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MIPI-DSI Command Mode

This section describes how to configure a MIPI DSI interface for Command Mode and how to use this configuration with TouchGFX Generator. The example used in this article will be for 16-bit RGB565 frame buffer format and generally goes through the following configurations in STM32CubeMX and code examples.

  • TouchGFX Generator

STM32CubeMX - Hardware configuration


  • Mode
    • Set Display Type to RGB565 (16 bits) - DSI Mode
  • Layer Settings
    • Set Number of layers to 1 layer
    • Set the screen resolution in Windows Position and Frame Buffer Line Length and Frame Buffer Number of Lines
    • Set Layer 0 - Pixel Format to RGB565
    • Set Layer 0 - Alpha constant for blending to 255

      LTDC Configuration

  • NVIC Settings
    • Both LTDC global interrupt and LTDC global error interrupt are not needed, and should be disabled.

      LTDC NVIC Settings

DSIHOST Configuration

  • Mode
    • Set DSIHost to Adapted Command Mode with TE Pin
  • Display Interface
    • Set Color Coding to RGB565 (16 bits) - DSI mode
    • Set Maximum Command Size to a number on the order of the width of the display
    • Set The Refresh of the Display Frame Buffer is Triggered to manually by Enabling the LTDC
    • Remaining configurations depends on the selected LCD HW

      DSIHOST Configuration

  • NVIC Settings
    • Enable DSI global interrupt

      DSIHOST NVIC Settings

STM32CubeMX - TouchGFX Generator

  • Mode
    • Enable Graphics Application
  • TouchGFX Generator
    • Set Display / Interface to Parallel RGB (LTDC) since this is still the controller the application needs to communicate with.
    • Set Application Tick Source to Custom

      TouchGFX Generator Configuration

DSIHOST / LTDC Initialization sequence

  • The call to MX_DSIHOST_DSI_Init() must be done before MX_LTDC_Init(). This should be handled by CubeMX.

  • User has to add the required initialization code specific to the used LCD controller at the end of the MX_LTDC_Init() function, which will generally be based on the DSI HAL APIs HAL_DSI_ShortWrite() and HAL_DSI_LongWrite()

    * @brief LTDC Initialization Function
    * @param None
    * @retval None
    static void MX_LTDC_Init(void)

    /* USER CODE BEGIN LTDC_Init 2 */


    // Specific LCD controller's initialization code

    // Turn display off until first frame
    HAL_DSI_ShortWrite(&hdsi, 0, DSI_DCS_SHORT_PKT_WRITE_P1, DSI_SET_DISPLAY_OFF, 0x00);


    /* USER CODE END LTDC_Init 2 */


Updated TouchGFXHAL class for DSI Command Mode

One way to prevent the MIPI DSI display from turning on until the first frame in the application has beem rendered is to guard the function TouchGFXHAL::endFrame to keep the display off until first frame is rendered by TouchGFX. The TouchGFXHAL::endFrame() could be updated as below, to enable the LCD and its Backlight through a HW Timer configured for PWM output.

void TouchGFXHAL::endFrame()
if (!display_on)
display_on = true;
/* Enable the LCD, Send Display on DCS command to display */
/* Start PWM Timer channel */
(void)HAL_TIM_PWM_Start(&htim8, TIM_CHANNEL_2);
/* Enable Backlight by setting Brightness to 100% */
__HAL_TIM_SET_COMPARE(&htim8, TIM_CHANNEL_2, 2U * 100);


In DSI Command mode, the internal GRAM in the display is updated by writing a window to it using LTDC. The size of the window can be set to the entire screen area:

  static void MX_LTDC_Init(void)
void LCD_SetUpdateRegion()
uint8_t pCols[4] = {0x00, 0x00, 0x01, 0xDF}; /* 0 -> 480 */
uint8_t pRows[4] = {0x00, 0x00, 0x03, 0x3F}; /* 0 -> 800 */

HAL_DSI_LongWrite(&hdsi, 0, DSI_DCS_LONG_PKT_WRITE, 4, OTM8009A_CMD_CASET, pCols);
HAL_DSI_LongWrite(&hdsi, 0, DSI_DCS_LONG_PKT_WRITE, 4, OTM8009A_CMD_PASET, pRows);

The display updates the screen line by line by setting the pixels based on the pixel values in the GRAM. To avoid tearing on the screen, each pixel value in GRAM must be updated before the display draws it to the screen. It is possible to write values to GRAM while the display is being updated, as long as the update can keep up with the scan line. The display emits a Tearing Effect signal when it is safe to start updating the GRAM. Code to enable the TE signal and set it to the last line of the display might look like this for a screen with a height of 800 pixels:

* Request TE at scanline 800.
void LCD_ReqTear(void)
static uint8_t ScanLineParams[2];

uint16_t scanline = 800;
ScanLineParams[0] = scanline >> 8;
ScanLineParams[1] = scanline & 0x00FF;

HAL_DSI_LongWrite(&hdsi, LCD_OTM8009A_ID, DSI_DCS_LONG_PKT_WRITE, 2, 0x44, ScanLineParams);
// set_tear_on
HAL_DSI_ShortWrite(&hdsi, LCD_OTM8009A_ID, DSI_DCS_SHORT_PKT_WRITE_P1, 0x35, 0x00);

The TE signal triggers an interrupt, which can be used to start the transfer via LTDC. Once the transfer completes, another interrupt is triggered. This example uses double frame buffers to enable drawing to one buffer while the other is transferred to GRAM.

  void HAL_DSI_TearingEffectCallback(DSI_HandleTypeDef* hdsi)

if (HAL::getInstance())
// Swap frame buffers immediately instead of waiting for the task to be scheduled in.
// Note: task will also swap when it wakes up, but that operation is guarded and will not have
// any effect if already swapped.

// Transfer frame buffer data

void HAL_DSI_EndOfRefreshCallback(DSI_HandleTypeDef* hdsi)
//Point LTDC base address to the new frame buffer:
LTDC_LAYER(&hltdc, 0)->CFBAR = ((uint32_t)currFbBase);