Getting started with evaluation modules and software tools for dynamic ground projection

[Guide]In recent years, with the addition of sign projectors, ground projections around vehicles have made considerable progress. Automakers have used logo projection to help car owners customize their cars, while also providing other functions by illuminating the ground around the doors. However, these systems currently can only Display a single pattern and do not support any functions other than the basic pattern.

In recent years, with the addition of sign projectors, ground projections around vehicles have made considerable progress. Automakers have used logo projection to help car owners customize their cars, while also providing other functions by illuminating the ground around the doors. However, these systems currently can only display a single pattern and do not support any functions other than the basic pattern. As cars become more advanced, OEMS is looking for other ways to allow cars to interact with drivers and passengers while still providing features such as customization and style, as shown in Figure 1.

Getting started with evaluation modules and software tools for dynamic ground projection

Figure 1: Dynamic ground projection used to interact with the driver and passengers

With the introduction of the DLP3021-Q1 digital micromirror device (DMD), TI has further promoted the development of logo projection, which can completely project red-green-blue (RGB) format video through a thumb-sized module. The internal FLASH can send the locally stored image and video content directly to the DMD, simplifying the requirements for the integrated DMD module of the vehicle, and no additional graphics processing unit (GPU) is required. But without a GPU, how to display video or continuous images on the device? This article will discuss how to use TI’s dynamic ground projection tool to display images and videos stored in flash memory.

The DLP3021LEQ1EVM dynamic ground projector evaluation module (EVM) (shown in Figure 2) is a projection-ready EVM that can simulate a product system, so it provides a quick way to evaluate dynamic ground projection. The EVM integrates all the key systems required to make a dynamic floor projector, and can be evaluated immediately upon receiving the EVM (including the lighting driver, compact light engine, and formatting unit with DMD controller). The DMD controller allows you to modify the projection content via a personal computer (using an FTDI cable) or a serial peripheral interface adapter board (both of which are included in the EVM). The board is connected to the computer via USB, but you can start projecting content without connecting to the computer. After power on, the unit will start to display the contents stored in the flash memory, making the EVM a plug-and-play system that supports the rapid evaluation of the DLP3021-Q1 DMD.

Getting started with evaluation modules and software tools for dynamic ground projection

Figure 2: DLP3021-Q1 dynamic ground projector EVM

DLP Composer is a graphical user interface (GUI) tool that allows you to customize the content loaded into the flash memory, not even limited to images. After finding the video or still image you wish to load into the device, the program will get the content, automatically zoom and convert it to the DMD intrinsic format. For further customization, you can adjust the sequence set to adjust the frame rate and specific RGB duty cycle. This interface allows you to easily change the value and adapt the content to different environments through individual duty cycle adjustments.

For example, if your projection requires high brightness but low color accuracy, you can set the green duty cycle to more than twice that of other channels. The EVM comes pre-installed with sample videos and sequences for reference. You can also edit the default register configuration in the GUI. Some of these registers have read and write permissions. You can change the settings without reprogramming the flash memory, which helps to quickly select the content to be loaded and configure the DMD power-on.

After programming the content and setting the default configuration, you can start using the DLP3021-Q1 EVM to project the content. After programming the flash memory using DLP Control Program or controlling the playback of loaded content through DLP Composer, you can also perform other system configurations. First, connect the adapter board to your computer and make sure the program recognizes your device. After the connection is established, you can navigate to the “Scripting” page where you can send commands to the DMD controller. The terminal uses the Python programming language and also contains a program-specific function library. You can run and pause your script by specifying pause conditions in the code or using the buttons at the top of the window. In the other “Registers” pages of the software, you can individually read and write the modifiable registers. You can also modify multiple registers at once by going to the “Commands” page and getting or setting the values ​​in the group.

According to the level of customization, you first need to know what specifications are necessary. The application report “Requirements for Dynamic Ground Projection Applications” introduces formulas and estimates that can help you determine the necessary light output based on environmental quality (such as environmental illuminance and projection surface reflectivity). For more information about projection content, please refer to “DLP3021-Q1 Dynamic Ground Projection System Design”. This application report focuses on the storage requirements of flash memory and the necessary compression factors.

In the included hardware, online resources and software tools (such as DLP Composer and DLP Control Program), there are multiple ways to test and demonstrate the functions of the DLP3021-Q1 DMD. DLP3021-Q1 EVM can accelerate your design cycle and development process through its plug-and-play function. Since you can test different applications and brightness levels without developing a circuit board and optical engine, EVM is an ideal tool for prototyping and development.

(Source: Texas Instruments)

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