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FTDI modules complement 32bit MCUs for embedded design

Posted: 16 Oct 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:FTDI Chip  embedded  MCU  module  camera 

FTDI Chip has brought to market a line-up of modules to ease the evaluation, development and subsequent implementation of its 32bit FT90X Super-Bridge MCUs. According to the company, the MM900EVxA series of FT90X-centered modules, which include four different units, target engineers in the embedded space.

The modules are geared for home security, industrial control, home/building automation systems, data logging and embedded multimedia applications. The MM900EV2A and MM900EV3A incorporate 1.3MP camera modules, capable of capturing images from VGA (up to 30fps) to SXGA (up to 15fps) resolution in front-facing and rear-facing configurations, respectively. Each module also has a built-in audio codec with microphone input pins, a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack, a stereo speaker output header, DC power socket, two RGB LEDs, reset switch and a real time clock with coin cell battery support. An RJ45 connector allows 10/100Mb/s Ethernet data transfer and extra memory capacity can be made available via the Micro SD card socket.

MM900EVxA series

The standard USB-A port (which provides the USB hosting) is complemented by a Micro-B USB port (which serves as a USB device port and a power source connection). A 40-way expansion connector enables access to the IC's complete complement of IO, while a Micro-MaTch 2x5 female socket facilitates the debugging/downloading process. An additional two x 8-pin 2.54mm pitch connector and 16-pin 0.5mm pitch FFC/FPC connector permit interfacing with FT800/FT810 EVE display modules.

Presenting engineers with more streamlined versions of the MM900EVxA platform are the MM900EV1A and MM900EV-LITE. The MM900EV1A offers the exactly the same functionality as the MM900EV2A and MM900EV3A, excluding the camera unit and is aimed primarily bridging functions. The MM900EV-LITE is optimised for HMI and embedded display applications. It dispenses with the need for Ethernet connectivity, audio codec and the USB Host, but instead has a supplementary IO connector (so that these functions can be added on if required). This IO connector provides connection to UART, PWM, ADC, DAC, SPI, I2C, CAN bus and camera interface. All four of the MM900EVxA and MM900EV-LITE modules are backed up by a comprehensive tool chain that allows engineers to get through the development phases without complications, stated the company. The device firmware upgrade interface on each module provisions for direct loading of code without the need for any programming hardware.

The UMFTPD2A is designed to accompany FTDI Chip's MM900EVxA and MM900EV-LITE modules. Through this, in addition to programming and firmware upload tasks, engineers can embark upon comprehensive debugging of their FT90X-based systems. It features an FT4232HL Hi-Speed USB 2.0 to multipurpose UART/MPSSE converter IC. As well as MPSSE and UART options, Bit-Bang connectivity is also included.

Based on the combination of proprietary processor topology and an ingenuous shadow RAM element, FT90X Super-Bridge MCU devices can achieve zero wait state operation at speeds of 100MHz. This makes them ideal for data intense applications such as data bridging between a camera and an Ethernet connection or sensors and SD storage (for machine vision, building access and surveillance purposes).

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