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'[PIC]: USB with a Flash PIC?'
2002\09\28@145949 by Pic Dude

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Hi All,

Thinking of emperimenting with USB, and would like to stick with
a flash chip, but I've noticed that Microchip on has USB in the
'C' chips.

Anyone done any simple USB w/o a USB-supported chip (like any of
the F84, F628, F87x, etc)?  I'd really appreciate some sample code
or starting info on how to do this.

Thanks,
-Neil.

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2002\09\28@174049 by Matt Pobursky

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Any PIC + FTDI chip (parallel for speed, serial for low pin count) is
about the easiest way to go. You can be up in about 5 minutes once you
have the circuit connected, no drivers to write on either the PIC side
(all in the FTDI chip) or PC end (FTDI supplies them!)

FTDI sells the chips in small quantities from their web site for a
reasonable price too.

http://www.ftdichip.com/FTProduct.htm

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

On Sat, 28 Sep 2002 13:45:26 -0400, Pic Dude wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2002\09\28@192013 by Wagner Lipnharski

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Matt Pobursky wrote:
> Any PIC + FTDI chip (parallel for speed, serial for low pin count)
is
> about the easiest way to go. You can be up in about 5 minutes once
you
> have the circuit connected, no drivers to write on either the PIC
side
{Quote hidden}

the
>> F84, F628, F87x, etc)? I'd really appreciate some sample code or
>> starting info on how to do this.
>>
>> Thanks, -Neil.


The FT8U245AM is really amazing @ $5.75 for single quantity.


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2002\09\28@224109 by Bob Barr

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On Sat, 28 Sep 2002 19:18:57 -0400, Wagner Lipnharski wrote:

<snip>

>
>The FT8U245AM is really amazing @ $5.75 for single quantity.
>

That's the first pricing I've seen for these. You're right, it is
pretty amazing.
Their distributor, Saelig, only lists the 245AM and the 232AM parts
and not the newer 'BM' versions. Do you happen to know of any sources
for them?


Regards, Bob

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2002\09\28@231429 by Wagner Lipnharski

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Bob Barr wrote:
> On Sat, 28 Sep 2002 19:18:57 -0400, Wagner Lipnharski wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
>>
>> The FT8U245AM is really amazing @ $5.75 for single quantity.
>>
>
> That's the first pricing I've seen for these. You're right, it is
> pretty amazing.
>
> Their distributor, Saelig, only lists the 245AM and the 232AM parts
> and not the newer 'BM' versions. Do you happen to know of any
sources
> for them?
>
>
> Regards, Bob

I already contacted the manufacturer, since I am planning to use the
FT8U100AX unit, if it can do what I need.  The world is changing
(already did it) to USB, why not my projects?  Probably Saeling (or
directly from the manufacturer) can supply the BM versions, it is just
a matter to ask them on Monday.

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Orlando FLorida - USA - http://www.ustr.net
/_/_/_/ Atmel AVR Consultant /_/_/_/

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2002\09\29@012920 by Nick Stedman

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For those who have used this chip, what sorts of baud rates are you
achieving. Can you describe your experience in general. The 232AM chip seems
to indicate that the 1MB/s USB rate is downscaled to an actual baud rate of
RS232, around 115 kb/s (Hope I'm not way off here). To me the excitement of
USB is that you can pass data for video or other high bandwidth
applications.
TIA
Nick

on 28/9/02 7:18 PM, Wagner Lipnharski at KILLspamwagnerKILLspamspamUSTR.NET wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2002\09\29@013751 by Mark W.

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I realize this might be heresy to some but Baud rate to USB throughput might be limited considerably more with a PIC than
the good old SX series clones from Scenix.

Higher clocks and faster execution would clear that up any
Thruput issues with the Ubicom / Scenix devices.   {Original Message removed}

2002\09\29@073813 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> FTDI sells the chips in small quantities from their web site for a
> reasonable price too.

Where do you find that at their website? Their webshop is 'under
construction', and has been so for the last 6 months or so.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2002\09\29@110256 by Matt Pobursky

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Ahhh, my bad! I should have written that Saelig (their U.S.
distributor) has them for sale on their web site. I know this doesn't
help those outside the U.S. though, sorry.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

On Sun, 29 Sep 2002 13:37:30 +0200, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
>>FTDI sells the chips in small quantities from their web site for a
>>reasonable price too.
>
>Where do you find that at their website? Their webshop is 'under
>construction', and has been so for the last 6 months or so.

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2002\09\29@130023 by Wagner Lipnharski

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Nick Stedman wrote:
> For those who have used this chip, what sorts of baud rates are you
> achieving. Can you describe your experience in general. The 232AM
> chip seems
> to indicate that the 1MB/s USB rate is downscaled to an actual baud
> rate of
> RS232, around 115 kb/s (Hope I'm not way off here). To me the
> excitement of
> USB is that you can pass data for video or other high bandwidth
> applications.
> TIA
> Nick


Remember that they have two fashion (at least) of those chips, the
serial (232) and the parallel (245) units.  The serial has the baud
rate limitation, lets say 115kbps, what brings the throughput down to
(115000/10 bits) = 11.5 kBps (kBytes/second), what is somehow very
slow for video or wide band applications.  The 245 uses parallel
communication, what can gives you at least 8 times faster throughput,
or around 90kBps, but I think you can get much better than that - had
no time yet to read all the docs about it.  If you have at least 10 or
11 port bits available at the uC for communication, then the 245
appears to be the best pick.  I didn't see yet their Windows drivers,
if you can use the DLLs or Drivers normaly as read/write or else in
C++ or VB.  If someone already did it, I will appreciate any info
about it.

Thank You
Wagner Lipnharski - email:  spamBeGonewagnerspamBeGonespamustr.net
UST Research Inc. - Development Director
http://www.ustr.net - Orlando Florida 32837
Licensed Consultant Atmel AVR _/_/_/_/_/_/

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2002\09\29@223711 by Pic Dude

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Where did you see this?  The website is fairly confusing, so I must be
missing it somewhere.

I also found this nice little chip from Cypress Semi:  CY7C63001, which
is a USB Serial Bus Microcontroller.  Arrow has them for $2.10 each.
See www.cypress.com/products/datasheet.cfm?partnum=CY7C63001A-SC
for the datasheet.

Cheers,
-Neil.




Wagner Lipnharski wrote:
>
> The FT8U245AM is really amazing @ $5.75 for single quantity.

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2002\09\30@040402 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Where did you see this?  The website is fairly confusing, so I must be
>missing it somewhere.

>Wagner Lipnharski wrote:

>> The FT8U245AM is really amazing @ $5.75 for single quantity.

Try http://www.ftdichip.com/ although as Wouter (IIRC) said, their web shop
is still under construction. Also note that they have B versions of both
chips available now. Apparently these fix some problems in the A chips, and
add some bits that make them nicer or easier to use.

Also it seems to me that you are looking for more speed than these chips may
give you. I suspect the FTDI chips are really designed to allow existing
equipment designs to migrate to USB with minimal changes to the hardware,
rather than be used for new whizz-bang applications. Their basic design
philosophy seems to be to use existing standard drivers, but allow the OEM
to write their own driver if desired. From this point of view you may find
that chips from Cypress, or other manufacturers, may allow you faster USB
data transfer speeds, but you may have to put more work in at the driver
level.

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2002\09\30@094946 by Pic Dude

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> Try http://www.ftdichip.com/ although as Wouter (IIRC) said,
> their web shop
> is still under construction. Also note that they have B versions of both
> chips available now. Apparently these fix some problems in the A
> chips, and
> add some bits that make them nicer or easier to use.

Will check.  But someone mentioned that it's available for $5.75
in single-piece quantities, so I wanted to know where to get that.

> Also it seems to me that you are looking for more speed than
> these chips may
> give you.

That must be someone else.  I'm just looking to experiment and
learn a bit about USB, so speed doesn't matter to me right now.

> I suspect the FTDI chips are really designed to allow existing
> equipment designs to migrate to USB with minimal changes to the hardware,
> rather than be used for new whizz-bang applications. Their basic design
> philosophy seems to be to use existing standard drivers, but allow the OEM
> to write their own driver if desired. From this point of view you may find
> that chips from Cypress, or other manufacturers, may allow you faster USB
> data transfer speeds, but you may have to put more work in at the driver
> level.

Which is exactly what I want to do.  I found a bunch of other info on
the web last night, so I'm starting at that, before I decide what exactly
I want to do and how I'll go about it.

Cheers,
Neil "just an experimenter" N.


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2002\09\30@102524 by Robert E. Griffith

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Has anyone here included a USB host interface into an embedded devices.  The
host interface is the master (usually a PC is the host) that USB peripherals
can plug into.  My take is that most of the support is for peripheral USB
solutions for embedded apps.  That makes sense for most things, but I am
interested in the host side.  Can anyone suggest where I look for that?

Thanks,

--BobG

{Original Message removed}

2002\09\30@105742 by Robert E. Griffith

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To expand on what Alan said with an example, the quickest path to get up and
running with the FTDI chip is this.  Take a working design that current uses
a serial port.  Add a FTDI serial chip to the board.  The existing design's
serial interface just connects to the FTDI chip.  Don't modify the firmware
at all.  When you plug it into a PC, install the default drivers that FTDI
distributes.  They will just add a serial port to the PC - say COM4.  Now
take the existing software for the old design and configure it to use COM4.
The old firmware and PC software both still work without modification.  They
think they are still using a serial port.

FTDI makes an evaluation cable that you can just plug into your serial
product.  It gives you the same user experience.  If you like it, put the
chip on the board.

The Rabbit dev environment uses a serial connection to their core modules.
They sell the FTDI eval cable as an option.  When using it, you can get 240
baud (or something like that), so it does go a little faster than a standard
serial cable - probably because the single ended serial singles are so
short.

If you take a little dev time, you can change your design and firmware to
use the parallel interface FTDI chip instead of RS232 serial.  I would think
that the clocked parallel interface would not limit the through much - if at
all. (don't really know, though)

So Neil, I would say that if your purpose is to learn about USB, do not use
the FDTI chip.  It hides all the details of USB from you which is good for
updating an existing product quickly, but not for learning.  With a normal
USB stack, you will determine how your device is identified on the bus, what
services/interfaces it supports, and be able to choose how to send data -
streaming or asynchronously (I can't remember the real terms for these two
right now).  That's what USB is all about.

As far as the PC software goes, you have a choice of having your device
support one of the built-in interfaces or writing your own driver.  One of
the built-in interfaces is the storage interface.  That is why you can plug
a USB memory/hard disc into a WinXP computer for the first time and it will
work without installing any drivers.  I don't know if there are any other
common interfaces included in WinXP or other OS.

--BobG

{Original Message removed}

2002\09\30@113807 by Sean Wright

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I find FTDI chips much easier to use, personally, simply because you
don't need to write your own USB drivers.

An example of using a PIC and Smartmedia card with USB: (really cool)
http://www.ftdichip.com/FTProject.htm

Drivers available for free:
http://www.ftdichip.com/FTDriver.htm

Product Data:
http://www.ftdichip.com/FTProduct.htm

Not too hard to navigate this page.  I have to say that from personal
experience, Saelig provides excellent service.  They are very
accommodating to customers.

My two cents (CDN). ($0.00001 USD)


{Original Message removed}

2002\09\30@121456 by Matt Pobursky

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On Mon, 30 Sep 2002 09:45:03 -0400, Pic Dude wrote:
>>Try http://www.ftdichip.com/ although as Wouter (IIRC) said, their
>>web shop is still under construction. Also note that they have B
>>versions of both chips available now. Apparently these fix some
>>problems in the A chips, and add some bits that make them nicer or
>>easier to use.
>
>Will check.  But someone mentioned that it's available for $5.75 in
>single-piece quantities, so I wanted to know where to get that.

http://www.saelig.com/ftdi.htm

They also sell pre-built FTDI chip modules on a DIP footprint for easy
prototyping and experimentation.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

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2002\09\30@123312 by Wagner Lipnharski

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Robert E. Griffith wrote:
{Quote hidden}

FTDI specifies top serial speed at 150kbps, but this is not much related to
the FTDI chip possibility, since it can transfer about 1.5Mbps via USB.
The limitation for 150kbps here is related to the PC serial port itself,
that simply can not talk faster than this.  FTDI could say that their
serial chip can talk at 700kbps, but will be talking with no one, since no
PC serial port can do it, and most devices that "could" connect to a PC
serial port will not do it either.

So, suppose you have a microcontroller board, talking serial 38400bps with
a PC COM1: and you implement the FTDI 232 to the board, so now, your
microcontroller board output talks USB @1.5Mbps with the PC, but still
talking 38400bps with the microcontroller on board.

Now, suppose you made a very fast gadget that can talk @150kbps with the
COM1: (you didn't use 200kbps because the COM1: can not do more than
150kbps) and later you install the FTDI 232 chip on board. The board output
will talk USB @1.5Mbps, but the microcontroller still talking @150kbps with
the FTDI.

Other problem could be related to the Windows drivers itself, since your
Windows software probably will "try" to configure this virtual COMX: port
to talk at maximum speed of 150kbps, so, it wouldn't help if your
microcontroller at the external board can talk faster with the FTDI, the PC
application will not do it faster than 150kbps.  So, it doesn't matter if
your car has slick Formula-1 tires, you have just one horse to pull it.

By other side, the parallel chip, will allow you (probably - requires tests
and actually "read better" the documentation), to communicate with the FTDI
as fast as you can, and as fast as the chip can deliver data to you, based
on 1.5Mbps, it could "probably" give you a throughput of 1.5/11 =
136kBytes/second, 10 times faster than the 150kbps of the serial chip.  Of
course that if you still using the virtual serial COMX port at the windows
side, you will be limited to the 150kbps, but you are not tied to it.
Probably windows drivers for the paralel chip can allow you to a faster
speed at your PC program.

In one way or another, we need to think seriously about USB.  Most actual
notebooks are coming out without serial ports. If you think, it doesn't
make sense any more to use them.  All modems are part of the motherboard or
PCMCIA, all mouses are PS/2 interface or attached, why would you need a
serial port for? That thing is lazy for anything else. They just ripped it
off.

I even wonder how long USB will stay on board, FireWire is pressing it down
hard.

{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2002\09\30@135556 by Robert E. Griffith

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>> The limitation for 150kbps here is related to the PC serial
>> port itself, that simply can not talk faster than this.

The FTDI virtual serial port USB driver does not actually use the PC serial
port hardware (that's what makes it virtual:).  As long as your PC software
allows selected a higher baud rate, the software driver will do it.

The limitation is the single ended serial connection between the FTDI chip
and your hardware.  Since the FTDI chip is physically close to your device,
you can get away with higher rates than in the general case where a cable
might be 10's or 100' of feet long.  Of course, as you pointed out the
firmware needs to be able to select a higher rate.

The Rabbit dev kit I have (RS232 serial peripheral --> FDTI eval cable -->
FDTI virtual serial port driver) runs at something like 240 baud.  If you
succeed in convincing me that it can't be done, I will stop using it as I
would not want to violate any laws of physics:)

--BobG

{Original Message removed}

2002\09\30@163559 by Wagner Lipnharski

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Robert E. Griffith wrote:
>>> The limitation for 150kbps here is related to the PC serial
>>> port itself, that simply can not talk faster than this.
>
> The FTDI virtual serial port USB driver does not actually use the PC
> serial port hardware (that's what makes it virtual:).  As long as
> your PC software allows selected a higher baud rate, the software
> driver will do it.

Yes, but most of the time, your PC software will not even know it is
talking via USB, since it was written to drive a real COM: port, you just
change the address from COM1: to COM4: for example.  Everything else in the
software still thinking it still  to be a real COM port, including top
speed parameters.


{Quote hidden}

You mean 240kbps, not 240bps, right?  (240 bps would be as fast as 20 chars
/second).  For sure, if the PC software knows that in true it is NOT
talking to a real UART at the motherboard, then it can reach any speed it
wants, probably limited by the hardware on board, in this case, the USB
driver and hardware.  I was talking about PC software that doesn't know it
is using USB.  Suppose for instance you have an old Windows Terminal
program that would access a modem at COM1:  When you install the FTDI
windows drivers, probably it will allow you to use the Terminal program
connecting to a COM4 or COM5. If at the end of the USB you have a FTDI and
then a modem at the FTDI serial pins, then the Terminal program will still
programming COM5 top speed as the maximum speed it has at the selection
menus, in this case, hopefully, 38400 or 57600bps max. So, even that the
on-board USB hardware can communicate faster, it will in true transfer data
to the FTDI chip at 38400 or 57600 bps, it transfer faster, but the
effective bytes/second transfered will be this, since this is the speed the
Terminal program will deliver data to the FTDI windows driver.

Wagner Lipnharski - email:  TakeThisOuTwagnerEraseMEspamspam_OUTustr.net
UST Research Inc. - Development Director
http://www.ustr.net - Orlando Florida 32837
Licensed Consultant Atmel AVR _/_/_/_/_/_/

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