One subject that never seems to wane, disappear, or escape the straw-grasping mitts of marketing maestros is low power. An engineer can walk into a meeting with a pair of shoe laces in his or her hands and someone will undoubtedly ask how power they consume. But all things being equal, power is, was, and always will be a prime design issue.
Almost every tech device these days has some form of graphic display in it and this component is one of the biggest power eaters. Display technology has come a long way and power levels are now even less than conservative, but the quest for as close to zero goes on…and on … and on.
Pervasive Displays is one of those companies that has become quite good at quenching the market’s thirst for low-power displays. Its ultra-low power E-paper displays are Cypress Semiconductor’s prime choice for a human-readable screen in its Internet of Things (IoT) development board.
Requiring no backlight with no need to be refreshed constantly to maintain a visible image, E-paper displays consume far less energy than traditional TFT liquid crystal displays (LCDs). An always-on E-paper display, updated half-a-dozen times a day, can use as little as 0.001% of the energy of an LCD equivalent performing the same job. As a result, an e-paper display can run for months, perhaps years, on a small battery.
E-paper displays also offer very wide viewing angles. A critical feature in mobile devices and wearables that see a lot of outdoor use, the displays, unlike TFT LCDs, are reflective. This makes them readable in bright sunlight and by barcode scanners.
Created for use in a variety of IoT applications, such as fitness and health wearables, smart home, and smart metering, the helps engineers take advantage of the benefits of displays in their designs, without significantly impacting the power budgets.
Director of Marketing for the MCU Business Unit at Cypress Semiconductor, Jim Davis reports, “PSoC MCUs have always been differentiated by the rich design resources of their analog and digital software-defined peripherals. As a market leader in e-paper displays with a ready supply of high quality screens available off-the-shelf, Pervasive Displays was the ideal partner to implement the display on our PSoC 6 BLE Pioneer Kit. This board gives our customers the best of both worlds: the processing performance combined with an ultra-low power architecture and the flexibility to design differentiated IoT applications.”
Pervasive Displays Cypress Semiconductor
Wilsonville, OR San Jose, CA