A TFT panel connected to a Raspberry Pi without the use of an HDMI decoder? What is this sorcery??? It’s the DPI Kippah from Adafruit! This HAT-like* board snaps onto a Raspberry Pi B+, A+ or Pi 2 Model B and with a little software configuration, allows you to have what normally would go out the HDMI port come up on a nice little flat screen. *Its not technically a HAT due to the lack of an on-board EEPROM, but its the same shape as a Pi HAT and its a covering of sorts, so we call it a kippah
Compared to our lovely HDMI backpacks, you don’t have the extra cost or expense of an HDMI encoder/decoder. And you get a nice ultra-fast 18-bit color display with optional touch support. We tested it and it works great with our 5″ and 7″ displays at 800×480. This display is ‘native’ so it gets all the graphics accelleration capabilities, instant refresh, etc. you would get from an HDMI display
OK so, exciting right? But, what’s the catch? The catch is this add on board uses nearly every pin available on the Raspberry Pi and those pins are hardcoded, they cannot be moved or rearranged. The pins used are GPIO 2 through 21 inclusive. That means you don’t get the UART RX/TX pins (no console cable) and you don’t get the standard user I2C pins, the EEPROM I2C pins, or hardware SPI pins. You do get to use pins #22, #23, #24, #25, #26 and #27, and the USB ports are fine to use too.
The other catch is that this display replaces the HDMI/NTSC output, so you can’t have the DPI HAT and HDMI working at once, nor can you ‘flip’ between the two.
Also, there’s no PWM’s available so you can’t have precision backlight control unless you somehow rig up an external PWM generator with a 555 or something. Finally, we did test this setup with a straight-up Raspbian and after the software installs, it works great. However, we don’t guarantee it will work with any other Raspberry Pi operating system or setup.
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This product would be better than the RPi foundation DSI (under developing) display solution?
Do you have any comparison between SPI pin / DSI port performance? (speed, maximum resolution, software support, power consumption, etc..)