FTDI's Pioneering Arduino-Compatible Touch-Enabled Display Shield Starts Shipping


After the incredible response to its crowdfunding project earlier this year, which raised 3.25 times the original target, FTDI Chip now announces the full availability of the CleO product (and accompanying accessories) through its distribution partners, as well as directly via the company’s website. FTDI Chip will also give engineers complete access to a comprehensive development resource, which has step-by-step tutorials and projects, plus a series of software tools. In addition, a new forum has been set up (www.CleOstuff.com) on which design tips, application ideas and other information can be shared.

FTDI Chip - CleO

CleO is a simple to program, intelligent TFT display solution that allows the construction of human machine interfaces (HMIs) with much higher performance than conventional Arduino display shields are able to deliver. By using it, engineers of all different levels of aptitude (from seasoned professionals right through to keen amateurs) can develop next generation HMIs exhibiting elevated levels of functionality and superior graphical qualities. The initial CleO offering comprises a HVGA resolution, 3.5-inch TFT display incorporating a resistive touchscreen and supporting both portrait and landscape implementations. An FTDI Chip FT810 high resolution embedded video engine (EVE) graphic controller executes the HMI operation, while one of the company’s FT903 microcontrollers addresses all additional processing tasks. This highly advanced display shield provides incredibly smooth animation of graphical content, even at 60 fps frame rates. Furthermore, its anti-aliased graphics capabilities render images in finer detail - eliminating the unwanted presence of jagged edges.

When CleO is combined with FTDI Chip’s NerO – an energy efficient Arduino design capable of operating up to 1 W – it offers a far more powerful solution than a normal Arduino UNO/display shield package. However, its Arduino compatibility means it can also connect with the wide variety of different shields (sensors, motors, switches, etc.) available for this platform.

CleO Front View   CleO35 with NerO Installed
CleO Front View. CleO35 with NerO Installed.

CleO has an array of useful accessories to further assist engineers. With dimensions of 57.15 mm × 54.35 mm, the CleO-RIO module provides a mechanism for stacking the CleO shield and an Arduino board together. There is also an audio line for input of audio from external sources. The CleO-Camera module has an OV5640 1/4-inch 5 Mpixel CMOS image sensor plus flash LEDs and a 24-pin 0.5 mm pitch FFC cable. There is also a 9 V power adaptor which provides the NerO/CleO solution with up to 1 A of current.

CleO Reverse I/O (RIO) Adapter  CleO Camera   CleO Speaker
CleO Reverse I/O (RIO) Adapter. CleO Camera. CleO Speaker.

“CleO capitalises on the widespread popularity of Arduino and the countless compatible shields that are out there, as well as drawing our own industry-leading display and high speed bridging technologies,” Fred Dart, FTDI Chip’s CEO and Founder, comments. “As a consequence, far more ambitious HMI projects can be embarked upon. By referring to our detailed tutorials, even the least experienced of engineers will gradually gain greater confidence and be able to create highly sophisticated designs.”

FTDI Chip’s CleO offering has a unit price of $69/£48.

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