This lovely little display breakout is the best way to add a small, colorful, and very bright display to any project. Since the display uses 4-wire SPI to communicate and has its own pixel-addressable frame buffer, it can be used with every kind of microcontroller. Even a very small one with low memory and only a few pins available! The 1.9" display has 320x170 16-bit full-color pixels and is an IPS display, so the color looks great up to 80 degrees off-axis in any direction. The TFT driver (ST7789) is very similar to the popular ST7735, and the Adafruit Arduino library supports it well.

This display comes with an EYESPI connector! This 18-pin 0.5mm pitch FPC connector has a flip-top connector for using a flex cable to hook up your display. It enables you to avoid soldering and get your display up off of the breadboard! Consider it a sort of "STEMMA QT for displays" - a way to quickly connect and extend display wiring that uses a lot of SPI pins. It also allows for communicating with displays over longer distances. The EYESPI flex cables are available in multiple lengths to suit any project. This is especially useful for projects where you want your display mounted separate from your microcontroller.

The breakout has the TFT display soldered on (it uses a delicate flex-circuit connector) as well as an ultra-low-dropout 3.3V regulator, auto-reset circuitry, and a 3/5V level shifter, so you can use it with 3.3V or 5V power and logic. We also had a little extra space, so we placed a microSD card holder, so you can easily load full color bitmaps from a FAT16/FAT32 formatted microSD card. The microSD card is not included, but you can pick one up here.

Of course, we wouldn't just leave you with a datasheet and a "good luck!" - we've written a full open-source graphics Arduino library that can draw pixels, lines, rectangles, circles, text, and bitmaps as well as example code. The code is written for Arduino but can be easily ported to your favorite microcontroller! Wiring is easy, we strongly encourage using the hardware SPI pins of your Arduino as software SPI is noticeably slower when dealing with this size display. For Raspberry Pi or other Single Board Computer Python users, we have a user-space Pillow-compatible library. For CircuitPython there's a displayio driver for native support.

This display breakout also features an 18-pin "EYE SPI" standard FPC connector with flip-top connector. You can use an 18-pin 0.5mm pitch FPC cable to connect to all the GPIO pins, for when you want to skip the soldering.

Please note! This display was designed originally for smartwatches and similar, where there's glass over the screen. Without something gently holding the screen down, the backlight can eventually peel away from the TFT. (It's not destructive but it may be unattractive) You can prevent this by, ideally, adding a plastic or glass cover/overlay. If using it without a glass covering, try dabbing a touch of E6000 or similar craft glue on the thin side edges, or using a thin piece of tape to keep the front TFT attached to the backlight.

This guide was first published on Mar 29, 2022. It was last updated on Jul 16, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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