looking for an arduino like board with monitor hdmi / svga

I'm wonder is there is a board that works like arduino accepting c++ as language.
And doesnt have an operatings system.. just only my code that will run.
has IO pins, and perhaps some usb (tx trx), but also able to connect to a normal sized monitor.

I know (and i have) small screens that are just an inch in size, but i'm looking for a normal monitor, to be able to show some graphics (loaded from SD card), and the be able to write some text to screen, (screen resolution at least 800x600)

There are various small form factor embedded PC such as Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone Black, which include graphics output (HDMI seems more popular than VGA, but I suspect you'll find either if you look hard enough).

Do you specifically need to NOT use an OS? I suppose you can write your own bootloader and program to the hardware from scratch if you really wanted to, but it seems like a huge waste of effort. Why not just run your application within the OS if your platform has one?

Just use your computer. Get Visual C or whatever.

It seems like we are always missing a piece of the puzzle.....

(screen resolution at least 800x600)

I don't think that is an HDMI format .

You can program the raspberry Pi without an operating system, it is known as "Bare Metal"

It seems like we are always missing a piece of the puzzle.....

Isn't that just so!

How would you propose to program for HDMI or SVGA output without an operating system? Those systems are very complex and I suspect using them without an OS is for all practical purposes impossible.

Use a PC or a RaspberryPi or BeagleBone to do the big stuff and connect up to an Arduino to to do the small stuff.


I'm really looking for something that doesn't have an operating system.
And for the graphics, i would like to use basic images.
Perhaps i would write something to display text, as characters.

But i just don't want an operation system, sure they have there pro's.. .
Dough operating systems, tend to require updates, tend to require IO threads for their own..
And often you need to be on the edge of operating systems skills to tune them so they wont interfere.
Although Linux and Microsoft android etc etc, are all fun
But I need reliability and don't want to depend on an operating system.
I had 2 projects in the past one on linux the other on win7.. i dont want step in their traps again.
I just only want pure c++, nothing else.

Also i like the cheaper price of micro-controllers above PCees that's a second reason, but not as important as the first.

I don't share any of your views about operating systems. There's no reason why an operating system should cause you any problems. If you are determined not to use one, you would end up needing to write substantial parts of the functionality for yourself, and in particular the device drivers. If you have ever needed to do this then you will really appreciate having an OS available which hides all that complexity from you. That being said, if your output requirements are very simple perhaps an Arduino with a Video Experimenter shield would be sufficient.

I'm really looking for something that doesn't have an operating system.

Well then, you clearly had better take Grumpy_Mike's advice, get a Raspberry Pi.

It has the HDMI interface, enough grunt to drive it, and it comes without an operating system. You load your own software on the SD card. Fulfils all your requirements. XD

A Rasberi Pi runs linux its not what i want.

And i've written device drivers before so no worry thats no problem for me.
If its just conrolling a device over usb, thats fine to me, disk handling routines allready exist.

In general operating systems are not a problem from me, i've done mass installations hundreds of PCees before.
I know a lot about them i'm an MCSE, A developer in 7 computer languages, and the one who manages (and designed) several networks. So i'm not a newbie to computers. I also keep running some linux boxes etc.

But that all made me realize that for simple automation with a simple screen, they require to much of continuous management, or some extreme configuration. Dough i am not after such complexity, i just want a machine process to run, without all the overhead; of configuring a system to be safe and reliable while having to much hardware overhead, and to much configuration.. i'd like to simply have my processes running . and i dont like to care about a pc anymore.
Hence if you like to operate 200PCees sooner or later you need an IT staf; i dont want that.

For one thing i know a PLC can do what i want, but they are not at an interesting price range, for the things i do.
Neither do i need their 1000% robustness endurancy, precission etc etc etc (as i dont operate a nuclear plant).

No i like to find a micro controller with video output for this.


Guys. PGT asked for some way of sending output to a monitor without using an operating system. It’s counterproductive to imply that PGT is stupid for wanting this, when solutions exist:

Gameduino: http://www.jameco.com/1/1/4818-gameduino-game-adapter-shield-compat-spi-vga-12bit-stereo-out.html
MicroVGA: http://microvga.com/
Arcade Shield: http://soldercore.com/products/arcade-shield/

I’m sure there are others.

A Rasberi Pi runs Linux its not what I want.

A Raspberry Pi does not run Linux unless you insert a SD card with Linux. There is absolutely no compulsion to do this. Write your own code, load it on a SD card, and plug it in.

No I like to find a micro controller with video output for this.

Then that is what the Raspberry Pi is! Albeit an ARM more than a “simple” microcontroller.


Credible, but is an add-on to an Arduino, the combination is more expensive and less capable than a Pi.


Text only - the OP specified graphics.

Arcade Shield:

Graphics resolution 320x240

Well i am listening and i do consider your viewpoinst here, there is no reason to shout with big headlines.
I need at least 800x600 resolution, so sadly the gameduino wouldnt do it and neither the others.
Thats realy sad because if it would have... it would be a perfect fit, together with an Arduino mega well i would jump to the roof.

The other option dont insert linux in an rasberi-pi, that would one require to write an operating system for it.
I'm in doubt if I could call it a microcontroller, as i think its more close to a miniPC. I'm not aware of projects where people skipped any of the eleven operating systems available for it, and made their own c++ core for it, to make it more Arduino like. I like micro controller programming on the arduino because its simplicity, a few drivers would be fine, but re-inventing them all.
Sure linux started as cores too, and in the end its all just assembler; but put simply it would require lots of time to do such a project, while i also have a job todo, so yes your right its an answer, but not a solution for me.

The closest i got now with my search is a RA8875 Driver Board for 40-pin TFT Touch Displays - 800x480 Max : ID 1590 : $39.95 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits but its 800x480 (WGA) dough...hmmm I got to think this over. Maybe i'll contact them or some other vendors just in case they are working on it.

What about the Galileo?
I don't know if there is a video out library for it yet?

Hmm galileo.. isnt that too linux combined with arduino ?.. a dual pc/arduino board.. I will look into it.

Meanwhile i found also someone who programmed an FPGA to do even higher resolution, with an original target to be an extension board for micro controllers..but his project seams in silence since 2012 ..
Found this video of his project LVDS Display controller for microprocessors - YouTube
So some hope here
Some people create hardware that's able to do it..but not seen any commercial buyable thing so far..
On the other its possible, then Chinese labs can make / sell it too :)) joking i'm to long into robotics hehehe

Once you start talking about video/ graphics, what you want is more of a "mini-PC" than a microcontroller.

I have no particular affection for the Pi, I bought one basically to use as a Net server - haven't got it in such operation yet but well, we all have projects like that, don't we (and lots of them)? Clearly there are other boards with similar capacity, including bitwise I/O ports and I have a couple of them in similar condition of not-yet-use. The hybrid boards such as the Due and the Galileo of course contain a "mini-PC" with (generally) a video interface together with a microcontroller, that is how they do what they do.

And there is the point - microcontrollers are deliberately oriented to bit transfer rather than byte, so they do not exhibit busses. This is the distinction between microcontroller and minicomputer. Video/ graphics on the other hand is necessarily byte-oriented and you generally do want a bit of speed, so sending such data over I2C links is singularly tedious and inefficient; you really want to be using a bus architecture.

Novelties such as using a FPGA - well, nice party trick but ...

I knew that the options I posted were close...and there are others too (PICASO for example) that get close but don't meet every single specification you posted. The reason I went ahead and linked them is because when you're in the specification stage of your project and haven't built anything yet, you need to have some flexibility and make some tradeoffs. You don't want to use a Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone (unavailable), pcDuino, Arduino Tre (unavailable)....then accept lower resolution and use an Arduino shield. Or if it's absolutely mandatory that you must have 800x600, get rid of the Arduino and figure out how to make something else work.

Thanks people,

Thanks for also pointing me out to other boards, and you people where right its good to know the field, as well sometimes you can change your projects bounderies a bit and do with other hardware that comes close; in my case i couldnt dough those where set fixed.

I know the difference between a micro controller a pc and FPGA boards,
Sure micro controllers are 'slower' but when using an fpga, then that board does do the video handling.
And as long as you dont do games or fractals or heavy stuff then you can get away with a microcontroller.
In short then from there your micro tells the FPGA board what to load and display.
I need to display static images dependent on user machine input, and do some action; the combination is perfect for this.
I am into talks with someone who might build a custom FPGA board dedicated for my project.

I might keep an eye out in case someone else also makes another arduino SVGA - FPGA board; and if i find one i'll update this forum so people also on the lookout for this get updated. For the custom board we're still in talks if we will also gonna sell it in general or keep it under a license for my project only / those legal things are bit complex, when you have to deal with investors.