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Developing a microcontroller with a LCD that can handle flash swf's Answered

I have been getting into micro-controllers little by little... I also am going to school for internet design and I know flash cs3 and actionscript 3.0 ... I was wondering if there was a way to hook up a microcontroller with an LCD and some type of memory that wound enable it to run flash 9...or basically be able to run .swf files that I can load into it? preferably a touchscreen setup would make the design simpler, however im not sure how to tell flash to accept touchscreen functions...so that may not work



Actually it is possible to have a microcontroller play Flash files. Hook up microcontroller to a complete PC. System requirements are quite high for Flash 9, and they make calculators with more processing power than a microcontroller.

You could start with a small motherboard with built-in video and a small case (possibly DIY), or a barebone system, add an adapter that allows you to boot from a flash card, and that's the start of the system. Microcontroller could be powered by the PSU. On boot the OS will run your Flash-playing program, which will be triggered by signals from the microcontroller. You could house the microcontroller in the PC case.

Of course, then you got to wonder why one wouldn't just use the PC by itself. Lots of places on the parallel port connector to hook up various switches and stuff, they run homebrew CNC machines from the parallel port. Plus there are a few 'ibles around here that may help you make your touch screen that Flash will respond to.

gmoon knows what he's talking about, but I'd like to butt in with my own thoughts.

For one I'd probably use something ARM-based rather than AVR-centric, simply because there is more info out there on them. You may be drifting away from microcontrollers, but I think the idea is the same.

I'd also take an idea from Chumby, which runs Flash Lite, which is essentially Flash 6 (or something). Although this sounds bad, if you aren't taking advantage of all the things that have been upgraded, like filters, you won't notice. They use a 233Mhz ARM processor running a modified linux kernel.
As gmoon said, by running linux, it allows you to use prexisting Flash interpreters.

All in all, this is going to be a huge, complicated project. A much easier step would be developing Flash programs that talk to microcontrollers, such as the arduino.

I think the cool thing would be using the likes of an RGB output to run a big creen made of LED's, say having a microprocessor that can handle all that, converting it in to signals either for three sets of LEDs or using RGBs, the three set idea would lower the processing power and the quality of the end result but true RGB LEDs could be used to makea massive long lasting screen of great brightness...


10 years ago

First question:
Do you have the knowledge to write a Flash interpreter for a PC? With all the PC's resources (hardware graphics acceleration) and high-level languages?

Ignoring the audio component of Flash for the moment, a swf interpreter would need both vector and pixel rendering engines--quite a daunting task. Especially from scratch.

If you can't do that, then it doesn't even make sense to talk about scaling flash down to a microcontroller...

However, there is one possibility: using one of the newer 32-bit micros, like the AVR32. Some are powerful enough to run an OS, for instance the AVR32 Linux project. Why write a flash interpreter, when Linux version already exist?

But here's your dilemma--an AVR32 system wouldn't cost any less than a mini-ITX computer running something like Damn Small Linux. So why not do that instead? Especially since an AVR32 protoboard is about the same size... and these days mini-ITX is big compared to some PCs.