality.

The Jade GDC at the hub of the first IdeaBoxx is Fujitsu's most cost-effective SOC based display controller, the company stated. Based on an ARM 926EJES processor running at 333MHz, it has a fixed pipeline 3D graphics engine powerful enough to produce sharp, crisp graphics on screen sizes up to 1024 x 768. Jade can support two screens independently, along with dual capture ports, and can apply video images to 3D meshes via texture mapping. This combination of features makes Jade ideal for many industrial and medical applications where screen sizes of 4-10in are common.

The Jade GDC is pre-programmed to drive the 7in touch LCD screen included in the IdeaBoxx, complete with the appropriate connector assembly. To simplify the process a USB stick is loaded with several self-starting demos and a powerful UI development tool from Crank Software called Storyboard Suite. Crank software has performed all the porting to the Jade device, insuring a robust development environment, and a trial version of the software is available for 30-day periods. Even users with little or no programming experience can be developing dynamic graphics and streamlining the prototype process quickly and easily, noted Fujitsu.

More than just a development or prototyping tool, the IdeaBoxx comes with a full set of documentation from Fujitsu, including board files to create a reference design platform. Fujitsu provides all libraries and tools (not including Storyboard Suite) free of charge and royalties, all including on the stick.

IdeaBoxx Jade (MB86R01) application development kit, with a part number IB-JADE-01, is available for $499.

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