USB solutions specialist Future Technology Devices International Limited (FTDI), available from Glyn High-Tech Distribution
has added two new connectivity solutions for the Raspberry Pi (RPi) computing platform.
The TTL-232R-RPi is a USB-to-TTL Serial UART debug cabling solution that incorporates the company’s FT232RQ high performance interface IC. The RPi USB Hub Module is designed to connect to an RPi unit and expand the number of interfaces that can be accessed downstream from a host. Both solutions support an operational temperature range covering -40ºC to +85ºC and all the components used in their construction are fully compliant with the RoHS directive.
Relatively new in the market, RPi is a simple, ultra-low cost computer board that aims to inspire youngsters to learn the fundamental principles of programming. Running the Linux operating system with a compact format the size of a credit card, it utilises a 700 MHz ARM-based processor and has a 256 MByte SDRAM memory.
The FTDI’s debugging cables will allow laptop/ desktop PCs to interface with the RPi board and perform in-depth analysis on the software application being developed. The 1m long cable connects directly to the RPi’s serial port, which will output kernel debug messages to be acquired by the PC.
The FT232RQ USB-to-Serial UART interface IC within the TTL-232R-RPi cable provides a USB to asynchronous serial data transfer path capable of supporting data rates from 300 bits/s to 3 Mbits/s at 3.3 V TTL levels. The chip handles all the USB signalling and protocol requirements.
The second solution, RPi USB Hub Module utilises a USB-to-UART/MPSSE IC, along with a GL850G USB hub controller IC providing engineers with up to 4 downstream USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (480Mbit/s) ports. Asynchronous serial data transfer rates from 300 bits/s to 12 Mbits/s at 3.3 V TTL levels are supported, while synchronous serial data rates of up to 30 Mbits/s can be dealt with on JTAG, SPI and I2C interfaces.
According to Fred Dart, CEO and founder of FTDI, the RPi concept has huge potential to nurture aspiring young engineers with the highly optimised debug solution a vital part of achieving that goal.
While the TTL-232R-RPi enables a fast, simple way to connect with an RPi and examine what is going on when it runs a newly constructed program, the USB Hub Module gives a greater degree of flexibility to RPi based system designs, with both products making use of FTDI’s expertise in USB conversion.