ezLCD FAQ

Earth LCD > ezLCD FAQ

ezLCD FAQ

For Over 15 years the  Smart LCD – Serial LCD – LCD Terminal – PLC Alternative – Arduino TouchScreen LCD

What is an ezLCD?

An ezLCD is  a full embedded system consisting of an LCD, Touchscreen, Processor, Graphics Controller, Flash and RAM. ezLCD was originally designed to be graphics terminal for any micro-controller including 4 bit and  8 bit processors (any device with a TTL serial port can talk to an ezLCD). Every ezLCD has a bare metal operating system that boots in less then a second with the entire source code owned and maintained by EarthLCD. This operating system provides simple commands to manage graphic primitives, fonts, bitmaps and button widgets. The basic interface to this is called the ezLCD API. This is accessed by simple commands received through the command interface. All ezLCD families have at least a TTL serial command interface.  All touchscreen models have a powerful button command that will send to the host micro a byte saying a button has been pressed. ezLCD stores it’s own bitmaps and fonts in local flash allowing for instant display with a simple command no matter how slow the host or command interface speed. This bitmaps and fonts are configured when you build your product by copying them to the ezLCD local flash storage. Some ezLCD models add scripting languages such as Basic (ezLCD-30x), LUA (ezLCD-10x) or Micropython (ezLCD-5xxx Q3 2019) . Some models allow for I/O interfaces to allow them to act as complete stand alone touchscreen. These models can rapidly become a product by just adding a sensor and writing a high level script for the user interface and sensor access.

Why do customers buy ezLCD?

To get a touchscreen interface into their product in the fastest most efficient way and to have long term availability. The ezLCD isolates a product developer from having to worry about graphics libraries and UI tools and most importantly having to source and design in all of the components listed above. Earth was the first distributor of Color TFT LCD’s in the United States and has developed products for 25 years and the founders previously developed network and personal computer products. We use this expertise to give a customer the majority of their touch screen user interface based product in a ‘bolt-in’ package saving 6-12 months of product development. We also have the most aggressive pricing of any domestic supplier because we source our LCD’s direct from the factory. We also have more experience in evaluating and choosing the displays we use for the best value and long term availability. We still after 15 years build the original ezLCD-001 for special order customers.

Can I replace a PLC with an ezLCD?

If you are monitoring a single sensor are using this for production test to monitor a few endpoints and you can program in Basic look at an ezLCD-304. If you are using an Arduino for a production line tester look at the arLCD.

Who uses ezLCD?

100’s of customers including the U.S. military, Medical equipment producers , Instrument Manufacturers. Send us an email and we’ll sned you a link to pictures of devices with ezLCD.

Can I use an ezLCD with an Arduino?

Yes. You can even buy the arLCD an ezLCD with an Arduino built in from us or Arduino

Can I use an ezLCD with a Raspberry Pi or PC?

Yes. You can run off a com port with an RS-232 to TTL adapter or even a USB port. Your application would have to send ezLCD API commands to build the user interface you want to use.

What are the competitive products?

We are happy do discuss this with you more specifically but here is an overview:

Competitor  R – Uses Linux and QT which suffers from long boot times & expensive Linux aware programmers not to mention dealing with Linux updates, etc.

Competitor  A – Designed a product for one customer and now a very outdated custom chip with a limited product line,

Competitor D – Non U.S. based supplier very low ram micro-controller based simple API and has 9 discontinued products on mail order supplier website today. They gave a 30 day notice to their customers on one product they discontinued and did not offer a drop in replacement! In 15 years we have only had two products that there was not an exact drop in available for and we always had a software compatible product.

Competitor C – The new cheap serial LCD. Overseas supplier good prices but poor LCD choices for long term availability and zero support and long term availability not guaranteed.

What are the differences between the ezLCD models?

The original ezLCD-00x (circa 2004!) has  a very small amount of flash, only an ezLCD API and needed a special software tool to add bitmaps and bitmap fonts. The flagship ezLCD-001 was based on the award winning Circuit Cellar 2004 Atmel design contest.

The ezLCD-1xx has a 32 bit processor a large amount of flash and an SD card, in addition to the ezLCD API it had the LUA scripting language. It supports native opentype postscript fonts (TruType compatible). The ezLCD-1xxx is not recommended for new design due to a processor obsolescence but there will be drop in compatible versions of it in the ezLCD-5xxx family.

The ezLCD-3xx has a 16 bit processor and has a 4 megabyte flash drive build in for fonts and the EarthSempl Basic programming language.

The ezLCD-4xx has a 32 bit processor and an external SD card for bitmap and font storage. It supports the ezLCD API. It replaced the ezLCD-004, ezLCD-005 with the ezLCD-405.

The ezLCD-5xxx (Available Q3 – 2019) will have a 500 mHz ARM M7 processor and support the ezLCD API, LUA and Micropython. Both resistive and capacitive touch screens will be available. It supports native opentype postscript fonts (TruType compatible). Special models will be API compatible with the ezLCD-105 and ezLCD-103.