Display platform with Ultrachip UC8156

For smaller Lectum® displays, we have developed a platform based on the Ultrachip UC8156 for electrophoretic displays (EPD).

All displays developed on this platform have the following features:

  • integrated display driver Ultrachip UC8156 with controller and power management (PMIC) as single chip
  • up to 240 x 160 pixels supported
  • single voltage power supply (1.7...3.6V), on-chip regulator control for generating driving voltages (external booster circuit required)
  • host communication via SPI interface
  • low current deep sleep mode
  • on-chip display RAM and waveform memory available
  • built-in temperate sensor or I2C interface to read external temperature sensor

Reference display – 1.38''

We currently offer one reference display for the Ultrachip platform.

Display platform with ultrachip

The 1.38'' Lectum display is an active-matrix EPD with Ultrachip UC8156 single chip EPD controller, integrated drivers and power management supporting 180 x 100 pixels.

This display is particularly suitable for smart cardswearables and labels.


Reference design 1.38"
Resolution180 x 100reference design
Active area30.6 x 17.0 mm (1.38" diagonal)
Pixel density150 ppi
Bendabilitytypical 30 mm radius (except chip area)
Gray levelsup to four
Refresh rate < 900 ms (4 gray-level) - faster for mono updates
Surfaceanti-glare / UV protection /

hard-coat 2H

Weight1.5 g
Thickness460 µm
EPD controllerUltrachip 8156
Evaluation kitPLDEK_T430-HBZ9
Operating conditions0°C to 40°C | 15 %rH to 85 %rH
Storage conditions-25°C to 50°C | 15 %rH to 85 %rH

Key features 

  • Organic TFT active matrix incorporating industry leading, bi-stable electrophoretic display technology
  • Integrated display driver with controller and PMIC based on COP (chip-on-plastic) backend technology
  • Host communication via SPI interface
  • On-chip display RAM and waveform memory available
  • I2C interface for reading external temperature sensor
  • Thin, formable, robust, lightweight
  • Ultra-wide viewing angle
  • Ultra-low power – no continuous refresh cycles required
  • Single voltage power supply (1.7… 3.6V), on-chip regulator control for generating driving voltages (external booster circuit required)
  • Low current deep sleep mode
  • Can be combined with third-party touch solutions
  • Evaluation kit available for driving images, consisting of processor board and interface board HBZ9 with passives

Evaluation Kit

We offer evaluation kits for all display platforms enabling customers
to evaluate our display technology both quickly and easily.

The evaluation kit for the Ultrachip-based platform includes an MSP430 microcontroller on a Parrot processor board.

The MSP430 microcontroller software is based on C-code. Additional software packages or changes require a separate JTAG programmer. The HBZ9 reference design board with 'must-have' electronics is also provided.

This board only contains passives, because the related displays already include an Ultrachip UC8156 with integrated gate and source drivers, an EPD hardware controller and power management.

Images not to scale

Technical parameters 

Evaluation kit codeParrot MSP430: PLDEK_T430-HBZ9
Compatible displays1.38''
Display EPD controllerUltrachip UC8156
External EPD controllern/a
Reference design boardHBZ9, containing active and passive components
System processorMSP430F5428A (on Parrot board)
System operating systemNone (microcontroller unit)
System data exchangeJTAG programmer
Interface board Ruddockn/a
MiscellaneousSmall size; low power; microcontroller based; C-code for display operation available

Download datasheets for the Parrot MSP430 eval. kit

Sample pricing for display platform with Ultrachip

Smart Card
  • 1.38" display $50*/each
  • Parrot MSP430:
    PLDEK_T430-HBZ9 $550*/each
    (display not included)

* Pricing does not include shipping, customs or taxes

Order samples today

Send us your request for quotation, product inquiry or general questions.

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Need a different display size?

We have developed a range of display platforms based on different EPD controllers required to drive the respective Lectum design. Reference displays and evaluation kits, including software, are available. Please choose a platform or select custom design to discover how we can best support your display needs.


Reference display size:
4.0'' and 4.9''


Reference display size:
10.7'' and 15.4''

Display platform with Ultrachip - FAQ

Are Lectum displays available in color?

Lectum EPDs are not currently available in color. In the past, the company has demonstrated the ability to produce color displays, however, this process has not yet been industrialized for mass production.

Is video possible on Lectum EPDs?

Plastic Logic Germany has demonstrated animation (12 fps) on its EPDs. However, the faster update rate of the electrophoretic display media, which is required, results in a much higher power requirement than usual as well as a decrease in the display lifetime.

How much power do Lectum displays require?

Our Lectum displays are truly bi-stable meaning power is only needed for an update and not to show a static image. The energy required for a typical image update depends on the display size and driver chip setup; starting at just a few mJ per update for smaller displays, allowing battery-less NFC applications. For details please refer to the respective datasheet.

Why is the temperature range limited?

The temperature range for Lectum displays is determined by the electrophoretic display media used, which consists of microcapsules filled with a clear fluid. Low temperatures raise the viscosity of this fluid typically resulting in a slower response time for image updates. That is why the manufacturer states operation at a minimum of 0°C.

Why does Plastic Logic Germany offer different display platforms?

All EPD displays require an EPD controller and Lectum displays are no exception. Our reference displays use integrated hardware controllers. Different EPD controllers mainly differ in the maximum number of supported pixels as well as in cost. Depending on display requirements, we have selected some of the optimum EPD controllers and created a display platform based on each one. Discover more about the different platforms we offer here.

It is important to note that the number of pixels is not only dependent on the active display area but also on the pixel density (ppi).

What information is required in order to initiate a custom-design?

We require the following information from you in order to begin custom-design activities: display active area; pixel density; bezel size; location of driver electronics; COF/COP; overall module size including tolerances.

How do you decide which platform a custom design will be based on?

An initial analysis of the requested display active area and the pixel density (as well as a few other boundary conditions) informs the decision about the appropriate display platform. This happens as part of a milestone plan, which we have to developed, enabling a step-by-step development approach.

What is electrophoretic technology?

Electrophoretic technology refers to the process whereby thousands of microcapsules, containing (negatively charged) black and (positively charged) white pigments suspended in a clear fluid, are encapsulated in a plastic sheet.

When a charge (positive or negative) is applied, the corresponding particles move to the top of the microcapsule and the surface appears black or white in this specific area. When the charge is removed, the particles stay where they are. This is called bi-stability: where something can rest in either of two states.

In the case of an EPD, the text and/or images remain on the screen until the next update and the user can continue to view the content without the need for battery power. This means EPDs are inherently low-power and is one of the main differentiators to conventional backlit flat panel displays, where a constant power supply is required to maintain content.