Bridgetek Embedded Video Engine  ME817EV + Display - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Bridgetek Embedded Video Engine  ME817EV + Display

Author: misaz

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Graphics controllers as part of MCUs.

What were the biggest problems encountered?:

Detailed Review:

Introduction

I welcome you to my review about Bridgetek ME817EV evaluation board and BT817 Embedded Graphics Engine. RoadTested board is visualized on following photo:

Review

I wrote very long review about this review, so I split it to the multiple blog posts. There are two blog post designed as review. The blog post Review of Bridgetek ME817EV Evaluation Board describes evaluation board itself but do not discuss main chip of this board because it is reviewed in separate detailed blog post Review of Bridgetek BT817 Embedded Video Engine. In blog post reviewing evaluation board, you can find overview of the board, description of all onboard chips, board features, possible modes of operation, available connectors, and jumpers and also about provided software that support this board. Second review blog post describes BT817 chip, what this chip can do for you, its structure, memories, internal engines, describes performance, compares with other possible solutions that enables adding display to the embedded design and describes provided software, software examples and documentation related to this chip. Except these two review blog post there are two project descriptions and one tutorial. There are blog post Pacman using Bridgetek BT817 describing my Pacman project which I have used for gathering experiences with Bridgetek EVE platform, BT817 chip and RoadTested evaluation board. As part of this article there are also tutorial describing some advanced display list commands and concepts used within BT817 chip. Next blog post How does the BT817 coprocessor work? is tutorial describing operation of coprocessor, how does coprocessor execute commands and how outputs from coprocessor could looks like. Finally, third blog post describing my more advanced project will be published later in the future because it is complex, and I still did not complete it. It is project that utilize onboard FT4222 for communication between program running on computer and BT817. Computer program controls display using BT817. At the same time program connects over TCP socket to ZUSI 3 Train Simulator and display information from virtual locomotive to the display in the way like real display present information inside cabs of real modern locomotives. I am currently working on this project. It is complex because it also requires implement communication protocol with simulator and many other things. I am also trying to setup communication with BT817 from .NET Core (C#), so this experiments also consumed me a lot of time. As soon as the project became generally usable with at least one type of locomotive display then I will publish it.

 

While my blog posts refer each other there are no recommended order of reading it. You can read it in whatever order you want. Following list contains links to all blog post related to this review.

 

Links to blog post related to this review

 

Summary

After more than two months spend by reviewing this board, I think ME817EV is good board with very interesting features and possible use cases. I also like onboard BT817 chip and its features, good documentation, and nice and comprehensive software examples. I am giving following score

 

RoadTest Score

  • Product Performed to Expectations: 10/10 because I was able to implement everything without any significant issues and even better, in examples projects I have seen many very interesting features which I did not realized at the time of applying to this RoadTest.
  • Specifications were sufficient to design with: 9/10 because I was spend some time with investigating issues with QSPI bus as described in Documentation section of Review of Bridgetek BT817 Embedded Video Engine. Otherwise, documentation is detailed enough and is easy to read.
  • Demo Software was of good quality: 10/10 because one of the best and most comprehensive example projects which I have ever seen.
  • Product was easy to use: 9/10 because there are no onboard information to tweak trimmers before powering display and missing test points labels as mentioned in Review of ME817EV Evaluation Board. Otherwise board and BT817 chip is very easy to use and both things are very user friendly.
  • Support materials were available: 10/10 because high quality of documentation, software examples and professional answers at Bridgetek forum.
  • The price to performance ratio was good: 8/10 prices of BT817 are good, including prices at low quantities. Board is little bit overpriced to me, but board price is compensated by very advanced features and interesting usage modes.
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