Vertical alignment display drivers enable Tesla-like dashboards

March 25, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With two chip-on-glass LCD drivers for automotive and industrial use, chipmaker NXP is addressing the trend towards large vertically-oriented centre displays like they can be admired in Tesla's electrical sedans: The company is currently ramping up the production of these drivers – the PCA8539 and the PCA2117 – specifically designed for driving vertical alignment (VA) displays.

VA displays offer some advantages, but typically require a higher LCD supply voltage and higher frame frequency compared to conventional twisted nematic (TN) displays. The PCA8539 and PCA2117 allow an LCD voltage up to 16V with software-programmable temperature compensation for high and stable contrast over an extended temperature range of −40°C to 105°C. The drivers can be used for conventional twisted nematic displays with any backlight colour.

The PCA8539 is a single-chip LCD driver that generates drive signals for any static or multiplexed LCD with up to 18 backplanes, 100 segments, and graphics of up to 1800 display elements. Suited for driving VA displays in harsh environments, the PCA8539 is AEC-Q100 compliant for automotive applications such as climate control units, instrument clusters, and car infotainment systems. The PCA8539 is also optimised to drive big displays size up to 7” and simplified Chinese and Japanese characters.

The PCA2117 is a single-chip LCD character driver that can drive up to 2 lines by 20 characters plus an additional 200 icons. The initial release includes character sets “R” (PCA2117DUGR) and “S” (PCA2117DUGS). Other character sets are also available on request. In addition, the PCA2117 has an integrated character generator RAM that can store up to 48 user-defined characters. The PCA2117 is AEC-Q100 grade 2 compliant with an operating temperature range from -40 to 105oC. Samples and demo boards are available immediately.

According to NXP, vertical alignment displays are growing in popularity – not only in automotive applications, but also in home appliances, medical devices and many other consumer and industrial applications.

For more information visit