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Embedded dev't platform packs USB 2.0 connectivity

Posted: 12 Nov 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Development platform  embedded platform  USB2.0  Arduino Duemilanove 

Future Technology Devices International (FTDI) unveils VINCULO, an embedded systems development platform with USB 2.0 connectivity. The platform inspired by Arduino Duemilanove / Uno allows designers to integrate powerful USB 2.0 interfacing by incorporating FTDI's Vinculum II VNC2-64 dual-channel USB Host/Slave controller with the capability of interfacing to the growing range of I/O application boards (shields) developed by the Arduino open-source community.

The low-cost development platform features a USB Host/Slave controller with integrated 16bit CPU. The VNC2 combines a 16bit/48MHz CPU core, 256KB of Flash memory and 16KB of SRAM memory and provides support for external UART, FIFO, PWM, GPIO and SPI Slave/Master interfaces.

VINCULO

The Vinculo platform brings together all of the hardware and software needed for rapid development of innovative, cost-effective embedded systems. As a further enhancement, the Vinculo module integrates an 8-channel, 10bit analogue-to-digital converter (ADC). Vinculo also supports 38 general-purpose input/output (GPIO) connections, and USB A and mini B (host and device) connectors on a board measuring just 55.38mm x 68.58mm.

The onboard ADC simplifies connection to sensors, actuators and other analogue devices and, in conjunction with the PWM interface on the VNC2, allows Vinculo to effectively control many analogue systems. Existing I/O boards (shields) can connect to the Vinculum II VNC2 via the GPIO connections.

The Vinculo programming language utilizes a subset of standard ANSII 'C' with FTDI supported, free of charge software development tools, libraries and reference designs. The 'Proto' board allows designers to create their own shields. LEDs, connectors, and other components are provided ready for assembly onto the prototyping board (which has the same board profile as the Vinculo).

Firmware can be developed using the Vinculum II development tool chain which provides an integrated development environment (IDE) including C compiler, assembler, linker and debugger tools. FTDI provides robust device class driver libraries, including USB Mass Storage, HID (Human Interface Devices), Printer Class, Image Class, Communication Class and Instrumentation.

"The Vinculo module and associated design tools provide a low cost but full featured, solution for embedded designs with the bonus of flexible USB host and device connectivity, states FTDI's CEO and founder Fred Dart. "By choosing Vinculo, professional developers and hobbyists alike can create cost-effective applications that benefit from the combination of FTDI's USB expertise and professional technical support."

Schematics and PCB layout of the Vinculo board are available free of charge to third party developers who wish to replicate or enhance the original design. Code generated by the Vinculo tool chain and FTDI libraries are entirely royalty free for both commercial and non commercial use.

The FTDI Vinculo base module (VNCLO-MB1A) is available at a cost of Rs.1,337.87 ($29.95 )and the Proto board kit (VNCLO-SHLD-1A) for Rs.435.53 ($9.75) for single units. Volume pricing can be provided upon request.

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