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Avnet LCD Interface Specification (ALI)


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Contents
1 2 3 4 Revision History............................................................................................................................................................ 4 Definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................... 4 Disclaimer...................................................................................................................................................................... 4 Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................... 5 4.1 Scope of this Document ......................................................................................................................................... 5 4.2 Interface to 3rd party Development Boards............................................................................................................. 6 4.3 Direct Mating of Hosts and Displays....................................................................................................................... 6 4.4 Types of Displays................................................................................................................................................... 6 4.5 Supported Display Interfaces ................................................................................................................................. 6 4.5.1 Parallel ALI ........................................................................................................................................................ 7 4.5.2 Serial ALI ........................................................................................................................................................... 7 4.6 Supported Backlight Interfaces............................................................................................................................... 7 4.7 Touchscreen Interfaces.......................................................................................................................................... 7 4.8 Serial Communications Interfaces.......................................................................................................................... 7 4.9 Power ..................................................................................................................................................................... 7 Electrical Specification................................................................................................................................................. 8 5.1 Parallel ALI and Serial ALI ..................................................................................................................................... 8 5.2 Interface Signal Table ............................................................................................................................................ 9 5.3 Interface Pinout .................................................................................................................................................... 10 5.4 Connector Interfaces ............................................................................................................................................ 11 5.4.1 Display Interface: Parallel ................................................................................................................................ 11 5.4.2 Display Interface: Serial ................................................................................................................................... 13 5.4.3 I2C ................................................................................................................................................................... 13 5.4.4 SPI ................................................................................................................................................................... 14 5.4.5 Display Control Signals.................................................................................................................................... 14 5.4.6 Touchscreen Signals ....................................................................................................................................... 15 5.5 Power ................................................................................................................................................................... 16 5.5.1 3.3V Power (PWR33V) .................................................................................................................................... 17 5.5.2 5V Power (PWR5V) ......................................................................................................................................... 17 5.5.3 Use of an External Power Supply .................................................................................................................... 17 5.6 Parallel ALI Example ............................................................................................................................................ 17 5.7 Serial ALI Example............................................................................................................................................... 18 Physical Specification ................................................................................................................................................ 18 6.1 Connector............................................................................................................................................................. 18 6.1.1 Host / Display Direct Connection (Stacked Configuration) ............................................................................... 19 6.1.2 Connector Pin-out Mirroring (Stacked Connection).......................................................................................... 19 6.1.3 Silkscreen Identification of Parallel and Serial ALI ........................................................................................... 20 6.2 Cable.................................................................................................................................................................... 20

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Tables
Table 1 - Interface Signal List .................................................................................................................................................. 9 Table 2 LVCMOS33 Signal Specifications for Parallel Video Bus (Parallel ALI Only)......................................................... 11 Table 3 - Example: Mapping an 18-bit host into an 18-bit display through the connector..................................................... 12 Table 4 Parallel ALI Color Bus Showing Various Modes .................................................................................................... 12 Table 5 LVDS Signal Specifications (Serial ALI Only) ........................................................................................................ 13 Table 6 - I2C Bus Termination............................................................................................................................................... 14 Table 7 - SPI Bus Termination............................................................................................................................................... 14 Table 8 PWM_DIM, ON_OFF, RESET_N, IRQ_N Signal Termination............................................................................... 15 Table 10 - TOUCH_x (Resistive Touchscreen) Termination.................................................................................................. 16 Table 11 - ALI Connector Compatible Part Numbers............................................................................................................. 18

Figures
Figure 1 Typical Avnet Development Board / Display Kit Configuration................................................................................ 5 Figure 2 - Interface to 3rd Party Development Boards, Showing Interposer ............................................................................. 6 Figure 3 Serial and Parallel ALI Connector I/O (Host Side) .................................................................................................. 8 Figure 4 - Parallel and Serial ALI Host Connector Pin-out, Top View .................................................................................... 10 Figure 5 Using a 74LCX244 to Drive the Line..................................................................................................................... 11 Figure 6 - LVDS Point-to-Point Termination........................................................................................................................... 13 Figure 7 - Example of I2C Voltage Translation (Display Adapter Side) ................................................................................. 14 Figure 8 - Two Methods to Prevent Simultaneous Connection of Touchscreen Signals........................................................ 16 Figure 9 Termination of Unused TOUCH_x Signals on the Host Board and Display Board ............................................... 16 Figure 10 Parallel ALI Host and Display Adapter Example (with SPI-based TSC) ............................................................. 17 Figure 11 Serial ALI Host and Display Adapter Example (with I2C-based TSC) ................................................................ 18 Figure 12 - Picture of Tyco AMP-LATCH Type Header and 3M Receptacle.......................................................................... 18 Figure 13 Direct Stacking of Display and Host Board ......................................................................................................... 19 Figure 14 Parallel ALI Pin-out for Host and Display (Top and Bottom views) ..................................................................... 19 Figure 15 Cabled Connection of Display and Host Board................................................................................................... 20

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1 Revision History
Revision Date
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 0.91 0.92 2 Sept 2008 3 Sept 2008 9 Sept 2008 11 Sept 2008 11 Sept 1008 12 Sept 2008 15 Sept 2008 16 Sept 2008 19 Sept 2008 25 Sept 2008 16 Jan 2009

Comments and Major Changes/Updates


Document started Added termination information, more definitions, section on interfacing to 3rd party boards, and cable information. Grammatical changes. Multiple changes. Changed Serial ALI to 50-pin connector. Candidate for sign-off Minor changes based on feedback. Candidate for sign-off Eliminated separate connector for Serial ALI. Candidate for sign-off. Changed name of VCLK to CLK to avoid confusion in customer base. Added logos. Changed paragraph justification. Candidate for sign-off. Added requirements for silkscreen marking of parallel and serial ALI connectors. Added IRQ_N signal to specification. Specified ON_OFF signal as controlling the display backlight only. Specified an alternate Molex P/N for ALI Host Connector Added allowance to use shrouded male headers for both host and display. Removed the drawing of a cabled stacked display configuration. Added disclaimer. Public as-is release.

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2 Definitions
The following terms are used in the context of this specification: Host: The board containing the processor, FPGA, or other such device generating video signals of the display. This board generates the video signals that are sent to the display. Typically this will be an evaluation board designed by Avnet. Display: The display adapter board, display panel, touchscreen, and any other components that make up a display kit. Connector: An unmodified reference to The connector refers to the Avnet Display Interface Connector, specified in this document. Display Adapter: If used standalone, refers to the display adapter board. Interposer: The board that adapts a 3rd party development board to the Avnet Display Interface Connector TSC: TouchScreen Controller. A device that interfaces to a touchscreen and provides the measurements of finger or stylus location. DDC: Display Data Channel. A VESA standard defining a interface bus between a display monitor and video adapter for the purpose of communicating the functional capabilities of the monitor to the video adapter. Based on I2C.

3 Disclaimer
This document serves as a guideline only. Avnet Inc. reserves the right to make changes to this specification at any time without notice. Avnet makes no commitment to provide support for customers designing with this specification.

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4 Introduction
Displays are used in a wide range of applications. This specification defines a common interconnect standard for Avnet development kits (hosts) and display kits (displays). The purpose of this standard is to allow the hardware connection of any Avnet development kit with a display interface to any compatible display kit. It leaves the specific aspects of the host and display kit design up to future developers. There are three components in this interconnect that are covered in this specification: the display connector on both the development board and the display adapter board, and the cable to connect them. It is worth describing the concept made possible by this specification. Figure 1 shows a typical development board/display kit configuration, as well as the scope of this specification (in the yellow box).

Avnet Display Adapter Board

Ribbon Cable

Display Panel, Backlight, and Touchscreen

Avnet Development Board

Avnet LCD Interface (ALI)

Avnet Display Kit

Figure 1 Typical Avnet Development Board / Display Kit Configuration This configuration contains an Avnet-designed development board (called a host in this document) that contains several components including a processor, programmable logic device (PLD), or other such device that is capable of driving a graphic display. This board also contains the ALI connector, whose design is specified in this document. The purpose of the ALI connector is to conduct power and data signals in a specific way to the display adapter board, located in the display kit itself. A ribbon cable is used to connect the host board to the display adapter board. The display adapter board, which receives the signals from the development board over the ribbon cable, has the following purposes: Convert the signals from the development board into a format that is compatible with the display. Develop the appropriate power, drawn from either the development board or an externally provided power source to power the backlight, the display, and any other components which might be necessary. Provide the necessary physical connections to allow the board to mate to the display, touchscreen, and backlight. Often, these physical connections vary from display to display, even within display supplier families.

4.1 Scope of this Document


This document defines the electrical and physical specifications for the Avnet LCD Interface, or ALI. Electrically, this means the signal definitions, connector pinouts, and optional and mandatory signals (such as power). Also, this defines some basic voltage and current levels to ensure compatibility. Physically, this specifies the connectors and cables used. The yellow box in Figure 1 shows the scope of this document.

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4.2 Interface to 3rd party Development Boards


There are many existing development systems which could potentially mate with Avnet display kits. These systems will most likely not have the ALI connector on them. An inexpensive interposer board could be designed in order to adapt the 3rd party development system to the ALI standard.

Avnet Display Adapter Board

Interposer

Ribbon Cable

Display Panel, Backlight, and Touchscreen

Interposer Party Development Board 3rd Avnet Display Kit

Figure 2 - Interface to 3rd Party Development Boards, Showing Interposer

4.3 Direct Mating of Hosts and Displays


The specification allows for the direct mating of properly-designed ALI-compatible hosts and displays. See the physical portion of this specification for more details.

Avnet Display Adapter Board

Direct Mate

Display Panel, Backlight, and Touchscreen

Avnet Development Board

Avnet Display Kit

4.4 Types of Displays


This standard is designed to support TFT LCD graphics display panels. Connections to other types of displays might be possible, but consideration of this has not been taken into account in this standard.

4.5 Supported Display Interfaces


This standard supports two types of display data interfaces parallel and serial. The specification calls these Parallel ALI and Serial ALI. The only difference between Parallel ALI and Serial ALI is the display data interface. All other features such as the serial busses, touchscreen, control, and power are common between the two.

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4.5.1 Parallel ALI


A parallel display interface is one that passes digital pixel data in parallel form, usually in the form of fixed-width RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) format. This specification allows for connection of up to 24-bits of parallel pixel data. Support for lower parallel bus widths is included here as well. Parallel ALI uses 60-pin connector and cable.

4.5.2 Serial ALI


This standard supports serial display interfaces via LVDS (Low Voltage Differential Signaling) of up to 4 data channels, with an independent clock channel. Serial ALI uses the same 60-pin connector as the parallel ALI.

4.6 Supported Backlight Interfaces


Since backlight power is specific to the display and backlight, this standard does not attempt to specify the types of backlights to be supported. Each display tends to have unique power requirements for its backlight and that is left to the designer of the display adapter board. Host-based brightness control of the backlight is enabled by this spec through the use of a single PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) signal.

4.7 Touchscreen Interfaces


This standard supports the physical connection between the host and display of 4 and 5-wire resistive touchscreens. This is used in the case that a host board has a touchscreen controller (TSC) built-in. It is not a requirement for the display kit to contain, or the host board to support, a touchscreen.

4.8 Serial Communications Interfaces


Two types of serial interfaces are supported to provide low-bit rate serial communication between the host board and the display kit. These are I2C (Inter-Integrated Circuit) interface and SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface). The purpose of these interfaces is to allow the control, if necessary, of optional components on the display adapter board from the development board. One primary example of how this might be used is to interface the host to the touchscreen controller (TSC) located on the display adapter board. Support for these interfaces by the host and display is optional. The connection of the I2C interface on the host is encouraged. This would guarantee connectivity to DDC (Display Data Channel) memories on display adapters. Some display manufacturers provide DDC memories on the display itself.

4.9 Power
This standard sets requirements for the voltages supplied by host. It sets the maximum amount of power that a display kit can draw from a host. It does not set demands on the amount of current that a host must provide to a display.

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5 Electrical Specification
The following section describes the electrical details of this specification, including connector pin-out, provisions for various modes of operation, and provisions for optional features (such as the presence of off-board touchscreen controllers).

5.1 Parallel ALI and Serial ALI


There are two connectors specified in order to service both parallel and serial displays. The serial ALI connector only provides a serial interface from the host board to the display. The parallel ALI connector only supports a parallel host board and a parallel display. The other signals, such as touchscreen, SPI and I2C, display control, and power are common between the two connectors. Figure 3 shows the I/O and connections on both the serial and parallel ALI connectors. Notice that in the upper part of the diagram, the signaling differs. This pertains to the serial and parallel video display signals. In the lower part of the diagram the signaling is the same. So, while the serial and parallel interfaces differ, the other signals are common.

Serial
Serial Display Interface (LVDS)
SERIAL_D0+/- 2 SERIAL_D1+/- 2 SERIAL_D2+/- 2 SERIAL_D3+/- 2 SERIAL_CLK+/- 2

Parallel
R[0..7] 8 G[0..7] 8

Parallel Display Interface (3.3V LVCMOS)

B[0..7] 8 HSYNC VSYNC CLK DE PWM_DIM RESET_N ON_OFF IRQ_N SPI 4 I2C 2 TOUCH_x 5 PWR5V 4 PWR33V 3 GND 10

ALI Connector

Display Control Serial Communications Analog Touchscreen Power Supply

PWM_DIM RESET_N ON_OFF IRQ_N SPI 4 I2C 2 TOUCH_x 5 PWR5V 4 PWR33V 3 GND 10

Display Control Serial Communications Analog Touchscreen Power Supply

Figure 3 Serial and Parallel ALI Connector I/O (Host Side)

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5.2 Interface Signal Table


Table 1 lists all of the interface signals, signal type, and description. For an explanation of signal type, see the definitions after the table. Table 1 - Interface Signal List Group
Parallel ALI Parallel ALI Parallel ALI Parallel ALI Parallel ALI Parallel ALI Parallel ALI Serial ALI Serial ALI I2C bus I2C bus SPI Bus SPI Bus SPI Bus SPI Bus Touchscreen Touchscreen Touchscreen Touchscreen Touchscreen Display Control Display Control Display Control Display Control Power Power Power Power

Signal Name
R0 R7 G0 G7 B0 B7 HSYNC VSYNC CLK DE SERIAL_D0 to SERIAL_D3 SERIAL_CLK I2C_SDA I2C_SCL SPI_MISO SPI_MOSI SPI_SCLK SPI_SSELECT TOUCH_XR TOUCH_XL TOUCH_YT TOUCH_YB TOUCH_WIPER IRQ_N RESET_N ENABLE PWM_DIM PWR5V PWR33V PWRBL GND

Type
Out, SE, LVCMOS Out, SE, LVCMOS Out, SE, LVCMOS Out, SE, LVCMOS Out, SE, LVCMOS Out, SE, LVCMOS Out, SE, LVCMOS Out, Diff, LVDS Out, Diff, LVDS Bidir, SE, OD Bidir, SE, OD In, SE, LVCMOS Out, SE, LVCMOS Out, SE, LVCMOS Out, SE, LVCMOS Passive Passive Passive Passive Passive In, SE, LVCMOS Out, SE, LVCMOS Out, SE, LVCMOS Out, SE, LVCMOS Power Power Power Power

Description
Parallel red data bus bits 0 through 7. Bit 7 is the MSB. Synchronized to CLK. Parallel green data bus bits 0 through 7. Bit 7 is the MSB. Synchronized to CLK. Parallel blue data bus bits 0 through 7. Bit 7 is the MSB. Synchronized to CLK. Horizontal synchronizing signal for parallel video interface. Synchronized to CLK. Vertical synchronizing signal for parallel video interface. Synchronized to CLK. Data Clock. Synchronizes all signals in the parallel ALI. Data Enable. Used by some displays to indicate valid data and syncs. Serial LVDS Data Channels 0 though 3 (differential). Contains the serialized color and control data for the display. Data is synchronized to SERIAL_CLK. High-speed serial LVDS clock (differential). Synchronizes SERIAL_DO through SERIAL_D3. Open-drain bidirectional I2C data signal. In normal I2C communications, this signal will be driven low by both the master (typically the host) and the slave (the display). Open-drain bidirectional I2C clock signal. Only driven by the I2C master. SPI Master In Slave Out (MISO). SPI serial data driven from the slave (the display) to the master (the host). Synchronized to the SPI_SCLK. SPI Master Out Slave In (MOSI). SPI serial data driven from the master (the host) to the slave (the display). Synchronized to the SPI_SCLK signal. SPI Serial Clock. Clock signal driven by the SPI master (the host) which clocks data into and out of the slave via the MISO and MOSI data signals. SPI Slave Select. Active high signal driven by the SPI master (the host) to select the slave for communication. Allows multiple slaves to communicate with a single master. The display adapter can only have 1 SPI slave. Touchscreen, X right. For four-wire resistive touchscreens, this is the right X-axis electrode. For 5-wire touchscreens, this is the upper right corner electrode. Touchscreen, X left. For four-wire resistive touchscreens, this is the left X-axis electrode. For 5-wire touchscreens, this is the upper left corner electrode. Touchscreen, Y top. For four-wire resistive touchscreens, this is the upper (or top) Y-axis electrode. For 5-wire touchscreens, this is the lower right corner electrode. Touchscreen, Y bottom. For four-wire resistive touchscreens, this is the lower (or bottom) Y-axis electrode. For 5-wire touchscreens, this is the lower left corner electrode. Wiper signal used in 5-wire resistive touchscreens. Interrupt request from on-board electronics, such as touchscreen controllers. Reset, Active Low. Driven by the host as a master warm reset of all display electronics. Display On/Off. PWM Backlight Dimming Control Power, +5V Power, +3.3V Backlight Power. If power is available on the host for driving a backlight, Ground, Return

Signal Type Abbreviations:

Out: Driven by the host. Input to the display. In: Driven by the display. Input to the host. Bidir: Bidirectional. Can be driven by both the host and the display. SE: Short for Single-ended. Only one conductor required per signal. Signal level is referenced to ground. Diff: Short for Differential. Signal level determined by the difference between two signals. Requires a pair of conductors. LVCMOS: Low-Voltage CMOS. CMOS signals for 3.3V logic. Passive: Connects to a resistive or capacitive element on the display (such as a touchscreen). Not driven by the display. Power: Power supply voltage or ground.
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5.3 Interface Pinout


Figure 4 shows a top view of both the parallel and serial connectors.

Parallel ALI
R0 R2 GND R4 R6 G0 G2 GND G4 G6 B0 B2 GND B4 B6 VSYNC DE CLK HSYNC PWM_DIM ON_OFF RESET_N I2C_SDA I2C_SCL SPI_SCLK SPI_MOSI SPI_MISO IRQ_N TOUCH_XR TOUCH_YT 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 R1 R3 GND R5 R7 G1 G3 GND G5 G7 B1 B3 GND B5 B7 GND GND GND PWR33V PWR33V PWR33V PWR5V PWR5V PWR5V PWR5V SPI_SSELECT GND TOUCH_WIPER TOUCH_XL TOUCH_YB

Serial ALI
SERIAL_D0_P GND SERIAL_D1_P 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 SERIAL_D0_N GND SERIAL_D1_N

SERIAL_D2_P GND SERIAL_D3_P

SERIAL_D2_N GND SERIAL_D3_N

SERIAL_CLK_P GND

SERIAL_CLK_N GND

GND GND GND PWR33V PWR33V PWR33V PWR5V PWR5V PWR5V PWR5V SPI_SSELECT GND TOUCH_WIPER TOUCH_XL TOUCH_YB

PWM_DIM ON_OFF RESET_N I2C_SDA I2C_SCL SPI_SCLK SPI_MOSI SPI_MISO IRQ_N TOUCH_XR TOUCH_YT

Figure 4 - Parallel and Serial ALI Host Connector Pin-out, Top View

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5.4 Connector Interfaces


This section discusses the electrical details of the different ALI signals. They are grouped by interface.

5.4.1 Display Interface: Parallel


The parallel display interface supports parallel pixel data at up to 8 bits per color component (typically R, G, and B) for a total data bus width of 24 bits. The signals comprising the parallel display interface are the color buses (R0 through R7, G0 through G7, and B0 through B7), HSYNC, VSYNC, DE, and CLK.

5.4.1.1 Voltage Levels


The ALI requires that these signals be at 3.3V LVCMOS voltage levels as they enter the host ALI connector.

5.4.1.2 Signal Drive


In order to mitigate signal integrity issues, these signals must be driven by a strong bus driver with symmetrical output drive. Such a driver will sink and source equal amounts of current at high and low levels. This ensures that the output impedance of the driver is equal in the high state and in the low state. Strong drive capability ensures that the output impedance will be suitably low, allowing for a series termination of the line. Table 2 LVCMOS33 Signal Specifications for Parallel Video Bus (Parallel ALI Only) Quantity Output Voltage, High state(VOH) Output Voltage, Low state (VOL) Output Current Drive Min 2.8V 0V +/-24mA Max 3.3V 0.4V -

5.4.1.3 Termination
This spec calls for using an unshielded ribbon cable to carry signals between the host and the display. In order to minimize reflections, proper termination should be used on all single-ended signals with higher rise/fall times. These include all of the parallel display interface signals (R, G, B, HSYNC, VSYNC, DE, and CLK). The cable has a characteristic impedance of 105 ohms and will add approximately 20pf of load capacitance. In many cases processors and FPGAs may not be able to adequately drive this level of impedance. Also, the output impedance of the display interface on the host may not be made to easily match the transmission line impedance with a series termination. In this case, a line driver IC with decent output drive, such as the 74LCX244 from Fairchild, should be used to drive the singleended high-speed signals.
Host Display Output Line Driver IC Ex: 74LCX244
Output Impedance = RO
RS Z

Input Buffer
Input Impedance =

To minimize reflections: RO+RS = Z

Figure 5 Using a 74LCX244 to Drive the Line In the case of the 74LCX244, the output impedance can be approximated by dividing the low output voltage (VOL) by the current (IOL). VOL = 0.55V for an IOL = 24mA. RO ~ VOL/IOL ~ 22 ohms. RS would need to be 83 ohms to series terminate this line.

5.4.1.4 Support for Smaller-Width Busses


Many displays and hosts will only support smaller bus widths. In this case, the MSB of the color bus from the video source is mapped into the MSB of the connector. In a simple example, suppose a host is only capable of supporting an 18-bit bus (6 bits per color) is connected to a 24-bit display. In this case the MSB (bit 5) of each color component bus is mapped into
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bit 7 of the corresponding color bus on the connector. The least-significant two bits of the connectors color bus are either driven low or pulled down to ensure that a low voltage is presented to the display on these bits. There are cases where a host can support a full 24-bit output bus, while the display will only support a smaller input bus. In this case, the display maps the MSB of each color component from the ALI connector (R, G, and B) into the corresponding MSB of each color bus. Table 1 shows an example of how an 18-bit host connects through the display interface connector into display. Table 3 - Example: Mapping an 18-bit host into an 18-bit display through the connector Host Video Bus (18-bit output, 6 bits per color) Bit 5 Bit 4 Bit 3 Bit 2 Bit 1 Bit 0 None pull down or drive low None pull down or drive low ALI Connector Signal (24 bits, 8 bits per color) Bit 7 Bit 6 Bit 5 Bit 4 Bit 3 Bit 2 Bit 1 Bit 0 Display Video Bus (18-bit input, 6 bits per color) Bit 5 Bit 4 Bit 3 Bit 2 Bit 1 Bit 0 No Connect No Connect

Maps to Maps to Maps to Maps to Maps to Maps to Maps to Maps to

Maps to Maps to Maps to Maps to Maps to Maps to Maps to Maps to

5.4.1.5 Support for Asymmetric Color Components


Connecting to 16-bit color interfaces is necessary in many cases. Since having the same width color is impossible in exactly 16-bits, many displays and processors will support a convention called RGB565. In RGB565, there are 16-bits of color information: 5 bits for red, 6 bits for green, and 5 bits for blue. The total adds up to 16 bits. This would map into the ALI connector the same way as a symmetric color bus would. The MSB for the red, green, and blue busses would map into bit 7. In the case of red and blue, this is bit 4. In the case of green, this is bit 5. Table 4 Parallel ALI Color Bus Showing Various Modes Signal Name R0 R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 G0 G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 B0 B1 B2 B3 B4
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Description Red Data Bit 0 Red Data Bit 1 Red Data Bit 2 Red Data Bit 3 Red Data Bit 4 Red Data Bit 5 Red Data Bit 6 Red Data Bit 7 Green Data Bit 0 Green Data Bit 1 Green Data Bit 2 Green Data Bit 3 Green Data Bit 4 Green Data Bit 5 Green Data Bit 6 Green Data Bit 7 Blue Data Bit 0 Blue Data Bit 1 Blue Data Bit 2 Blue Data Bit 3 Blue Data Bit 4

RGB565 Displays Not used, pull down Not used, pull down Not used, pull down R0 R1 R2 R3 R4 Not used, pull down Not used, pull down G0 G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 Not used, pull down Not used, pull down Not used, pull down B0 B1
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RGB666 Displays Not used, pull down Not used, pull down R0 R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Not used, pull down Not used, pull down G0 G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 Not used, pull down Not used, pull down B0 B1 B2

RGB888 Displays R0 R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 G0 G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 B0 B1 B2 B3 B4
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B5 B6 B7

Blue Data Bit 5 Blue Data Bit 6 Blue Data Bit 7

B2 B3 B4

B3 B4 B5

B5 B6 B7

5.4.2 Display Interface: Serial


For serial display interfaces, there is support for up to 4 high-speed differential serial channels (SERIAL_Dx), and a highspeed serial clock (SERIAL_CLK). Each signal is an LVDS pair, requiring two pins. The color data and syncs are serialized across multiple lanes. The particular way these are serialized is dependent on the display itself. This specification only stipulates locations of the four signal pairs to be used, their polarity, and other electrical specifications.

5.4.2.1 Signal Levels and Coupling


The LVDS signal pairs will adhere to the following specifications as they leave the host board. They are not to be ACcoupled. Table 5 LVDS Signal Specifications (Serial ALI Only) Quantity Differential Voltage Common Mode Voltage Min +/- 250 mV 1.13V Max +/- 450 mV 1.38V

5.4.2.2 Termination
In this specification there is only one driver and one receiver for each LVDS signal, creating a point-to-point connection. The recommended way of terminating LVDS is to use a resistor of 90 to 110 ohms across the input of the LVDS receiver, for a 100 ohm impedance transmission line.
Z RT

For proper termination: RT = Z

Figure 6 - LVDS Point-to-Point Termination In many cases the display panel itself will contain the LVDS receiver and termination resistor. In the event that the termination resistor is not present, one should be added on the display adapter board and it should be situated as close as possible to the display data connector. No termination is necessary on the host board. Both signals of channel 4 (SERIAL_D4) should be connected to ground with 10Kohm resistor on the host board. This will prevent floating signals in cases where only three channels are required by the display.

5.4.3 I2C
I2C consists of 2 signals, I2C_SDA and I2C_SCL. These are bidirectional, open-drain signals. They must be pulled up on the host to PWR33V using 1.1Kohm or greater resistors. They must not be pulled up on the display.

5.4.3.1 Terminating Unused I2C Signals


If unused on the host, the I2C signals should be pulled up to PWR33V. If unused on the display, the I2C signals should be left unconnected.

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Table 6 - I2C Bus Termination Case Used Unused Host Pull-up to PWR33V using 1.5Kohms Pull-up to PWR33V using 1.5Kohms Display Adapter Direct connect to I2C devices Leave unconnected

5.4.3.2 Devices Requiring I2C Bus Voltages Greater than 3.3V


If I2C signal voltages higher than PWR33V are required at the display, then an I2C bus translator such as the TI P82B715 can be used on the display adapter.
PWR33V PWR33V +5V

To/From Avnet Display Connector

I2C_SCL I2C_SDA

Lx Ly

Sx Sy

LOCAL SCL LOCAL SDA

P82B715

To/From Local +5V I2C Interface

Figure 7 - Example of I2C Voltage Translation (Display Adapter Side)

5.4.4 SPI
SPI consists of four signals: SPI_MOSI, SPI_MISO, SPI_SCLK, and SPI_SSELECT. These are all unidirectional signals. SPI is a master-slave interface. In the case of this specification, the master is the host and the slave is the display. Therefore, SPI_MOSI, SPI_SCLK, and SPI_SSELECT are outputs from the host to the display, and SPI_MISO is an output from the display to the host. All SPI signals are push-pull outputs that must adhere to LVCMOS signal levels. If signal levels higher than PWR33V are required on the display, then a voltage level translator should be used on the display adapter board. All SPI signals must be pulled down to GND using 10Kohm resistors. This is to prevent floating input voltages in the case that the SPI signals are unused on either the host or the display.

5.4.4.1 Terminating Unused SPI Signals


If a display does not use the SPI signals, it should leave them unconnected. A host should pull-up the signals on the connector regardless of whether it provides actual SPI to the connector. Table 7 - SPI Bus Termination Case Used Unused Host Pull-down using 10Kohms Pull-down using 10Kohms Display Adapter Direct connect to SPI devices. Leave unconnected

5.4.5 Display Control Signals


There are four signals classified as Display Control. Outputs from the host to the display are ON_OFF, PWM_DIM, and RESET_N. The host can optionally drive these signals. There is a single output from the display to the host called IRQ_N. These must be LVCMOS (3.3V) level signals. ON_OFF is an active high signal that serves as an ON/OFF control for the display backlight, useful in power-sensitive applications, and sequencing the backlight on and off to prevent the user from seeing initialization artifacts. This signal must be pulled up to 3.3V on the host using a weak pull-up (10K or greater).
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PWM_DIM allows programmable dimming control of the display backlight. The actual frequency and duty are backlightspecific and are not specified here. This is an LVCMOS push-pull signal output from the host. This signal must be pulled up to 3.3V on the host using a weak pull-up (10K or greater). RESET_N is an active-low reset signal driven from the host to the display. This signal allows the host to reset the display electronics. This signal must be pulled up to 3.3V on the host using a weak pull-up (10K or greater). IRQ_N is an active-low interrupt request signal driven from electronics on the display adapter such as touchscreen controllers. This signal should be pulled up on the display adapter using a weak pull-up (10K or greater). Table 8 PWM_DIM, ON_OFF, RESET_N, IRQ_N Signal Termination Case Used Unused Host Pull-up to PWR33V using 10Kohms Pull-up to PWR33V using 10Kohms Display Adapter Direct connect to appropriate devices. Leave unconnected

5.4.6 Touchscreen Signals


There is support for both 4 and 5 wire resistive touchscreens. These are via the TOUCH_XL, TOUCH_XR, TOUCH_YL, TOUCH_YR, and TOUCH_WIPER signals. These signals are completely passive and are to be connected directly to resistive touchscreens.

5.4.6.1 Simultaneous Support for both Host and Display Adapter-based Touchscreen Controller (TSC)
For flexibility, either the host or the display adapter may contain an on-board TSC. The TOUCH_x signals are used by the host if host board contains a compatible TSC. The TOUCH_x signals would not be used by the host if the host-based TSC is incompatible with the touchscreen on the display or if the host board contains no TSC, and therefore requires an external TSC. In order for most hosts to make use of a touchscreen the designer of any display adapter should seriously consider designing a SPI or I2C-based TSC onto the board. If a display adapter contains an on-board touchscreen controller (TSC) there must be a method for connecting the touchscreen signals to either the TSC or to the TOUCH_x signal lines on the ALI cable, and not both at the same time. There are two reasons for this. In the first case, that of a host which does not have an on-board touchscreen controller, Noise coupled onto the unused TOUCH_x signal lines may corrupt the TSC measurements. In the second case, the host does have a touchscreen controller and the display adapter-based TSC will simultaneously drive the same touchscreen signals. Figure 8 illustrates two suggested ways to isolate the touchscreen signals. To minimize the number of jumpers, the first method employs a low RON analog switch. The second method is the simplest, making use of either four or five three-pin jumpers. The number of required jumpers or switches corresponds to the number of touchscreen wires. This specification supports the use of either.

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ALI Connector

To Host Board

Touchscreen Controller
Analog Touchscreen Signals (TOUCH_x)

A B

Low RON Analog Switch

Sel

A or B Select Jumper

To Host Board

ALI Connector

Touchscreen Controller
Analog Touchscreen Signals (TOUCH_x)

x4 or x5 3-pin Jumpers

Figure 8 - Two Methods to Prevent Simultaneous Connection of Touchscreen Signals

5.4.6.2 Terminating Unused TOUCH_x Signals


In the event that the touchscreen signals are not used by the host, they should be terminated with a 100ohm pull-down resistor to board ground. This sinks coupled noise on the touch signals to ground and will not corrupt display-based TSC measurements due to the isolation scheme required above. If they are unused by the display, in case the display does not have a resistive touchscreen, they should be terminated with a 10k pull-down resistor on the display adapter. This prevents the signal lines from floating and collecting noise in case the host has an on-board TSC. Table 9 - TOUCH_x (Resistive Touchscreen) Termination Case Used Unused Host Direct connect to onboard TSC Connect to GND through 100ohms Display Adapter Connect through A/B switch to touchscreen Connect to GND through 10Kohms

Analog Touchscreen Signals (TOUCH_x)

ALI Connector

ALI Connector

Host Board without TSC

Display Board without TSC


Analog Touchscreen Signals (TOUCH_x)

100 Ohms

Touchscreen Connector

I2C or SPI

Touchscreen Connector

I2C or SPI

10KOhms

Figure 9 Termination of Unused TOUCH_x Signals on the Host Board and Display Board

5.5 Power
There are several power sources supplied by the host to the display. These are +3.3V and +5V. The host must supply +3.3V and +5V. These required supplies are used by the display adapter board to generate the supply voltages for the components of the display kit including the display panel, touchscreen, and backlight.

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5.5.1 3.3V Power (PWR33V)


The maximum current that can be drawn from the 3.3V bus by a display is 0.650 Amps. This is based on the 75% derated maximum current handling capability of 3 28AWG wires that provide 3.3V to the display from the host. This does not dictate the amount of current that the host must provide, but is a guideline for host board development and should accommodate the power requirements for a large set of LCD panels.

5.5.2 5V Power (PWR5V)


The maximum current that can be drawn from the 5V bus is 0.850 Amp. This is based on the 75% derated maximum current handling capability of the 4 28AWG wires that provide 5V to the display from the host. This does not dictate the amount of current that the host can provide at 5V, but is a guideline for development. If this supply is not used by the display, it should be physically no-connected on the display adapter board.

5.5.3 Use of an External Power Supply


If a display requires more power than the host can provide, either due to a host power supply limitation or the current limitation provided in this specification, an auxiliary external supply may be used to provide the appropriate power to the display. This should be provided on the display adapter itself. In this case, unused supplies sourced from the host should be physically disconnected on the display adapter. However all ground pins must still be connected (to avoid floating ground mismatch).

5.6 Parallel ALI Example


The following diagram shows connection examples Parallel ALI. Note the pull-ups, pull-downs, and line drivers. example shows the use of a SPI-based touchscreen controller (TSC) on the display adapter.
Parallel ALI Host
Output Impedance ~ 22ohms

This

Parallel ALI Display Adapter


R[0..7] 8 G[0..7] 8 B[0..7] 8 HSYNC VSYNC CLK
8 8 8

Line Driver IC
ex:74LCX16244

RS = 83ohms

R[0..7] G[0..7] B[0..7] HSYNC VSYNC DE CLK Display Panel Connector

Line Driver IC
ex:74LCX16244

ALI Host Connector

Host Display Output (Processor or FPGA)

ALI Display Connector

DE
PWR33V PWR33V

ON/OFF RESET_N PWM_DIM Backlight Supply IRQ_N


4 2 5

10Kohms

1.5Kohms

RESET_N, PWM_DIM, ON_OFF, IRQ_N 4 I2C 2 SPI 4 TOUCH_x 5


10Kohms

Backlight Connector
4 or 5

SPI I2C TOUCH_x PWR5V PWR33V GND

SPI Touchscreen Controller

Resist. Touchscreen

Power Supply 5V @ 860mA 3.3V @ 680A

PWR5V 4 PWR33V 3 GND 10

4 3 10

On Board Power

Figure 10 Parallel ALI Host and Display Adapter Example (with SPI-based TSC)

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5.7 Serial ALI Example


Examples of a serial ALI host and display are shown in the following diagram. In this case the display adapter has an I2Cbased TSC on-board. Notice the pull-ups and pull-downs.
Serial ALI Host
SERIAL_D0 2 SERIAL_D1 2 SERIAL_D2 2 SERIAL_D3 2 SERIAL_CLK 2
10Kohms

Serial ALI Display Adapter


2 2 2 2 2

SERIAL_D0 SERIAL_D1 SERIAL_D2 SERIAL_D3 SERIAL_CLK Display Panel Connector

ALI Host Connector

Host Display Output (Processor or FPGA)

ALI Display Connector

ON/OFF RESET_N PWM_DIM Backlight Supply IRQ_N


4 2 5

PWR33V

PWR33V

10Kohms

1.5Kohms

RESET_N, PWM_DIM, ON_OFF, IRQ_N 4 I2C 2 SPI 4 TOUCH_x 5


10Kohms

Backlight Connector
4 or 5

SPI I2C TOUCH_x PWR5V PWR33V GND

I2C Touchscreen Controller

Resist. Touchscreen

Power Supply 5V @ 860A 3.3V @ 680A

PWR5V 4 PWR33V 3 GND 10

4 3 10

On Board Power

Figure 11 Serial ALI Host and Display Adapter Example (with I2C-based TSC)

6 Physical Specification
This section defines the type of connectors and ribbon cables to be used.

6.1 Connector
The same connectors are used on both the host and the display. Compatible connector part numbers and manufacturers are listed here in Table 10. Figure 12 is a picture of a smaller version of this connector.

Figure 12 - Picture of Tyco AMP-LATCH Type Header and 3M Receptacle The connectors are inexpensive and polarized to prevent improper plugging. Table 10 - ALI Connector Compatible Part Numbers Connector Type Shrouded Header, 0.100 x 0.100 centerline, 60 pins, with polarization 0.100 x 0.100 polarized boardmount receptacle, 60 pins
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Location ALI Host and Display ALI Display (in stacked configuration)
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Manufacturer Tyco Electronics/AMP Molex 3M

Part Number 1-103308-2 0702466001 8560-4500PL

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6.1.1 Host / Display Direct Connection (Stacked Configuration)


To allow for direct connection of a host board and a display in a stacking configuration, the host connector must be mounted on the top side of the host board and a female display connector (i.e. the boardmount receptacle in Table 10) must be mounted on the bottom side of the display adapter board.

Display Display Adapter Board

Host Board
Figure 13 Direct Stacking of Display and Host Board

6.1.2 Connector Pin-out Mirroring (Stacked Connection)


In this configuration, the display ALI connector pin-out is mirrored when viewed from the top of the connector. This can be confusing, and special care is needed. To better illustrate this, Figure 14 shows the pin-out of the parallel ALI connectors for both the host and the display. Header Connector Socket Connector (Stacking Display Configuration)
Parallel ALI Host and Display (Top View)
R0 R2 GND R4 R6 G0 G2 GND G4 G6 B0 B2 GND B4 B6 VSYNC DE CLK HSYNC PWM_DIM ON_OFF RESET_N I2C_SDA I2C_SCL SPI_SCLK SPI_MOSI SPI_MISO IRQ_N TOUCH_XR TOUCH_YT 1 3 5 2 4 6 R1 R3 GND R5 R7 G1 G3 GND G5 G7 B1 B3 GND B5 B7 GND GND GND PWR33V PWR33V PWR33V PWR5V PWR5V PWR5V PWR5V SPI_SSELECT GND TOUCH_WIPER TOUCH_XL TOUCH_YB

Parallel ALI Display (Bottom View)


R0 R2 GND R4 R6 G0 G2 GND G4 G6 B0 B2 GND B4 B6 VSYNC DE CLK HSYNC PWM_DIM ON_OFF RESET_N I2C_SDA I2C_SCL SPI_SCLK SPI_MOSI SPI_MISO IRQ_N TOUCH_XR TOUCH_YT 1 3 5 7 2 4 6 8 R1 R3 GND R5 R7 G1 G3 GND G5 G7 B1 B3 GND B5 B7 GND GND GND PWR33V PWR33V PWR33V PWR5V PWR5V PWR5V PWR5V SPI_SSELECT GND TOUCH_WIPER TOUCH_XL TOUCH_YB

Parallel ALI Display (Top View)


R1 R3 GND R5 R7 G1 G3 GND G5 G7 B1 B3 GND B5 B7 GND GND GND PWR33V PWR33V PWR33V PWR5V PWR5V PWR5V PWR5V SPI_SSELECT GND TOUCH_WIPER TOUCH_XL TOUCH_YB 2 4 6 8 1 3 5 7 R0 R2 GND R4 R6 G0 G2 GND G4 G6 B0 B2 GND B4 B6 VSYNC DE CLK HSYNC PWM_DIM ON_OFF RESET_N I2C_SDA I2C_SCL SPI_SCLK SPI_MOSI SPI_MISO IRQ_N TOUCH_XR TOUCH_YT

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60

10 9 12 11 14 13 16 15 18 17 20 19 22 21 24 23 26 25 28 27 30 29 32 31 34 33 36 35 38 37 40 39 42 41 44 43 46 45 48 47 50 49 52 51 54 53 56 55 58 57 60 59

Figure 14 Parallel ALI Pin-out for Host and Display (Top and Bottom views)
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6.1.3 Silkscreen Identification of Parallel and Serial ALI


The same connector is used for both serial and parallel ALI. In order the prevent confusion these shall be clearly marked on both the host and display PCBs, as near the connectors as possible, using silkscreen. The marking for parallel ALI is Parallel ALI or Parallel Avnet LCD Interface and for serial ALI it is Serial ALI or Serial Avnet LCD Interface."

6.2 Cable
The connection between the host and display connectors is designed to work with any 0.050in pitch standard flat ribbon cable. This cable must have polarized 60-pin 0.100 x0.100 in. female receptacles on both ends. The conductors must map from pin 1 to pin 1. The maximum supported length of this cable is 18 inches, however shorter cables are acceptable. The supported wire gauge of each conductor is no less than 0.0028. This cable must exhibit a characteristic impedance of 100 +/- 10% ohms. The Serial ALI setup is identical to the Parallel ALI.

Cable Display Host Board Display Adapter Board

Figure 15 Cabled Connection of Display and Host Board The layout of the host and display circuit boards should orient the cable connectors so that no twist is required to mate. Also, if the connectors on terminated on opposite faces of the flat cable, they should easily mate without doubling back the cable.

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