Software based or hardware based display controller?

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I'm designing a device that can display high resolution (at least 1080i o
1280x1024) images to a LCD monitor.  I don't think that much 2D/3
acceleration is needed for this purpose.

Lower hardware cost is the first priority, although ease of development i
important too.

What is the best route?

1. Microprocessor only, to run embedded Linux and software-based displa
controller

2. Microprocessor + FPGA/ASIC display controller

3. Microprocessor with built-in display controller?  Does it exist?

Please point me a direction, thanks!





Re: Software based or hardware based display controller?
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I think you will have great difficulty getting the realtime
performance tightly enough controlled to drive such a high-bandwidth
display directly in software. In fact I should say I don't think it's
feasible.

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If you use a big FPGA that can integrate the micro core as well as the
display controller (e.g. Virtex4), it will be very expensive. If you
use a separate micro with an external FPGA performing only the display
functions it will be considerably cheaper, though not exactly a
weekend project to get it working.

The cheapest and simplest solution will be to use a micro with built-
in display controller. However SXGA is at the upper limit of
resolutions typically supported by these parts. You should also be
prepared to have a significant performance hit in such a shared-memory
architecture because a large proportion of the RAM bandwidth is being
eaten by the display DMA.

For anything that specs such a huge resolution, I would automatically
go down the PC VGA chipset route.


Re: Software based or hardware based display controller?
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Are you doing something like a Device Driver ?

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I think you are into both hardware and software(Driver) development
for displaying high resolution images .

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I think, you need not have any RTOS / other OS for this.

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FPGA with sufficient RAM, ROM and DMA will be a good choice
as you can tune it to your own interest.

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    Yes, They exist.

Karthik Balaguru

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