Author Topic: ESP32 suitability as a display driver?  (Read 699 times)

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Offline e100Topic starter

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ESP32 suitability as a display driver?
« on: May 21, 2024, 04:10:16 am »
Over the last few months several relatively inexpensive mobile phone sized displays driven by ESP32 chips have appeared on the market.
I'm guessing that this is just a cost saving measure to avoid using a dedicated driver chip.
Is the ESP32 suited to this kind of job, and if so, is this the future direction of large displays in embedded applications?
 

Offline Smokey

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Offline e100Topic starter

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Re: ESP32 suitability as a display driver?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2024, 05:57:26 am »
When I first saw the specs of the S3 I was puzzled by the decision to remove the ethernet controller.
Even stranger was the later appearance of S3 boards fitted with an external Wiznet ethernet chip.

Now in hindsight it looks like they removed the ethernet silicon to make room for a graphics chip.
 

Offline Smokey

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Re: ESP32 suitability as a display driver?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2024, 07:55:47 pm »
One downside, apart from only doing RGB565, is that it uses up just about all the pins.  I had to add back in two IO expanders to that design. 
 

Offline tooki

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Re: ESP32 suitability as a display driver?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2024, 11:44:58 am »
One downside, apart from only doing RGB565, is that it uses up just about all the pins.  I had to add back in two IO expanders to that design.
This really is the one enduring limitation to the ESP32 platform: the lack of models with truly large numbers of GPIOs. I wonder why they haven’t made anything with the dozens and dozens of GPIOs found on some STM32 or Atmega models, for example.
 

Online langwadt

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Re: ESP32 suitability as a display driver?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2024, 12:14:30 pm »
One downside, apart from only doing RGB565, is that it uses up just about all the pins.  I had to add back in two IO expanders to that design.
This really is the one enduring limitation to the ESP32 platform: the lack of models with truly large numbers of GPIOs. I wonder why they haven’t made anything with the dozens and dozens of GPIOs found on some STM32 or Atmega models, for example.

maybe the die would have to be bigger to fit more IOs
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: ESP32 suitability as a display driver?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2024, 12:41:50 pm »
One downside, apart from only doing RGB565, is that it uses up just about all the pins.  I had to add back in two IO expanders to that design.
This really is the one enduring limitation to the ESP32 platform: the lack of models with truly large numbers of GPIOs. I wonder why they haven’t made anything with the dozens and dozens of GPIOs found on some STM32 or Atmega models, for example.

maybe the die would have to be bigger to fit more IOs
Probably - also may need expensive changes to all the fiddly hand-fettled RF stuff if they changed the physical die layout.
Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
Day Job: Mostly LEDs
 

Offline tooki

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Re: ESP32 suitability as a display driver?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2024, 01:03:56 pm »
One downside, apart from only doing RGB565, is that it uses up just about all the pins.  I had to add back in two IO expanders to that design.
This really is the one enduring limitation to the ESP32 platform: the lack of models with truly large numbers of GPIOs. I wonder why they haven’t made anything with the dozens and dozens of GPIOs found on some STM32 or Atmega models, for example.

maybe the die would have to be bigger to fit more IOs
By some trivial amount. I don’t think the registers and driver circuitry for GPIOs are particularly large.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: ESP32 suitability as a display driver?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2024, 01:07:03 pm »
One downside, apart from only doing RGB565, is that it uses up just about all the pins.  I had to add back in two IO expanders to that design.
This really is the one enduring limitation to the ESP32 platform: the lack of models with truly large numbers of GPIOs. I wonder why they haven’t made anything with the dozens and dozens of GPIOs found on some STM32 or Atmega models, for example.

maybe the die would have to be bigger to fit more IOs
By some trivial amount. I don’t think the registers and driver circuitry for GPIOs are particularly large.
No but the bond-out pads can be - look at the die shot here http://electronupdate.blogspot.com/2018/08/espressif-esp32-teardown.html
Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
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Online langwadt

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Re: ESP32 suitability as a display driver?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2024, 01:08:26 pm »
One downside, apart from only doing RGB565, is that it uses up just about all the pins.  I had to add back in two IO expanders to that design.
This really is the one enduring limitation to the ESP32 platform: the lack of models with truly large numbers of GPIOs. I wonder why they haven’t made anything with the dozens and dozens of GPIOs found on some STM32 or Atmega models, for example.

maybe the die would have to be bigger to fit more IOs
By some trivial amount. I don’t think the registers and driver circuitry for GPIOs are particularly large.

but the pads are

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESP32#/media/File:ESP32-Dieshot.jpg


 
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