Controllers for E Ink e-paper displays – one technology, two different solutions

Electronic Paper Display (EPD) displays are present on world electronics market for many years but their range of applications has been limited so far. At present, an array of possible applications has been extended thanks to the development of technology. E-paper gains popularity due to characteristic very beneficial features and lower prices. In order to facilitate the access to this technology, Unisystem recently added electronic e-paper to the offer. However, it is important to note that to make full use of EPD technology the user also needs a well-matched controller. A variety of applications caused that on the market appeared two different types of dedicated controllers. Both are included in Unisystem’s product offer.

MpicoSys controllers

The first one is controller manufactured by MpicoSys Co. which allows the usage of E Ink e-paper displays in the same way as other electronic displays. The concept is based on energy-efficient microcontrollers, on the basis of which there have been developed drivers that enable precise screen control with parallel minimized power consumption. The controller communicates with the module via the SPI interface. This solution greatly reduces the cost of the driver what has a positive impact on the final applications price. However, the user should be aware that this type of driver requires an own programmed microcontroller for communicating and sending the image via SPI. MpicoSys has also developed a dedicated USB SPI adapter that allows user to connect the controller to any computer.

Visionect controllers

A completely different solution was designed by Visionect. When creating e-paper controllers, Visionect aimed to maximally simplify operation and display setup. As a result, there was developed controller in which the software is so comprehensive that, together with the EPD display, creates a complete full featured wireless network device.

The application does not require advanced engineering knowledge. Visionect controllers are based on Epson ASIC integrated circuits that are designed for E Ink displays. The module is managed using a specially developed platform called VSS (Visionect Software Suite). It is a complete web-based graphical interface, thanks to which user can easily control and change displayed content or view e.g. power consumption data. VSS has also a dedicated API, so you can integrate it with your own application.

New suppliers, new opportunities

The new profile of Unisystem is related to the recently started collaboration with three companies related to e-paper technology (displays and controllers) – E Ink, MpicoSys and Visionect. E Ink is a pioneer and world leader in the design and manufacture of EPD displays, while MpicoSys and Visionectdesign and supply appropriate controllers for E Ink displays. Unisystem’s collaboration with these three entities enables us to offer customers a comprehensive EPD technology service.

We encourage you to familiarize with our offer regarding e-paper displays. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.


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