Microchip Launches Free, License-Free and Royalty-Free Ensemble Graphics Toolkit to Accelerate Linux Graphical User Interface Development

Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and interactive touch displays provide users with an intuitive experience in applications such as robotics, machine control, medical user interfaces, automotive instrumentation, and home and building automation systems. A well-designed GUI enables users to process information faster and interact with the product more efficiently. Microchip Technology Inc. today announced a new GUI development kit for Linux-based 32-bit microprocessors (MPUs) that enables designers of industrial, medical, consumer and automotive graphics displays to reduce Development costs and time-to-market.

Microchip’s new Ensemble Graphics Toolkit is a free, open-source C++ GUI toolkit for SAMA5 based on Arm® Cortex®-A5 processors and ARM926EJ-S® processors, including System-in-Package and System-on-Module products and SAM9 series microprocessors. The Ensemble Graphics Toolkit is optimized for Microchip 32-bit microprocessors running the Linux operating system. With low-level hardware acceleration including available graphics controllers and video decoders, the new toolkit provides a high-performance user experience on low- to mid-range graphics displays up to XGA (1024 x 768 pixels) resolution.

Optimized code takes up less memory and saves bill of materials costs. Compared to other graphics solutions that rely on high-performance cores and 3D graphics acceleration, the efficient performance of the new toolkit helps developers create rich GUIs for Microchip’s energy-efficient microprocessors. In addition, the Ensemble Graphics Toolkit and Linux can optimize cold boots for fast boot times, with cold boot times less than the three seconds required for applications such as car dashboards.

Rod Drake, vice president of Microchip’s MPU32 business unit, said: “While other tools require higher performance, higher power, and higher cost microprocessors, our new free development kit optimizes processing power to help develop People deliver a modern graphical user interface with a great user experience while offering a high-end look and feel with a lower cost, lower power consumption and longer life solution.”

Microchip’s Ensemble Graphics Toolkit is license- and royalty-free and available free to all developers of GUIs. The Ensemble Graphics Toolkit combines Microchip’s bare-metal, RTOS-centric MPLAB Harmony Graphics Development Kit embedded software development framework to provide a zero-cost, royalty-free graphical user experience.

The Ensemble Graphics Toolkit is fully integrated with Microchip’s long-standing Linux support Linux4SAM. In addition to supporting Microchip’s family of microprocessors, Linux4SAM includes driver support for a variety of other components, including the maXTouch™ family of touch controllers, memory devices, power management and analog devices, wired and wireless networking components and modules. Linux4SAM is regularly updated and supports all Microchip microprocessors throughout the product life cycle.

development tools

Microchip’s Ensemble Graphics Toolkit is a complete suite of software and development tool frameworks. Training and support services are available worldwide by visiting www.microchip.com/EGT.


Microchip’s Ensemble Graphics Toolkit is available free, royalty-free to all users, and includes Microchip’s comprehensive support services. It is based on the permissive Apache 2.0 open source license.


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