Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP), a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions, today announced the release of Graphics Display Designer X (GDD X), Microchip’s enhanced visual design tool that provides a quick and easy way of creating Graphical User Interface (GUI) screens for applications using Microchip’s 16- or 32-bit PIC ® MCUs. With GDD X, developers have the freedom to work in the environment of their choice, including Windows ®, Linux or Mac OS ® operating systems.
Graphical user interfaces are found in a wide range of products today, from coffeemakers to automotive dashboards. While the requirement is becoming commonplace, there is a lack of cost-effective tools available to the developer. Placing dialog boxes, guidance text, buttons, sliders, dials and other elements of your GUI while determining colors and calculating x/y coordinates can be very time-consuming. GDD X enables the development of GUIs in a “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) environment, and saves valuable design time by automatically generating the C code needed for the user interface. With GDD X, a highly effective GUI can be created to improve the customer experience for applications in the automotive (e.g., numeric, gauge or infotainment displays), industrial (e.g., operator touch-screen interfaces), home-appliance (e.g., coffeemakers, refrigerators, cook tops, microwave ovens), consumer-electronics (e.g., home automation, alarms and learning toys) and medical markets (e.g., bedside monitoring or medical lab analysis equipment).
GDD X enables development using Microchip’s Graphics Library, and can be used as a stand-alone tool or as a plug-in to Microchip’s free MPLAB® X Integrated Development Environment (IDE). It allows the creation of a project with configurable display resolution, and imports all the required driver/board support files into MPLAB X. Generated code can be compiled and tested on hardware. Key improvements to the original GDD include: thumbnail view of screens and snap-to-grid feature, cut/copy/paste, auto object align, and event handling, as well as palette support for 1-, 4-, and 8-bits-per-pixel (bpp) color modes.
“With GDD X, Microchip is bringing together key components of the graphical user interface on 16- and 32-bit hardware platforms in an easy-to-use graphics development tool,” said Sumit Mitra, vice president of Microchip’s MCU32 Division. “Developers can drag and drop GUI elements into place, and GDD X creates the C code for their project. This saves a significant amount of development time.”