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ST's New Version of TouchGFX Software with Video Playback for Micros

ST's TouchGFX software allows easy development of STM32 user-interfaces with animations and widgets

STMicroelectronics has released TouchGFX Version 4.18 for user-interface development with STM32* microcontrollers (MCUs), adding video playback, enhanced tools for multi-developer collaboration, and support for new X-NUCLEO display kits.

Click for Larger Image - ST Releases New Version of TouchGFX With Video Playback By allowing playback of Motion-JPEG (MJPEG) video files, TouchGFX brings extra pizzazz to small devices like home-automation products, wearables, medical devices, and industrial sensors, allowing rich features such as instructional guides or entertaining startup and pause screens to enhance the user interface. Developers can use their own MJPEG files or choose from the sample movies provided. A new video widget in TouchGFX Designer, with properties including start, stop, repeat, and go-to-frame, simplifies prototyping and is added to the application by drag and drop.

TouchGFX 4.18 allows video decoding in either software or hardware. Hardware decoding is possible with STM32 MCUs that contain a suitable decoding peripheral, such as the STM32F769 and STM32H7B3. Software decoding is available on all series devices except the STM32G0 series. Various strategies for video buffering, including direct rendering to the frame buffer and double buffering, help optimize memory demand and performance.

Additional new features of TouchGFX 4.18 include enhanced support for collaborative working, using XML to store text data and translations. XML simplifies sharing and merging various elements of the project as multiple team members contribute. The powerful and convenient features of previous TouchGFX versions are retained, including the partial frame buffer for very low RAM use, ultra-efficient rendering that prevents tearing effects, and support for low-cost non-memory-mapped SPI Flash.

For an easy start to GUI development projects, TouchGFX 4.18 comes with examples showing how to use the new video capabilities and the necessary TouchGFX Board Setup (TBS) for the popular STM32 Discovery boards.

ST has also updated and extended the selection of display shields that help developers quickly get their user-interface projects running. The updated X-NUCLEO-GFX01M2 for Nucleo 64 boards has a 2.2” QVGA serial interface display and now supports the NUCLEO-WB55RG, making it easy to add a display to a Bluetooth® application. A new X-NUCLEO-GFX02Z1 for Nucleo 144 has a high-speed parallel interface and QSPI Flash memory on-board, supporting among others the NUCLEO-U575ZI-Q Both are supported in TouchGFX 4.18.

Features of the TouchGFX Graphical Framework include

  • Smartphone animations
    • TouchGFX enables smartphone animations such as swipe, scroll, 3D effects, video playback, and others
    • Supports transparency, alpha-blending, anti-aliased fonts and kerning
    • Instant interaction from touch display or hard-keys at the user's choice
  • Easy programing
    • Drag-and-drop programming with automatic code generation
    • Support for more than 30 widgets (such as swipe container, animated image, shapes, clock, scroll list, and others)
    • Custom triggers and actions
    • Ability to include own C++ developer code
    • Support of a variety of IDEs such as IAR Systems IAR Embedded Workbench®, Arm® Keil® MDK, and GCC-based IDEs such as STM32CubeIDE
  • Minimum CPU load and footprints
    • Utilizes the full benefits of the STM32 graphic hardware accelerators
    • Optimized library footprints requiring from only 20 Kbytes of Flash memory and 10 Kbytes of RAM
    • Partial frame buffering minimizing graphic buffer sizes and enabling graphic UI support from lowest-cost STM32 options
  • Fast start of User Interface (UI) development
    • STM32 display kits are fully supported (one click) in TouchGFX Designer
    • TouchGFX Generator helps users start on their own STM32 hardware
    • Reference demo examples demonstrate achievable UI performance
  • Support and documentation
    • Active TouchGFX community for online support and graphical discussions
    • Videos and webinars addressing embedded graphic topics
    • TouchGFX knowledge base for technical literature
  • Part of the STM32 ecosystem
    • TouchGFX Engine compiled library running on any STM32 microcontroller
    • Smooth interoperability with STM32Cube MCU Packages, STM32CubeMX and STM32CubeIDE
    • TouchGFX project examples using STM32CubeMX, STM32CubeIDE, and STM32Cube MCU Packages

For more information on the TouchGFX Graphical Framework and to download the software, visit the ST website at TouchGFX product page.

The STMicroelectronics website address is www.st.com.
[Reprinted with kind permission from STMicroelectronics - Release Date, 21st October, 2021]