Sharp Memory LCD Breakout Boards Ready For Production

UPDATE: The breakout boards are now for sale!

I’ve finally finished designing a couple of breakout boards for the lovely Sharp Memory LCDs and am now busy getting quotes for the manufacture of an initial batch of them from a small number of UK based PCB manufacturers.

Memory LCDs are the type of ultra low-power, ultra high-contrast displays used in smartwatches like the Pebble and the Agent. But you’re not getting a fancy watch from me, just a breakout board so you can easily use the same sort of display in your next Arduino project.

Why do you need a breakout board for these LCDs? Well, luxurious and ergonomic as they look inside a smartwatch, as a bare component they are nothing but a small rectangle of glass with a delicate and breadboard-unfriendly 0.5 mm pitch flat flex cable dangling off one edge.

With the breakout board, you get the following features that make using the Memory LCD easy:

  • 0.5 mm pitch flat flex cable connector to connect the Memory LCD
  • 0.1″ header strip for compatibility with breadboards
  • 3V LDO voltage regulator and logic level shifting IC (all Memory LCDs have a 3V logic-high level).
  • Jumper to select the correct supply volage for the particular Memory LCD model (some Memory LCDs have a 5V power requirement)
  • Jumper to select the display refresh signal source
  • Positions for 6 – 8 optional tactile switches around the perimeter of the LCD
  • 3mm mounting holes for easy mounting of the board inside an enclosure
  • Double-sided adhesive pads to secure the LCD to the PCB

The two breakout boards share the same circuits and components, with the principal difference being their size.

The small breakout board is 54 x 58 mm (W x H) and is designed for Memory LCD models:

  • LS013B4DN02 (1.35″, 96 x 96 pixels, requires 5V supply)
  • LS013B4DN04 (1.35″, 96 x 96 pixels, requires 3V3 supply)
  • LS013B7DH03 (1.28″, 128 x 128 pixels, requires 3V3 supply)

The large breakout board is 88 x 68 mm (W x H) and is designed for Memory LCD models:

  • LS027B7DH01 (2.70″, 400 x 240 pixels, requires 5V supply)
  • Possible future 2.70″ models assuming Sharp revise this size of display to use a lower supply voltage like they’ve done with their smaller models.

I expect to have the boards available for sale by the middle to end of June. In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview (courtesy of GerbV) of what they should look like:

MakerDyne Sharp Memory LCD Small Breakout Board front view
MakerDyne Sharp Memory LCD Small Breakout Board back view
MakerDyne Sharp Memory LCD Large Breakout Board front view
MakerDyne Sharp Memory LCD Large Breakout Board back view

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