Our μEZ GUI product line of standalone microcontroller based Touch Screen GUI / HMI production modules provides an off-the-shelf solution for new products and offers a quick and easy upgrade to existing products. The uEZ GUI modules are cost effective and provide a complete hardware and software solution with industry standard ARM Cortex M microcontrollers running the proven uEZ® / FreeRTOS Software Platform. Our uEZ GUI units have enough processing power to serve as the main controller in your application, but they can also function as a Slave only GUI to upgrade existing designs where the CPU needs to remain. Display sizes range from 3.5” to 7.0” with both resistive and capacitive touch options and all of our uEZ GUI products offer minimum 10 year channel life so your product can stay in production. In addition to our standard products, FDI offers full design services with the ability to customize standard products or design a system from scratch to solve your company’s product needs.
Learn more about the μEZ GUI Product Family through our interactive product training module on the Digi-Key website.
Ready to begin your design? Compare the features and capabilities of our μEZ GUI products using our μEZ GUI Selection Guide.
Our ELI product line or Easy LCD Interface, is a family of embedded touch screen displays for use with your favorite Single Board Computer or SBC. These include popular options like the Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, Linux, Android, i.MX or even Windows based units. Every ELI unit uses the same three standard connections: HDMI, USB and Power, so adding an embedded display is an easy plug-and-play addition to your SBC. If your display size or touch screen requirements change, ELI units are interchangeable, since they all support EDID for automatic screen sizing over the HDMI interface. ELI is a cost-effective, off-the-shelf solution with no NRE or development costs, and full support from our team of US-based engineers or any of our franchised distributors. Display sizes range from 4.3” to 15.0” with both resistive and capacitive touch options and all of our ELI products offer minimum 10 year channel life so your product can stay in production. In addition to our standard products, FDI offers full design services with the ability to customize standard products or design a system from scratch to solve your company’s product needs.
Ready to begin your design? Compare the features and capabilities of our ELI products using our ELI Selection Guide.
Module Development Kits
Our line of Modular touchscreen Development Kits allows for rapid prototyping and evaluation of many different types of LCDs and microcontroller architectures by using on standard System-on-Modules or SOM. Optimized to save time and designed for extensibility, each Modular Development Kit comes equipped with µEZ® / FreeRTOS Rapid Software Development Platform and complete support documentation. FDI’s modular development kits are equipped with all you need to get a new design started right out of the box, but FDI also offers complete Design and Production Services with as much or as little help as you might need.
FDI Software Focus
FDI standard kits are based on open-source or low-cost platforms to keep your costs as low as possible.
- Linux is used on most FDI ARM9 products
- uClinux is used for some ARM7 products
- μEZ®/FreeRTOS for ARM7 and Cortex-M3 products.
μEZ® (pronounced muse) is an open-source rapid development platform, developed by FDI. By providing RTOS and processor abstraction, μEZ® frees companies to focus on innovation and their value-added applications while minimizing development time. It enhances portability of application code to multiple platforms and has high reusability, saving even more time and cost. Read more about μEZ®.
FDI supports the IAR Tool Suite across uEZ and every other major software platform in which we work. IAR is the only tool vendor that we know of who supports every microcontroller for our major partners like ARM, NXP Semiconductors and Renesas. In addition IAR is the preferred tool vendor for the Renesas RX63N and RL78G14 RDKs, that are co-designed and produced by FDI for worldwide use by Renesas and their customers. Read more about IAR at www.iar.com.
The µEZ+ Bootloader is perfect for upgrading your firmware in the field through mediums such as an SD card, USB flash drive, or even over a serial interface such as Ethernet or USB.
The µEZ+ Base Bootloader (BBL) resides in on-chip flash memory space and takes care of loading your application. It also searches external sources such as an SD card or USB drive for valid application updates. The BBL will instantly load the application at startup.
The Application Bootloader (ABL) contains the higher level intelligence needed to program both internal and external Flash memory and can be changed dynamically since it is loaded from local memory such as the SD card or USB flash drive when required.
The µEZ+ Bootloader is thoroughly tested and proven in multiple production units, so you can rest assured that your firmware updates will be flawless.
The Bootloader is part of FDI’s uEZ+ product offering and as such is a licensed component that must be purchased from FDI and registered before use. Please consult the uEZ+ Software End User License Agreement for complete details.
μEZ® Rapid Development Platform
μEZ® (pronounced muse) is an open-source rapid development platform, developed by FDI. Like the Greek muses who inspired the creation process for the arts and sciences, uEZ inspires rapid development of embedded applications. It supplies application developers with an extensive library of open source software, drivers, and processor support – all under a common framework and at a low cost. By providing RTOS and processor abstraction, μEZ® frees companies to focus on innovation and their value-added applications while minimizing development time. It enhances portability of application code to multiple platforms and has high reusability, saving even more time and cost.
uEZ Brochures, Manuals, and Products
4.3″ Touch Screen LCD Kit for LPC2478
3.5″ QVGA Touch Screen LCD Kit for LPC2478
5.7″ QVGA Touch Screen LCD Kit for LPC2478
5.7″ VGA Touch Screen LCD Kit for LPC2478
5.7″ VGA Touch Screen LCD Kit for LPC1788
4.3″ WQVGA Touch Screen LCD Kit for LPC1788
4.3″ VGA Touch Screen LCD Kit for RX62N
4.7″ VGA Touch Screen LCD Kit for RX62N
Diagram showing how µEZ encapsulates the host operating system APIs using a software and hardware abstraction layer to allow deployment on any RTOS
uEZ Operating Systems Abstraction Layer (OSAL)
The selection of an RTOS can be one of the most daunting aspects of developing an embedded system. With μEZ®, the primary features of common multi-tasking operating systems are abstracted, thus easing the transition to an open source or low-cost RTOS. The µEZ® OSAL gives applications access to the following features in an OS-independent fashion:
- Pre-emptive multitasking
- Stack overflow detection
- Unlimited number of tasks
- Semaphores (binary, counting, mutex)
uEZ Subsystems Drivers
The µEZ® subsystem drivers use the OSAL function to give protected access to the processor peripherals. The subsystem driver API function as are typically protocol layer interfaces (TCP/IP, USB, etc.) designed as high-level access routines, such as open, close, read, write, etc., where possible.
uEZ Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)
The HAL functions provide single-threaded unprotected access to the processor peripherals. Customers can use the uEZ HAL routines provided by FDI or they can write their own. The HAL routines provide for RTOS/μEZ® independence and allow portability within a family of processors.
uEZ Project Maker
The µEZ Project Maker allows the user to quickly create an IAR, Rowley CrossWorks, or Keil project. The µEZ Project Maker can be downloaded here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is μEZ® and how does it help me?
μEZ® is a Rapid Development Platform designed to simplify embedded software development. It should help you get your product to market faster and with a lower development cost than other options. When you get right down to it, what’s more important than saving time and $$$!
The goal of the μEZ® platform is to provide underlying RTOS and processor abstraction, enabling the programmer to focus on the value-added features of their product. μEZ® enhances portability of application code to multiple CPU platforms with high reusability.
Is μEZ® expensive – what does it cost?
μEZ® is an open source, middleware platform so there is no cost to the user. Customers with the necessary engineering resources, a compatible compiler suite, and a little free time can directly integrate μEZ® into their embedded application. For customers with time or resource limitations, FDI offers affordable integration services that are customized to your hardware and software requirements. These FDI integration services are full turnkey, can cost as little as $10K, and may require only 4 weeks of schedule time to complete and test on your hardware.
Where do I get μEZ® and who provides support for the platform?
The µEZ® source code and documentation can be downloaded from https://sourceforge.net/projects/uez. Marketing updates and details on technical support are available at www.teamfdi.com/uez.
Why not use Linux?
Linux is a powerful OS with a much larger code and memory footprint and requiring a processor with a dedicated MMU (Memory Management Unit). μEZ® is designed to work with lower cost processors with smaller memories and, whenever possible, to use only the processor’s internal ROM and RAM. A recent study undertaken by FDI reviewed the cost increases likely for a Linux based system over a μEZ®-based system. The study found a potential hardware cost savings of $25–$40 per unit for the μEZ® system. This savings is significant since it might represent 25–50% of the total embedded hardware cost.
In addition, setting up a full Linux development system can be a source of frustration for many developers. μEZ® uses a single source tree for all its applications and drivers, thus providing a build system compatible with the IDE of choice. Compiling μEZ® is as easy as compiling a single application.
I don’t need all of the features you listed, can μEZ® be trimmed down?
μEZ® was specifically designed and structured to allow developers to pick and choose only the features that are needed for their particular application. Typical code and data memory footprints for μEZ® are 300KB code and 50KB data memory (excluding data memory for LCD or display Frame Buffers).
Can we use another RTOS?
All μEZ® components are made to connect through the μEZ® OSAL (Operating System Abstraction Layer) to the RTOS ensuring compatibility with many different RTOS’s. Currently all μEZ® commercial development by FDI is being focused on the FreeRTOS™ platform since it satisfies the low cost tool requirement because it is “free”. In addition, for medical and intrinsic safety applications FDI partners with Wittenstein to offer a SafeRTOS™ / uEZ platform option. RTOS products from other vendors can also be used with μEZ®.
Which compiler suites do you support?
Currently, μEZ® supports the following three main tool sets:
- The low cost Rowley CrossWorks compiler
- The IAR EWARM tool suite
- The Keil, ARM RealView tool suite
In addition, GNU, HEW – High Performance Embedded Workshop and other compilers can also be used with μEZ®.
What debug tools are available?
Since μEZ® uses the debug tools that are provided in the customers compiler suite, it can be used with any of the tools listed above.
Which processors are supported?
Even though μEZ® is processor independent, all of our initial development has been focused on various members of the ARM Family and Renesas RX families. We currently support the NXP LPC24xx family, the NXP LPC17xx, and the Renesas RX62N family.
If I use μEZ®, do I have to open source my proprietary application code?
No, as long as the code provides functionality that is distinct from that already provided by uEZ.
Do I have to open source my changes to μEZ®?
Yes. When requested, the modified μEZ® source must be provided.
Do I have to document that my product uses μEZ®?
Yes, but a website link to http://www.teamfdi.com is sufficient. The µEZ® trademark or link does not have to appear on your product.
If I create a driver using the μEZ® API, does my driver have to be open source too?
No, drivers created by you are independent modules added to the μEZ® code base per the above exception. However, if you find this source useful to others, we ask you consider making it open source and contribute to the μEZ® code base.
Do I have to offer to provide μEZ® code to users of my application?
Can I receive professional support on a commercial basis?
Future Designs, Inc. provides limited basic technical support for uEZ at http://www.teamfdi.com/forum/
For more advanced support, Future Designs, Inc. provides full-service technical support. See http://www.teamfdi.com/support/full-service.php for more details.
Is a warranty provided? Is there legal protection?
Can I use the μEZ® trademark to promote my product?
Yes, but permission from Future Designs, Inc. must be requested by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Available Training Presentations