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Silicon Labs rolls USB-to-SPI bridge chip

Posted: 11 Dec 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Silicon Labs  USB-to-SPI  bridge controller  Windows  OS X 

Silicon Labs has unleashed a high-performance bridge controller that promises to offer a turnkey solution for bridging a universal serial bus (USB) host and a serial peripheral interface (SPI) bus with driver support for Windows, OS X and Linux OS. The CP2130 USB-to-SPI bridge controller aims to provide industry-leading data throughput, exceptional configurability and a high level of mixed-signal integration in a 4 x 4mm package.

According to the company, the CP2130 bridge controller is geared for new designs or upgrading legacy designs to include USB for a wide range of embedded applications including USB dongles, tablets, handheld controllers and testers, blood glucose monitors, docking stations, point-of-sale products, data logging modules and card readers.

With the proliferation of USB in the embedded world, developers are looking for cost-effective solutions to help speed time to market, and Silicon Labs developed the CP21xx bridge family with this goal in mind. The CP2130 bridge controller enables developers to add USB functionality to their applications without requiring USB software, firmware or hardware domain expertise typically required with more complex alternatives. The CP2130 bridge controller rounds out Silicon Labs' CP21xx smart interface portfolio, adding SPI to the roster of USB-to-UART, I2C/SMBus and I2S interface solutions.

The highly integrated CP2130 controller features on-chip functions and peripherals that eliminate the need for external components, which reduces BOM cost and board space. The device includes a USB 2.0 full-speed controller and transceiver, a serial peripheral interface controller that enables communication with a wide range of SPI slave devices down to 1.8V, 348byte programmable memory, crystal-less USB operation and an integrated 5V voltage regulator rated at 100mA.

Designed to give developers the utmost design flexibility, the CP2130 device's highly configurable SPI controller can communicate with up to 11 SPI slave devices using any of its 11 GPIO pins as chip-selects or be configured for alternate functions that can be used to eliminate external circuitry and components. The CP2130 device is the fastest full-speed USB bridge controller on the market, providing up to 6.6Mb/s read throughput and 5.8Mb/s write throughput.

Samples and production quantities of the CP2130 USB-to-SPI bridge chip are available in a space-saving 24-pin QFN package. The CP2130 controller is priced at $1.23 in 10,000-unit quantities. The CP2130EK USB-to-SPI evaluation kit, priced at $20, allows complete evaluation and customization of the CP2130 controller.

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