VGA out on a Maple board

The team at Leaf Labs just released a new library to demonstrate the VGA capabilities of their Maple dev board. Although it’s only a 16 by 18 pixel image, it shows a lot of development over past video implementations on the Maple.

The Maple is a great little Ardunio-compatible board with a strangely familiar IDE. We’ve covered the Maple before. Instead of the somewhat limited AVR, the Maple uses an ARM running at 72MHz, making applications requiring some horsepower or strict timing a lot easier.

We’ve seen a few projects use the increased power, like a guitar effects shield. It’s possible the Maple could be made into a game console that would blow the Uzebox out of the water, but we’re wondering what hackaday readers would use this dev board for.

Watch the video after the jump to see how far the Maple’s VGA capability has come after only a few months, or check out Leaf Lab’s Maple libraries.

Comments

  1. Mattster says:

    Hmm a Commodore 64 emulator, Battlebot controller, guidance system for a rocket. Oh wait can’t do that else it would be a missle. Considering my old Nokia 3650 has a 50mhz Arm and plays some good games, this will be fun to play with.

  2. John P says:

    Ardunio?

  3. Chris says:

    The maple rocks. I’ve been playing with one and barely have use for all its mighty POWER. Instead of getting yourself another arudino, get a real maple and you won’t regret it. Am going to have to try out this VGA stuff soon..

  4. MoJo says:

    If you have a look on YouTube there are a few examples of ARMs generating video. Because you can use DMA to produce the output at high speed while keeping the CPU freed up you can get some good resolutions with minimal overhead.

  5. poslathian says:

    Mojo, IIRC this implementation was DMA free (used timers) – but you are definitely right. There is a VGA demo in the examples directory based on timers anyway.

    Would love to see DMA VGA!

  6. Munch says:

    Cool; however, using the Arduino’s SPI port, folks have produced higher resolutions. You can get the precision timing by ditching Sketch/C++ and writing some assembly language code. Counting cycles — its what real-time coding is all about.

  7. RevAaron says:

    It’s kind of neat, but the Propeller has been able to do all of this for ages. The Parallax’s Propeller Demo Board has VGA, PS/2 keyboard, and PS/2 mouse ports on board if you want to play with VGA right away. IIRC, the Prop’s VGA tops out at 1024×768.

  8. ColinB says:

    @poslathian wrote, “Would love to see DMA VGA!”

    Brilliantly done here:
    Thinner client using STM32 and NTSC monitor (HaD) (Link)

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