FTDI unveils VINCULO, a powerful development platform for embedded systems requiring USB 2.0 connectivity

Low-cost development platform featuring USB Host/Slave controller with integrated 16-bit CPU unleashes new possibilities for cost effective embedded design

USB silicon and software specialist Future Devices Technology International Limited (FTDI) announces Vinculo, an embedded development platform inspired by the popular Arduino Duemilanove / Uno.

The Vinculo platform 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 VNC2 combines a 16-bit/48 MHz CPU core, 256KBytes of Flash memory and 16KBytes of SRAM memory and provides support for external UART, FIFO, PWM, GPIO and SPI Slave/Master interfaces.

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, 10-bit 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 55.38 mm x 68.58 mm.

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 analog systems. Existing I/O boards (shields) can connect to the Vinculum II VNC2 via the GPIO connections.

The Vinculo programming language utilises 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 $29.95 and the Proto board kit (VNCLO-SHLD-1A) for $9.75 for single units. Volume pricing can be provided upon request.

The datasheet is available for download at

www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/DataSheets/M[...]

The press images are to download at:

www.ftdichip.com/Corporate/Press/FTDI-VNCLO-MB1[...]

www.ftdichip.com/Corporate/Press/FTDI-VNCLO-SHL[...]

About FTDI

Future Technology Devices International (FTDI) specialises in the design and supply of silicon and software solutions for the Universal Serial Bus (USB). FTDI offers a simple route to USB migration by combining easy-to-implement IC devices with proven, ready-to-use, royalty-free USB firmware and driver software. The company’s single and multi-channel USB peripheral devices come with an easy-to-use UART or FIFO interface. These popular devices can be used in legacy USB-to-RS232/RS422 converter applications or to quickly interface an MCU, PLD, or FPGA to USB. A wide range of evaluation kits and modules are available to evaluate FTDI’s silicon prior to design-in.

Vinculum is FTDI’s brand name for a range of USB Host/Slave controller ICs that provide easy implementation of USB Host controller functionality within products and use FTDI's tried and tested firmware to significantly reduce development costs and time to market.

FTDI is a fabless semiconductor company headquartered in Glasgow, UK with R&D centres in Glasgow and Singapore and has regional sales offices in Oregon, USA, Shanghai, China and Taipei, Taiwan. More information is available at www.ftdichip.com