Sharp Memory LCD Displays = Ultra Low Power

@peekay123 Yes indeed it is bigger than I expected it to be compared to the 2.7 inch screen.

The 4.4" screen is actually the perfect size for some battery based products I’m working on. Its much easier to see the data from a distance.

The 1.28 and 2.7" screens are perfect if you don’t need to view them any further than a arms length way. You could see them further away but the the text or image your displaying will need to be large and take up a large amount of the screen which limits what all you can show at any 1 time. I guess you could always just show new data via multiple screen which are displayed in a row but that will require the micro processor to come out of sleep mode more often and require more power.

Regardless these screens are super sweet and I would love to see them used in future Spark projects where data is pulled or pushed to the internet every so often then the LCD is updated, and then the Spark goes back to sleep for 95% of the time. Its certainly possible.

@peekay123 custom font library allows you to create some beautiful layouts also which is something that was not possible before his modified library was created. Thanks Paul!

I’m also playing with Adafruits 3.5" Color LCD Touch Screen thats 480x320 pixels and its beautiful but it consumes 140ma with the backlight on so it can’t be left on 24/7 like the Memory LCD’s. Plus the Sharp LCD’s are easily view able under just about all light conditions unlike the color LCD which gets really hard to read outside on a sunny day just like your cell phone.


The 2.7 Inch Screen looks interesting. Can you tell me how to wire it? Can it be conntected to the photon directly?

@Coffee, if you go through this thread you will find wiring instructions. The display requires a driver board and it connects to the Core/Photon/Electron via SPI. The display will not work directly with the Core due to memory limitations but it should work with both the Photon and Electron. :smile:

To clarify/add to what @peekay123 said, the Spark Core can be used with larger displays but you lose the ability to write to the entire display easily. The display’s video buffer has to sit in the Spark Core’s flash which obviously limits what you can do with it. Want to have a simple clock somewhere on the dispaly? Do able. What to play a game, display an animation, or do a lot of writing and erasing to the display? Not doable.

Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone has posted a public library for the SharpMem displays? I saw @peekay123 had been working on one, but I can’t see a public one. I attempted creating one (, but seem to be getting directory errors when compiling even though I can see the imported library code.

In file included from ../inc/spark_wiring.h:29:0,
from ../inc/application.h:29,
from Adafruit_GFX/Adafruit_GFX.h:4,
from Adafruit_GFX/Adafruit_GFX.cpp:34:
../../core-common-lib/SPARK_Firmware_Driver/inc/config.h:12:2: warning: #warning "Defaulting to Release Build" [-Wcpp]
#warning "Defaulting to Release Build"
In file included from Adafruit_SharpMem/Adafruit_SharpMem.cpp:19:0:
Adafruit_SharpMem/Adafruit_SharpMem.h:22:23: fatal error: WProgram.h: No such file or directory
#include "WProgram.h"
compilation terminated.
make: *** [Adafruit_SharpMem/Adafruit_SharpMem.o] Error 1

If anyone can help I’d greatly appreciate it!

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WProgramm.h is not used on the Spark Core.

And what is wrong with @peekay123 's library here?

To post propperly formated code please read

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@dplumly, I posted two libraries for the SharpMem display. The Core does not have enough memory to handle a display larger than 128x128. The first library can accommodate those displays. The library could be easily adapted to run with the mfGFX library. For a larger display, I wrote a second library which uses FRAM as a display buffer. :smile:

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I just saw that Sharp is releasing a new Color Memory LCD Display real soon also. I’ll order some when they are available and send you one if you think altering the code to display colors is something you are up to.

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Thanks for the reply @peekay123! I am using the the 96x96 display. Is this a public library? I am confused on where to find it in the Spark ide.

@dplumly, it is not in the IDE. I can have it up on the IDE tonight though. :smile:

Awesome @peekay123. I really appreciate all your help! You rule!

To correct a slight error, the core can handle larger displays it simply can’t do much with them. You can easily read very large images directly from flash to the larger display. Combine that with some clever data manipulation and you can write small bits of dynamic content to the displays too. But yes, if you want to have full control of a display you will need a smaller display or a Photon :smile:

@harrisonhjones, you are correct regarding sending images to the display without using a RAM display buffer. However, the SharpMem display requires whole-line or whole-display (multi-line basically) refreshing (and the screen is write only) so to do small bits, you need to refresh all affected lines. :smile:


Is the SharpMem library on the IDE now? Searched for “Sharp” but came up empty.

@spongefile, I did not post it on the IDE but you can find it here. I need to port it to the Photon. Are you planning on using it on the Photon or Core?

I was going to try it with the Photon, since that just arrived :slight_smile: But I do have Cores as well.
Is the Photon better suited to run it, or does it make a difference at all?

@spongefile, the Core is RAM-limited and can only support a 128x128 (max) SharpMem display. The Photon can most likely support the larger 2.7" 400x240 and 4.4" 320x240 displays which require a larger RAM buffer. :smile:

@Peekay123 , I’m finally putting that custom Font Library to good use! I’d be screwed without it.

I’m still waiting to get my hands on the color Sharp Memory LCD’s.


Very cool.

I’ve got my demo of me playing Pong on the same display using a Photon.

As soon as you can source the color LCDs please let me know. I’d love to play around with them.

Is that display for your solar charger?


@harrisonhjones , these screens are some of the best graphic LCD’s out there if you ask me. Hi resolution and very easy to read even in direct full sunlight which is impossible with color LCD’s.

Post some pictures of your screen running pong if you can. I’d like to see it.

Mouser and Digikey will be stocking the 1.33 inch color LCD’s soon. Supposedly you can get samples now but I have not figured out how to get them just yet.

And yes these screens will be used in a new line of portable solar generators were building out. The larger units will have the Electron built into them for wireless data communication that will be saved, graphed, and made available via a web interface.