There are a number of companies that offer driver boards to power E INK displays, for the purpose of developing an e-reader prototype. E INK and Plastic Logic both market these types of things, but one of the largest in Europe is Beck Elektronik and they have just released a new board for 13.3 inch displays.
The EPD driver board by Beck Elektronik is really special in the family of driver boards. The board has a sophisticated concept for industrial solutions. The EPD driver has two connectors that match to 13.3″ EPD display with 1600×1200 resolution and 2200×1650 pixels. A 50-pin connector is intended for expansion of the board. By means of a passive adapter-board a variety of EPDs can be connected to the EPD driver. Onboard voltage setting makes the board easy to configure for the wide range of e-paper displays.
The operation of the board can be realized in three different ways.
- SD card
Functionality settings can be made in the “config.ini” file on the microSD card using simple commands. Display parameters (resolution, display size, VCom, grayscale) as well as slideshow settings (image arrangement and delay between updates) can be configured. Image updates can be performed by pressing the buttons or by means of the built-in timer. The board can become a wireless and mobile solution in case the system is powered from an external battery.
- SPI interface
Via classic SPI interface it is possible to manage the entire configuration of the display as well as display the bitmap on the screen.
- USB interface
The board is recognized by host systems as a Virtual COM port and allows the settings and image transfer.
The ARM Cortex-M4 processor manages the processing of the large graphics files quickly. The extension of the circuit by external RAM and usage of DMA and new image update algorithms have made it possible to reduce the time of image construction significantly.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.