# Graphics controller, Undecided PIC32 or S1D13517?

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#### Kisen

##### New Member
Hi,

I am about to start work on a 5" TFT driver PCB.
I am a little undecided on how to proceed with the driver.

The TFT is a 5" 800x480 pixel RGB display.

I have used a couple of different drivers for this sort of size screen and found them to be quite buggy. The RA8876 is a little mine field i found.
Recently i am seeing another controller being touted as the best one to buy. The EPSON S1D13517.

I was considering using the PIC32MZ (DA) series to create my own driver but before i go to the trouble thought i would see if anyone has any experience with the EPSON chip, or even with the PIC32, when it comes to driving these display.

This would end up as a possible commercial product so i need something reliable that will have longevity. The PIC32 rings that bell as when the chip becomes obsolete i can port it to the next chip.

#### Nigel Goodwin

##### Super Moderator
The PIC32 rings that bell as when the chip becomes obsolete i can port it to the next chip.
Do PIC's ever become obsolete?, they seem to keep on making and selling them almost for ever - such as the 16F84 - although they do inflate the price on old chips like that. How long are you expecting to keep manufacturing this specific item?, and how long do you think the display itself will remain available?.

#### Kisen

##### New Member
Do PIC's ever become obsolete?, they seem to keep on making and selling them almost for ever - such as the 16F84 - although they do inflate the price on old chips like that. How long are you expecting to keep manufacturing this specific item?, and how long do you think the display itself will remain available?.
You raise a good question i suppose. The Display manufacturer claims 10 years guaranteed manufacture. Who knows tho, in 10 years LCD displays might be considered ancient technology.
Do you have any experience with the driver display i mentioned?
The product itself, could find itself being used in a medical setting, so needs to be reliable.

#### Nigel Goodwin

##### Super Moderator
You raise a good question i suppose. The Display manufacturer claims 10 years guaranteed manufacture. Who knows tho, in 10 years LCD displays might be considered ancient technology.
Do you have any experience with the driver display i mentioned?
No, I've never even heard of it.

Assuming you can get the PIC32 driving it successfully, then at least you're in control of everything, and have no problems with the chip been discontinued.

The product itself, could find itself being used in a medical setting, so needs to be reliable.
And tends to have a very long life expectancy in a hospital - they don't replace things ever five minutes.

#### JonSea

##### Well-Known Member
Not to hijack the thread.... I am making a product used by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), where "new" equipment is from the 70s. I don't know if my device will ever see widespread adoption due to inertia in the organization, but it did pass a year old evaluation with flying colors (sorry, couldn't resist) and when somebody suggested the devices had to come out of the control towers, I think the guy feared for his life when the Air Traffic Controllers heard his plan.

My design premise has been that this must be absolutely reliable (zero failures of any kind at the 10 test locations in the year evaluation year suggest a good start on that) and it must be serviceable for many years into the future. The \$ industrial switches are rated for over a million cycles; by my calculations, that's at least 15 years in the worst case. But switches can fail early, so I have made sure that they are field replaceable with no special tools required. The displays are 15mm 7-segment LEDs. If they last for 50,000 operational hours, worst-case, that's pushing nearly 20 years of operational life. Sorry, replacing these will require soldering but I am fairly confident that replacements would be available if somebody wants to keep them running. The microcontroller is a PIC18F-seriea without any exotic features, so I'm not concerned about availability of that part either.

While my FAA contact appreciates all this, sometimes he just doesn't seem to get it (that can be said a lot when dealing with the FAA). "Why don't you just use a raspberry pi and some of the cheap oLED displays? Or maybe an LCD touchscreen?" I don't think anybody would predict the operating life of a cheap oLED display in operation all day every day. And finding a drop-in replacement in a few years or 10 or 15 is really unlikely. The same with an LCD touchscreen display - if there's a mechanically-interchangeable one to be found, it's likely that minor or major software changes would be required.

Sorry, blowing off a little steam, but that's been my thought process for something that may well be in use long after I'm around.

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