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Raspberry Pi gets official 7-inch touchscreen

Sep 8, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 3,207 views

The Raspberry Pi Foundation released its long-awaited 7-inch, 800 x 480 capacitive touchscreen for the Raspberry Pi, selling for $60.

Almost a year after the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Eben Upton briefly demonstrated an official Raspberry Pi touchscreen, the display is now available, starting at $60. As promised, it’s a 7-inch, VGA (800 x 480 pixel) capacitive touchscreen.

Official Raspberry Pi 7-inch touchscreen
(click images to enlarge)

Rather than using the the Pi’s HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) add-on card standard, as do some third-party Pi touchscreens such as the 2.4-inch 4DPi-24-HAT, the official “Raspberry Pi Display” connects to the Pi via both its DSI (Display Serial Interface) and DPI (Display Parallel Interface), and features a “bridge chip/conversion board to convert between the two,” according to the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s blog announcement. A ribbon connector hooks up to the Pi’s DSI port.

Raspberry Pi touchscreen kit (RPi SBC not included)
(click image to enlarge)

The product combines an adapter board with an “industrial-quality” display from UK-based Inelco-Hunter. The metal-backed “FT5406” 10-point capacitive touchscreen offers 800 x 480 @60fps resolution with 24-bit color and a 70-degree viewing angle, says the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The display ships with mounting holes for the Raspberry Pi, and you can power the device via the Pi’s GPIO connector or via a micro-USB power supply.

Rear view with (left) and without the Raspberry Pi installed
(click images to enlarge)

According to the Raspberry Pi Foundation blog, problems with EMI delayed the project and led to a redesign that looks like a HAT device, but isn’t a HAT device “because there’s no EEPROM for device tree info.” The redesign involved adding an Atmel device to control the power/reset and PWM for the backlight.

The Raspberry Pi Display supports 10-point capacitive touch
(click image to enlarge)

Touchscreen drivers will be added to Raspbian, and will include suport for an onscreen keyboard. There is also support for dual displays, so you can use the touchscreen as a control interface for a separate HDMI display. In addition, you can use a Python GUI development system called Kivy for cross-platform applications.

Other available 7-inch Raspberry Pi displays include the Tontec 7-inch TFT Monitor, which sells for $52. There’s also a SainSmart 7-Inch display with the same resolution going for $50.

Further Information

Ther Raspberry Pi Display is available now for $60 at a variety of locations, including Newark Element14 and the Swag store. More information may be found in the Raspberry Pi blog announcement.

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One response to “Raspberry Pi gets official 7-inch touchscreen”

  1. RPI Android says:

    Looks cool. Now if Android was supported, this could be more useful.

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