Continue to Site

Welcome to

Welcome to our site! is an international Electronics Discussion Forum focused on EDA software, circuits, schematics, books, theory, papers, asic, pld, 8051, DSP, Network, RF, Analog Design, PCB, Service Manuals... and a whole lot more! To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

led full color display

Not open for further replies.


Newbie level 5
Jul 31, 2007
Reaction score
Trophy points
Activity points
fpga led matriz full color

Hello everybody,

I am trying to build a full color & motion led display and I want to know if FPGA's are more suited for this project then led drivers(eg: drivers from Texas Instruments).

I was thinking at 8x8 pixels matrices, each pixel being formed of 3 leds(rgb).
If fpga's can do the work which one is more suited to do that?

As a starting point I would see the following grouping of issues;
1.) Mechanical design and manufacture of the modular LED panels
2.) Automatic LED adressing protocol
3.) Digitising video into NxM color pixels (N, and M are number of
pixels in Row and Column)
4.) Sending the digitized image to indivually addressed LED panels
5.) Each LED panel should be intelligent to receive part of the
digitized video data corresponding to its own spatial position
6.) Scanning LEDs according to received pixel data.

Do you have any idea, information, design, URL etc. about above mentioned and/or any other related issue to share?


led scrolling display with cpld

I would like to know if you are a beginner or what?

I have been working on with LED Displays(Scrolling) & CPLDs from Altera.

You can visit altera website for more information.
**broken link removed**

Logic wise CPLD of higher macrocells or LEs like MAX II are enough. My personal experience is that job can also be achieved by a high speed microcontroller. But since LED Displays always require high number of I/O, additional expansion can be done using a CPLD. This way you have freedom and ease of doing any thing with microcontroller which may be hard to achieve in HDL & reducing chip count by making use of PLD.

I would welcome any of your experiences, since I obsessed with LED Displays & CPLDs. I am planning to make a project incorporating 128x96 RGB LED matrix that has animaton, scrolling, etc. capabilities.


I am new to FPGA and CPLD, and i am willing to learn in order to complete my project, but first i want to know fpga's or cpld's are the solution for my project.


Well here is what you can do.

There is a book called Digital Design with CPLD Applications & VHDL, 2nd Edition written by Robert Dueck, published by Thomson Delmar Learning. This proved to be very helpful to me. Regarding your project, CPLD with do the job, i think. FPGAs & CPLDs are similar in some terms & different in others. CPLD is more easier to learn as FPGA is considered to be industrial prototype PLD which has several other features which are not required, i think for your project.

Do you have any experience in building LED displays, if not then my advise would be to start with say a tri color display with scrolling capabilities, and then move to complex ones.


i have read a little about FPGA and CPLD and they say fpga's are faster and more easy to reconfigure. What do you suggest? Do you know a book about fpga's?

i haven't studied about fpga's because first i want to know if they are more suited for my project then led drivers. That was my original question.

Even if you have an LED driver you are going to still need a FPGA or CPLD (or a microcontroller). Have you looked at any of the datasheets for LED drivers? Im guessing the answer is no. Because if it were a yes you would already know that you are going to have to provide some sort of data input to the LED driver to turn the LEDs on and off for your application.

From your initial posting you seem to really need an LCD and not an LED. I say this because you mention pixel data, digitized video, and spatial position. LED drivers cant help you with this, you need and LCD driver.

If its an LCD, then you have other more important issues to worry about then whether or not you need an FPGA. If you need an LCD then you need to decide if you want one with an integrated LCD driver or not. Then if you havent yet done so you need to determine your resolution needs versus what is available.

Any FPGA will be able to do the DSP to handle your digital video needs but you first need to have a better idea about what your design really needs to do and then you can start looking for component solutions.


Good lord man have you even done any research into FPGAs and CPLDs? Both devices are similar in some respects and different in others. One needs a piece of memory for the code and the other does not... but not always depending on the supplier.

hey nxtech

was this comment for me???

if yes then I should tell you, that I have constructed projects incorporating over 40 ICs (TTL). I know pretty much about CPLDs & FPGAs. I have got kit back at my place. And I have VHDL programming experience in one of premier industries, ISRO, India. I was just being easy on technical terms to _lore as I thought he was a beginner. Everyone knows that FPGAs require Config memory, even a 6 year old can answer that.

if that comment wasn't for me???
then never mind


Added after 5 minutes:

to _lore

any of books related to FPGAs listed in above page are good.


Not open for further replies.

Part and Inventory Search

Welcome to