Arduino-compatible touch-enabled display shield from FTDI

July 15, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
CleO is a simple to program, intelligent TFT display solution that allows the construction of human machine interfaces (HMIs) with – says maker FTDI chip – much higher performance than conventional Arduino display shields are able to deliver.

FTDI first introduced its Arduino-compatible concept – aiming to reach a wider audience – by means of a crowdfunding exercise. The company now has full availability of the CleO product (and accompanying accessories) through its distribution partners, as well as directly via the company’s website. FTDI Chip will also give engineers complete access to a comprehensive development resource, which has step-by-step tutorials and projects, plus a series of software tools. In addition, a new forum has been set up ( on which design tips, application ideas and other information can be shared.

FTDI says that engineers of all different levels of aptitude (from seasoned professionals right through to keen amateurs) can develop next generation HMIs exhibiting high levels of functionality and superior graphical qualities. The initial CleO offering comprises a HVGA resolution, 3.5-inch TFT display incorporating a resistive touchscreen and supporting both portrait and landscape implementations. An FTDI Chip FT810 high resolution embedded video engine (EVE) graphic controller executes the HMI operation, while one of the company’s 310DMIPs FT903 microcontrollers addresses all additional processing tasks. This display shield provides smooth animation of graphical content, even at 60 fps frame rates. Anti-aliased graphics capabilities render images in finer detail - eliminating the unwanted presence of jagged edges.

When CleO is combined with FTDI Chip’s NerO - an energy efficient Arduino-compatible design capable of operating up to 1W, FTDI asserts that it offers a far more powerful solution than a normal Arduino-format UNO/display shield package. However, its Arduino compatibility means it can also connect with the wide variety of different shields (sensors, motors, switches, etc.) available for this platform.