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FEZ Project + LCD


Im new on .NETMF and FEZ and currently use only VS2010(Ultimate) + Emulator(Changed resolution to 800x600)… I don’t own any .NETMF device because Im not shure if it will meet my requirements…
I would like build my own dashboard for my car with some additional options which original one can’t do.
I will use CAN network to get data and this will not be problem. Im not shure if FEZ cobra is enought powerfull to show gauges and all data from board computer on LCD screen and at same time show data on dot-matrix display…
Im not shure but is possible use components like this on this devices:
C# Example: Free Draw .NET GDI+ Gauge Control with Source Code

If not can someone tell me if there is avalible some library which I can use with .NETMF to draw gauges?
What is boot time of FEZ Cobra with application like this? Resume from hibernate I think will be few seconds?
I have also question about hibernate. Is possible to do that when Cobra have on some input pin 6-16V that normaly run and when lose voltage on this pin(under 6V) it go to hibernate. When get on this pin back more than 6V it resume? So not pulse signal but when signal is provided code run when there is no signal board hibernate. I need to turn on/hibernate board with car ignition signal.

If this can’t be done with .NETMF then I must use another device which use mono but have so big boot time(30-40sec to start application) that is not so useful…
Im also think about ChipworkX Module(NOT ChipworkX Development System) if FEZ Cobra will be to slow but Im not shure if connecting 7" LCD will be so easy.

Thanks for any help.


FEZ Cobra (EMX) will do the job just fine. Gauges are a simple static bitmap on the screen so that doesn’t need any processing power. And when you do updates on the screen, it is about 10 times a second so that is also slow.

Boot time is 5 to 10 seconds, depending on your application. Wake up from hibernate is immediate.

ChipworkX doesn’t have built in CAN but it is faster than EMX. For your application, I would go with EMX.

Finally, GHI is developing a graphical library for NETMF that is very much tweaked for speed. This is still in beta so you can request your needs for gauges here,


Hi Gus,
Thanks for your fast reply. Because Im see that forum support for your FEZ products are very good I would like to go this way with FEZ Cobra+7" LCD…
I don’t need fast boot time if hibernate function will work as I want:
12V ignition hibernate/resume board trough some circuit which decrease voltage to voltage which EMX module accept. Im quick search on forum about hibernate but didn’t see if this what I need can be done(PINX=high board resume and runing, PINX=low board hibernate, X= some interrupt digital/analog input). In this case boot will be need only when battery will be empty = never because I have in car 75Ah + 2x100Ah :slight_smile:
Im see Glide and also quick read a lot of threads about LCD on forum. As Im see maybe this can be done by using RLP but problem is that my C/C++ knowlege = NULL :slight_smile: Glide looks very promising project. I will ask for gauges support in Glide thread.
Im work on C#(.NET) with DundasWinGauge library and make CAN application which read data from my car but Im use CANUSB device which use own protocol, so I will try integrated CAN protocol in EMX but if messages will be to much different then I will just buy CANUSB(Or RS232 version) device and plug it to board.
In attachment is image how looks on win app so I thinking that maybe will work also something like that:
Make background image without needle and load it on startup. Then I in code draw only needle and other icons(Blinkers, lights, over RPM…)

Something like this can also be done in Glide but more in Glide thread.
Also I have another question is emulator speed same as will be real device?
For now I must only need to know if hibernate will work as I need and then I must find distributor in Europe which have both on stock(FEZ cobra and 7" LCD) :slight_smile:
Thanks again for your time and help.


Also if Im right do you think that Cobra can handle 7" LCD + one or two 4D Systems 3.2" QVGA Touch Screen LCD but without touch functionality and showing some simple data/images?




Gus Yes to hibernate question or additional screens or both? :slight_smile:


To everything :slight_smile: EMX is use commercially in products around the world. You will be surprised to see how much it can do and what features GHI have put into it! I would save details till after you have used NETMF for sometime and take look at here for example, see “low power”


Gus Im find that Cobra support max 7" 800X480 but is there any way to use for example next display:
12.3 TFT LCD 1280x480


Assuming it works, those displays were about $500 each!!


Im ask them for price when Im post question if they will work so waiting for answer…
I can get same size panel and same resolution from other product like this one:
or somewhere find(I don’t know what price have) Sharp LQ123K1LG03 LCD panel.
No mather if cost more than 7" LCD and 2x4D Systems 3.2" QVGA it will looks better.
Also I must first check(tomorrow) if I can put this panel into dash :slight_smile: But if I can it will be good if Cobra can work with them…


It may work but will be out of ram quickly

Do the math 1280x480x4 is how much ram you need for just one image.


It will take around 2,4MB(800X480 take around 1,5MB). How much RAm I need to run this size LCD? Will ChipworkX run it or I must look for some other faster .NETMF board(Like Topaz i.MX25)?
Thanks for your time and help.

Best regards, Dejan


Topaz runs .NET Micro Framework?! Their website has been saying “Microsoft .NET Micro Framework 4.1 in development” for about 2 years IIRC. If you know otherwise then please correct me. ChipworkX is still the fastest and most featured available board on the market today :slight_smile:

ChipworkX has 64MB of RAM (EMX is 16MB) so you can get an estimate of how much you can do on a higher resolution. I still think you should consider using a lower resolution or not using NETMF all together.

You never used NETMF before correct? If so then start wit any NETMF device that support graphics to get familiar with everything and then from that point you can understand your needs and the NETMF limitations better.


Hi Gus,
Thanks for your answers. Im today by accidently find topaz site when Im look for similar board as Cobra but more powerfull :slight_smile: Yes they have .NETMF 4.1 Im download their SDK and inside is also firmware which is big cca. 4,4MB SDK is in Alpha state but I don’t need to hurry with my project so until ChipworkX module will have board like Cobra maybe they will have stable release. I prefer your products because support on forum is a lot of better -> a lot of more posts but search function is stupid(show posts instead threads) :slight_smile:
If I look by “memory view” and EMX can run 800x480 then 1280x480 can’t be problem for ChipworkX. I think I will go 12.3 LCD 1280x480 because on 7" is very hard to put gauge and other things to it.

No Im never use NETMF before and this is new thing to me. Most days in my job I use Delphi and at home I work with normal .NET and also Mono(For Phidget SBC2). Currently I work and test .NETMF options in emulator but Im not shure if it will emulate memory error or other hardware limitations? I don’t want spend to much money for one thing which then will not work and must replace it with better one. In this case is better to buy better device on start… Because I know only Delphi and .NET I think that .NETMF device will be easiest to make what I want…


Im already order 12.3" 1280x480 LCD which use Sharp LCD panel(If Im right the only one Sharp which is use this resolution is LQ123K1LG03).
Now I must know what parts I still need and how connect it. Gus here I will need little your help.
EMX will not be powerfull enought so only option is ChipworkX so I must buy ChipworkX Development System because for ChipworkX Module there is not any board like Cobra.
Can you tell me if I need something else that I connect this LCD to board? What I must check that I will not damage board or LCD?
I will not use Touchscreen so only LCD panel.
Do I need controler like one on next page?
In attachment is connection diagram how to connect panel to ALR controller but if Im right it is only needed when we need VGA input. So can I plug LVDS cable direct to board or I need some converters?
I will upload pictures of panel when I get it(End of this or beginning next week)…
Also you can move this to ChipworkX forum.
Thanks for your help and time.

P.S. some specification of LCD:
Model LQ123K1LG03
Manufacturer Sharp
Diagonal Size 12.3
Display Area (W x H in mm) 292 x 104
Resolution 1280x480
Brightness 330 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio 400
Refresh rate (Hz) 60
Response time (ms) Gary to Gray 10 Rising 10 Falling
Viewing Angle - Vertical 110
Viewing Angle - Horizontal 130
Color Depth 8 bit
Panel Interface LVDS
Panel Voltage vDC 3.3
Backlight Type CCFT
Operation Temperature °C - °C
Outline Dimension (W x H x D in mm) 321 x 130 x 26
Application Automotive
Specifications Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 2007-02-01


The interface on displays used on embedded systems is digital not LVDS. You will need a digital display, similar to the ones we offer and you need to read the processor datasheet to make sure the resolution is something within the capability of the processor. Note that the max we tested was 800x600 since this is our market and our customer’s needs.

Finally, take a look at this


Can you please tell me how can I find “Digital LCD” and difference beetwen them and my Sharp LQ123K1LG03 ? Im search on google for “digital LCD panel” and didn’t find nothing usefull(only VGA and DVI LCD’s)…
Im see link how to connect 7" Cobra display but it is not so usefull except that I can’t disconnect original LCD backlight…

If Im look on right datasheet:
then there is not problem with resolution on processor:
LCD Controller
– Supports Passive or Active Displays
– Up to 16-bits per Pixel in STN Color Mode
– Up to 16M Colors in TFT Mode (24-bit per Pixel), Resolution up to 2048 x 2048

10.14 LCD Controller
• Single and Dual scan color and monochrome passive STN LCD panels supported
• Single scan active TFT LCD panels supported.
• 4-bit single scan, 8-bit single or dual scan, 16-bit dual scan STN interfaces supported
• Up to 24-bit single scan TFT interfaces supported
• Up to 16 gray levels for mono STN and up to 4096 colors for color STN displays
• 1, 2 bits per pixel (palletized), 4 bits per pixel (non-palletized) for mono STN
• 1, 2, 4, 8 bits per pixel (palletized), 16 bits per pixel (non-palletized) for color STN
• 1, 2, 4, 8 bits per pixel (palletized), 16, 24 bits per pixel (non-palletized) for TFT
• Single clock domain architecture
• Resolution supported up to 2048 x 2048

On specification LCD panel have 3.3V panel voltage so this can’t be problem.


I personally have never seen any display over 800x600 with digital interface, all are LVDS when larger…similar to ones used on laptops


What is name of this “digital interface” ? Is there some converter which convert LVDS to this “digital interface”? So how I can find more info about this “digital interface” ?
This sharp LCD panel can be connected to this board:
Can this board help me get signals which I need to connect to ChipworkX?

Maybe something like that:

Is this “digital interface” = TTL ?

Im new to LVDS, TTL and until now Im work only with VGA and DVI/HDMI LCD’s…
As I understand LCD panel have LVDS 6bit RGB interface and this ADA-LVDS-TX-TWIN support 18 or 24 bit TTL input and 18 or 24 bit LVDS output.
As I know for LCD panel I need 18bit(6bit RGB). Is this true?
So if I from ChipworkX get 18bit(6bit RGB) TTL output I can buy this board and put in between LCD panel and ChipworkX and it will work. Or Im wrong?
If ChipworkX output 24 bit TTL then there will be problem because as Im read this converter can’t convert 24 bit to 18 bit.


16-bit (or more/less) color bus + HSYNC + VSYNC + CLOCK + optional enable
This is all in the processor datasheet. Please take a look at it to determine what will and will not work.

Note that explaining display interfaces and what displays work is beyond GHI’s free support scope but I am trying to help since you have an exciting project. GHI expect users to either be engineers familiar with processors displays so they can pick their own or they can use one of the “off the shelf” display if they are not sure.