Applications and benefits of using an integrated LCD


Last week, I wrote about our vast portfolio of MSP430 devices with integrated LCD and memory of up to 512kB Flash.  Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty and talk about some applications where this technology is beneficial.

There is a display on almost anything these days.  You can see displays around your home on things such as thermostats, appliances and automatic light switches.  If you’re anything like me, you  probably hit the snooze button several times each morning on your alarm clock after viewing a display that tells you it’s WAY too early to wake up.  You might also wear a display on one of those trendy new fitness watches that monitor your daily activity.  A health condition could also require you to view a display every few hours when reading blood sugar levels in monitoring devices.  You can also monitor your electricity usage via a meter on your house that also has a display.  The possibilities are endless! 

The MSP430 portfolio with LCD integrated allows easy coding to control several glass displays in different solutions.  The LCD controller supports up to 8-mux glass displays.  For example, you can control a small 7-segment display for a clock number.  Or a large 320-segment display to support Asian characters or black and white graphics.  You can use one MSP430 microcontroller to control two small displays.  If needed, it’s easy to use two MSP430s to control greater than 320-segment displays.   If you’re looking for a quick way to get started coding with some low level commands for the LCD, I would recommend checking out the F471xx and the F67xx series.  Whichever solution is best for your product, MSP430 has the right microcontroller for you.

The last, but most important, factor to keep in mind is the low power aspects of the integrated LCD.  Once the LCD controller is setup, it will continue to run without the use of the CPU.  This means that for all those portable applications running on a battery, the display is not consuming all the power.  Think how critical this is for diabetes patients who need to regularly monitor their blood sugar level!  Running to the nearest store to buy batteries every week is not an option.  Therefore, running your application in the lowest power mode, but keeping the LCD active is very important!

Check out this video about one of our many feature-rich devices with integrated LCD for large segment displays. 

Stay tuned next week when we wrap up this LCD blog series and talk about development tools to get you started.