MILPITAS, CA -- Zilog, a producer of microcontrollers, reports that its Z8 chip has been selected by Coin Mechanisms Inc. (Glendale Heights, IL) for its new spinning three-dimensional display. Called POV (for Persistence of Vision), the cylindrical display uses a rapidly rotating vertical array of LEDs to create a brilliantly colored 3D image of logotypes, advertisements, special announcements and similar point-of-sale messages.
Zilog said that its Z8 Encore microcontroller unit was chosen for Coin Mechanisms' POV display because its direct register-to-register architecture streamlines overhead in executing code and decreases the amount of program memory required. These characteristics allow the controller to switch the individual light-emitting diodes on and off very quickly, which is essential to maintaining the illusion of a transparent three-dimensional solid. The POV display can attain a frame rate of 38 FPS for seamless animations and video clips (the professional motion picture standard is 24 FPS).
The spinning display, rotated by a quiet brushless DC motor, includes two columns of 96 LEDs. As it rotates, the individual diodes are turned on and off to create a virtual array 384 pixels around, with an available spectrum of 512 colors (9 bits) and an effective screen resolution of 96 x 192 pixels. The image is 5.75" high x 9.5" in diameter (or 30" in circumference), and may be viewed from 360° around it. Graphics and text can scroll left or right, at variable speed, and a number of special effects may be added.
Coin Mechanisms' LED POV sign is mounted in a cylindrical housing 14" high x 12.25" in diameter, and is primarily designed for use as an attention-getting topper. Its onboard memory can store up to 100 images, and new content can be downloaded over a serial interface or 2.4-GHz. wireless transmission. Download time is six seconds per image. The sign also is equipped with a real-time clock/calendar. Time and/or date can be displayed, and the clock also may be used to turn the display on or off at preset times. It runs on 120/240 VAC.
Coin Mechanisms, founded in 1968, has expanded from a developer and manufacturer of high-quality payment systems to a fully integrated manufacturing organization that supplies products to the vending, amusement, kiddie ride, redemption, video lottery, carwash, laundry and other self-service businesses. It maintains a website at www.coinmech.com.
A video of the POV sign can be found on YouTube.
Zilog, which helped pioneer microprocessor design, development and production in the 1970s, now is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ixys Corp. and a supplier of application-specific "system-on-chip" (SoC) solutions for industrial and consumer markets. It offers a range of single board computers, application-specific software stacks and development tools for embedded-systems design.
Ixys provides a diversified base of products addressing worldwide needs for power control, electrical efficiency, telecommunications and electronic displays.