TermDriver is available in the Excamera Store.

TermDriver listens on a serial line and emulates a terminal on a standard VGA connector. It gives embedded microcontrollers a real console.

TermDriver monitors the serial line at 115200 baud, and any serial output from the CPU also appears on the VGA. There's nothing to set up or load. When your microcontroller executes:

for (;;)
  printf("Counter is %d\n", counter++);

You get this output on the VGA:

It's available in two versions. One has Arduino headers so it's stackable with any Arduino. The other has no headers, and is meant for system builders, not necessarily Arduino users.

Hookup is four lines (ground, power, reset, serial) so it's easily connected to any CPU.

As well as the "classic" 80x25 text mode, the emulation also offers a higher density 128x48 mode, and a portrait orientation 96x64 mode. Both are very readable because they match TermDriver's native 1024x768 @ 60 Hz VGA output.

The terminal emulation is fully compatible with the DOS ANSI.SYS, so classic ASCII and ANSI art draws correctly.

Technical Specifications

The serial line is 115200 baud, 8 bits no parity. The signal level is 3.3 V, and is 5 V tolerant.

Power is 5V. TermDriver has an onboard 3.3 V regulator.

Current consumption is 25 mA when running, 10 mA when in screen saver mode. The reset signal is active low.

Video output is standard VGA 1024x768 at 60 Hz.

The following standard CSI codes are supported:

Code Effect
ESC [ n A Cursor up
ESC [ n B Cursor down
ESC [ n C Cursor forward
ESC [ n D Cursor back
ESC [ r;c H Cursor position
ESC [ n J Erase display
ESC [ n m Select graphic rendition
ESC [ s Save cursor position
ESC [ u Restore cursor position

In addition the following sequences are specific to TermDriver:

Code Effect
ESC [ n h

Set display mode.

0 is 80x25, 1 is 128x48, 2 is 96x64 (rotated)

ESC [ n S


0 stops video output, 1 restarts video output