PicoVGA: VGA/TV display on Raspberry Pi Pico #RaspberryPiPico #Video @Raspberry_Pi

The PicoVGA library allows output from the Raspberry Pico to a VGA monitor or PAL/NTSC TV, with a focus on ease of use in technical and gaming applications. It provides 4 graphic overlay layers with transparency, nearly 30 frame buffer formats that can be freely combined with each other, making do with limited RAM memory size. The limitation of output to 8 bits also contributes to RAM saving.

PicoVGA library features

  • 1 base layer and 3 overlay layers with transparency, using the PIO0 module
  • 8-bit output in R3G3B2 format
  • VGA monitor output in 256×192 to 1280×960 resolution
  • output to a TV in PAL or NTSC interlaced mode at resolutions up to 1024×576 or 848×480
  • nearly 30 frame buffer formats: 8/4/2/1 bit graphics, tiles, text, special formats (charts)
  • colour palettes for text modes and graphics formats with limited bit depth
  • frame buffers of different formats can be combined together in strips and segments in the image
  • RLE image compression (suitable for drawings)
  • transparency modes with selectable key colour
  • hardware sprites in overlay layers
  • layer output only to designated output pins (color planes)
  • automatic configuration of the video mode according to the specified resolution and timing
  • automatic overclocking of the processor according to the desired resolution
  • the library uses the 2nd core of the processor, the 1st core is reserved for the main program
  • additional PWM audio output (not required)

See the product page and code on GitHub.

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1 Comment

  1. Brian Tristam Williams

    It would have been pretty cool if it could output PAL or NTSC, but alas, it cannot. Saying that it allows output from a Pico to a PAL/NTSC TV is misleading. It only outputs RGB signals in various timings from VGA to TV-compatible 60Hz and 50Hz signals. But they would still have to be encoded to composite video, using either PAL or NTSC color-encoding, so you’re still missing a component.

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