Tuesday, October 3, 2023
HomeTechnologyMay 1080p Video Output From The RP2040 Be Doable?

May 1080p Video Output From The RP2040 Be Doable?

Trendy microcontrollers usually have specs comparable with or exceeding early gaming consoles. Nevertheless, the place they have an inclination to fall brief is within the video division, as a consequence of their lack of devoted graphics {hardware}. With some nifty coding, although, nice issues might be achieved  — as demonstrated by [TEC_IST]’s mission that will get the RP2040 outputting 1080p video over HDMI.

The mission builds on earlier work that noticed the RP2040 outputting digital video over DVI. [TEC_IST] realized that earlier strategies already used up 30% of the chip’s processing energy simply to succeed in 320×240 output. To get to 1080p decision would require a unique tack. The concept concerned utilizing the 32-bit structure of the RP2040 to output a better information fee to swimsuit the upper decision. The RP2040 can do a 32-bit transfer instruction in a single clock cycle, which, with 30 GPIO pins, can be able to an information fee of three.99 Gbits/second on the regular 133 MHz clock velocity. That’s greater than sufficient for 1080p at 60 Hz with a 24-bit colour depth.

Because of the limitations of the chip, although, some additional {hardware} can be required. [TEC_IST] has drawn up a design that makes use of exterior RAM as a framebuffer, whereas utilizing shift registers and different supporting logic to deal with dumping out alerts over HDMI. This may simply depart the RP2040 to deal with drawing new content material, with out having to redraw present content material each body.

[TEC_IST] has shared the design for a possible 1080p HDMI output board for the RP2040 on GitHub and is inviting remark from the broader group. They’re but to be constructed and examined, so it’s all theoretical at this stage. Clearly, numerous heavy lifting is being achieved off-board the microcontroller right here, nevertheless it’s nonetheless enjoyable to think about such a humble chip doing such heavy-duty video output.



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