FTDI Simplifies Microcontroller USB Flash Drive Interface

FTDI announces the availability of the DLP-VLOG, a development platform based on its Vinculum Universal Serial Bus (USB) host controller IC. The platform, configured as a simple data logging application, is designed to read temperature, humidity and voltage data, and store it on the supplied 32MB USB flash drive. A Microchip microcontroller used together with the Vinculum IC serves to illustrate how to provide virtually unlimited data storage to a small microcontroller. The DLP-VLOG provides a complete reference design on which to base new Vinculum development as well as being a starting point for similar logging applications.

Vinculum provides USB host capability to microcontroller-based products that previously did not have the hardware resources available. A wide range of consumer and industrial products, such as intelligent domestic appliances, meter readers and vending machines, can now incorporate USB connectivity. FTDI’s Vinculum VNC1L-1A IC provides USB host interface and data transfer, and supports the most popular device classes of mass storage, printer and human interface descriptor (HID).

HID class devices typically include keyboards and mice. When interfacing to flash drives, Vinculum manages the file allocation table (FAT) structure by using a straightforward command set. The device has 8- and 32-bit custom processor cores, dual DMA controllers, 64k embedded flash and 4k internal SRAM memory. Vinculum features two USB 2.0 low and full speed, host and slave ports, universal asynchronous receiver transmitter (UART), serial peripheral interface (SPI) and parallel first in first out (FIFO) interfaces. It also has a PS2 legacy keyboard and mouse interface, and up to 28 general-purpose input output (GPIO) pins are available depending on configuration.

The DLP-VLOG development kit includes a C compiler, device programmer and debugger and C source code for the microcontroller. Two Windows utility programs assist in converting data to floating point values and setting up the real time clock. All documentation, source code and programs are provided on the supplied flash drive.

The price for the DLP-VLOG from FTDI is $250.00. More info: Future Technology Devices International Limited