EPI - Embedded Panel Interface - finally there is a standard
The Embedded Panel Interface EPI, an open standard, allows for easy and direct control of all flatpanel displays with maximum interchangeability.
Deggendorf October 7, 2005 - One of the biggest advantages of COM's (Computer On Modules) is the interchangeability of modules between different suppliers. The only weak point was the direct control of flatpanel displays. Due to the lack of a uniform standard all manufacturers had to define their own interface strategy.
This problem is now solved with the use of Embedded Panel Interface EPI. EPI is based on the VESA standard EDID 1.3 and defines the software format for display properties and the scalable hardware interface.
With EDID 1.3 only monitors with local intelligence can be operated. In order for an Embedded Computer Module to have direct control of a flatpanel display some more information is required. Therefore, EPI adds the missing parameters to the complete set of EDID 1.3 data.
The VESA EDID 2.0 specification, which is no longer supported, failed to solve this problem. This was mainly due to its high complexity.
An EPI data set, used to describe the control of a flatpanel display, can be easily created using the information found in the display's datasheet. It's even easier when using congatec's CGOS32 tool. With this tool the newly created data set can be written to a reserved area in the congatec embedded BIOS.
The EPI data set description is independent from the video controller and is interpreted by the video BIOS of the COM in order to set the correct video attributes. The result is a manufacturer independent "plug-and-display" solution that enables free interchangeability of displays and COM's.
The EPI definition was created in cooperation with customers and embedded computer manufacturers.
"We explicitly support the development of EPI as a uniform flatpanel display interface" stated Peter Marek from MarekMicro / Advantech "with this approach, solving complex display adaptations is much easier for us and our customers".
congatec has taken the first steps towards establishing the EPI definition as an industry standard. It's currently being "fine tuned" with the help of some other embedded computer module manufacturers and will be ready for release in November 2005.