Amulet Technologies: Chip dedicated to GUI production

Intended to slash time needed to develop graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for various products, Amulet Technologies introduced a 5.7-in., 320 x 240 pixel QVGA display panel (LCD) that embeds a graphical operating system (OS).

11/13/2003



Introduced at Embedded Systems Conference Boston, Amulet LCD offers software-controlled contrast, eliminating the need for an external pot and simplified sealing for harsh field conditions.

Intended to slash time needed to develop graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for various products, Amulet Technologies introduced a 5.7-in., 320 x 240 pixel QVGA display panel (LCD) that embeds a graphical operating system (OS). The ''fabless'' semiconductor company claims screen-content development cycles can be cut by 95%, while updating the physical looks of the user interface.

This system-in-a-module allows developers to visually create intuitive GUIs first in HTML—via a standard text editor on a PC—then simply port the interface to the graphics OS in silicon, according to Amulet. The process is in contrast to traditional methods that require lengthy software programming and other development costs. The graphic OS chip includes a graphic library, dedicated microprocessor, and LCD controller, thereby saving on separate development of these components.

''System developers looking to incorporate sleek control features into their design have the additional benefit of creating a graphically stunning display in record time,'' says Ken Klask, president of Amulet. The LCD can be incorporated into existing products without offloading performance from the core application, according to Amulet. In addition, ''Manufacturers can upgrade an existing product’s UI to a graphic user interface, creating a 'graphic skin' for products needing a mid-life facelift,'' adds Klask.

Amulet LCD includes standard communication ports, Ethernet, and support for radio, Wi-Fi and RS-485. The device is available for $125 each in 10K or larger volumes.

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering, fbartos@reedbusiness.com





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