LCDs are fast becoming a standard part of the automotive interior. As demand for LCD technology increases, so do methodologies for controlling and creating the displayed graphical content. Traditionally, character-based LCDs and vacuum florescent (VF) displays have been used for low-cost automotive infotainment applications, but low-cost color thin film transistors (TFTs) quickly are becoming a bright alternative.

This paper discuses the Thomas II board design using low-cost Altera Cyclone III FPGA and a Nios II embedded processor. Using this platform, automotive electronics designers can easily add color TFTs to their existing system architectures and create low-cost intelligent display modules.