The Lasted E-Paper Display

Driver comparison of iTC and eTC

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  • Time of issue:2024-06-11 17:33
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(Summary description)

Driver comparison of iTC and eTC

(Summary description)

  • Categories:Blog
  • Author:
  • Origin:
  • Time of issue:2024-06-11 17:33
  • Views:

The timing control of ePaper displays primarily involves driving the screen to accurately display images. Electronic ink (E Ink) technology uses electrophoresis to manage display content. Timing control is crucial in this process, ensuring the accuracy and efficiency of content updates.


Currently, the most widely used SPI ePaper displays employ internal timing control (iTC). These are commonly used in applications such as electronic shelf labels (ESL) and smart home devices. However, for applications requiring faster updates, such as e-readers and E Ink monitors, external timing control(eTC) is preferred.


Here's a detailed comparison between iTC  and eTC  for driving  ePaper Display:


iTC (Internal Timing Controller)


Pre-programmed Waveforms:

The driving waveforms (LUTs, lookup tables) are pre-programmed in the driver IC.

Simplifies the driving process as developers only need to send image data and an update command.

Ease of Use:

Significantly reduces the complexity of development since the timing control is handled internally.

Ideal for applications where ease of use and quick integration are priorities.


Limited flexibility in terms of customizing the driving waveforms.

Extra LUTs can be sent externally if special waveform support is needed, but this adds complexity.


Standard waveforms are optimized by the manufacturer for general use.

May not be as efficient for specific or non-standard use cases where customized waveforms could enhance performance.

Use Cases:

Applications requiring quick development and deployment.

Projects where standard driving waveforms are sufficient for the display needs.

Developers who prefer a simplified interface and reduced programming effort.


eTC (External Timing Controller)


Custom Driving Flow:

Developers have full control over the driving flow and stages from the MCU.

Requires sending converted image data at each specific stage according to the driving guide.

Control and Flexibility:

Offers extensive control over the driving process, allowing for customization of waveforms and driving stages.

Suitable for applications with unique or complex driving requirements.


Increased development complexity as developers must manage the entire driving sequence.

Requires in-depth understanding of the driving process and careful timing management.


Can optimize performance for specific use cases by tailoring the driving waveforms and stages.

Potential for enhanced display quality and efficiency in specialized applications.

Use Cases:

Applications with specific display requirements that standard waveforms cannot meet.

Projects where display performance and customization are critical.

Developers who need precise control over the driving process for optimal results.


Comparison Summary:

Feature iTC (Internal Timing Controller) eTC (External Timing Controller)
EPD with host board
Waveform location
Driving Waveforms Pre-programmed in the driver IC Fully controlled by the developer
Ease of Use High, due to internal management Lower, due to the need for detailed control
Flexibility Limited, can send extra LUTs if needed High, complete control over driving flow
Development Complexity Low, straightforward integration High, requires managing driving stages
Performance Standard, optimized for general use Can be optimized for specific needs
Ideal Use Cases Quick deployment, standard requirements Custom requirements, enhanced performance



Choosing between iTC and eTC depends on the specific needs of your project. If ease of use and rapid development are your primary concerns, iTC is the better choice. It simplifies the integration process by handling the timing internally. On the other hand, if your project requires precise control over the display driving process or involves unique requirements that standard waveforms cannot meet, eTC provides the necessary flexibility and control, though it comes with increased complexity.

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Time of issue:2020-04-27 00:00:00



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Time of issue:2020-04-27 00:00:00 DaLian


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