Using an LCD on the Edison

Contributors: Shawn Hymel
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One of the requests we often hear for the Intel® Edison is the ability to use an LCD. While the Edison does not have a display driver, we can use the onboard SPI port to control simple LCDs.



For this particular tutorial, we will rely on a recent version of Intel's UPM library. In it is a module capable of calling the necessary functions to control an ILI9341 driver chip, which is a popular controller for 320x240, 2"-3" LCDs.

NOTE: The UPM driver used in this tutorial is a library that works in user space. That means we can make function calls to draw simple shapes and text on the LCD. Because it is not in kernel space we cannot do things like run X on it.
ALSO NOTE: The SPI driver on the Edison is currently quite slow. A full-screen refresh takes around 20 seconds, so don't expect any video or fast cycling images. If the SPI driver is updated in a future Edison image, you can ignore this message.

Required Materials

You will need an LCD with a ILI9341 controller. These can be found from a variety of sources, such as PJRC and Adafruit. Additionally, you will need the following:

NOTE: If you are using the LCD from PJRC, you will also need a 100Ω resistor.

Suggested Readings

Before getting started, you may find some of the tutorials below helpful.