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USB-To-UART/FIFO Interface IC Eyes Next-Generation Peripheral Design

March 22, 2011
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Embedded World, Nuremberg, Germany:  Using the recent Embedded World show as its platform, Future Technology Devices International (FTDI) launched the FT232H USB2.0 Hi-Speed device. The single-channel USB to UART/FIFO interface device can be configured via EEPROM to employ a variety of different serial or parallel interfaces.

Bundled with FTDI's USB device drivers, this solution minimises the design and support required to add Hi-Speed USB connectivity into new and legacy peripheral designs, says the company. In addition, an associated evaluation module called the UM232H allows engineers to quickly prototype, as well as tests the FT232H’s suitability for incorporation into new system designs.

The USB device controller contains USB, serial, and parallel protocol engines, eliminating any requirement for USB specific firmware development. The device supports I/O interface levels of 3.3V with 5V-tolerant inputs, suiting it for connection to a variety of logic, MPUs, and FPGAs.

Beyond its support for asynchronous serial (UART) interfacing, the FT232H enables interfacing to many synchronous IOs, such as SPI, I2C, JTAG, and FPGA programming interfaces, via its inbuilt Multi-Protocol Synchronous Serial Engine (MPSSE). The MPSSE, which reaches communication speeds of 30Mbits/s, can be utilised by design engineers to implement their own synchronous serial bus protocols.

The FT232H also incorporates an interface option—the new FT2248 bus. It’s a proprietary, synchronous, half-duplex serial/parallel interface capable of communicating with external logic at data rates of up to 30Mbytes/s. An unusual feature of the FT1248 is its ability to trade off bandwidth against the number of physical data lines (one, two, four, or eight) available to connect the FT232H to external logic, thus optimising flexibility.

Integrated 1.8V and 3.3V low-drop-out (LDO) voltage regulators reduce external component requirements, whilst the 1kB transmitter and receiver data buffers coupled with USB2.0 Hi-Speed technology enhance data throughput and shorten latency response times. Royalty-free drivers for Windows, Linux, MAC, and WinCE operating systems are available for download from the FTDI Web site.


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