Future Technology Devices International (FTDI), available through Glyn High-Tech Distribution , have announced the availability of two serial interface converter cables that incorporate transceivers to facilitate connecting RS-422 or RS-485 based peripherals to a PC’s USB port. Using FTDI’s FT232RQ USB to asynchronous serial interface IC, the USB-RS485-WE converter cable includes an RS-485 transceiver while the USB-RS422-WE cable utilises a RS-422 transceiver. The far end of the 1.8m cables are wire ended (no connector).
With the electronics encapsulated in the USB connector, these cables provide a transparent method of supporting these serial interface standards. With the complete USB protocol being managed within the FT232RQ device, there is no requirement for designers or end-customers to concern themselves with how to implement the USB standard. Both VCP and D2XX drivers are available for popular operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, MAC OS X and Linux.
FT232RQ also provides a user writeable EEPROM area. This allows the cable’s USB interface to be customised using FTDI’s MPROG. The internal EEPROM can be programmed in-circuit over the USB interface without any additional voltage requirements. The converter cables are ideal for a broad range of industrial applications such as instrumentation, machine control and data collection. The USB-RS485 and USB-RS422 are also available in PCB module format.
FTDI have also announced the release of its USB-COM232-PLUS1 module. The first in its family of USB-COM-PLUS modules, the USB-COM232-PLUS1 is a USB to single channel RS232 level serial UART. The module incorporates FTDI’s FT232RQ IC which handles all the USB signalling and USB to UART protocols. The modules provide a fast and simple way to connect devices with an RS232 level serial UART interface (9 way standard D-type connector) to USB (type B socket). Supporting communications with any RS232 device, the module’s RS232 port provides full hardware handshaking capability and a data rate of up to 1Mbps. It also has three LEDs which indicate power and gives a visual indication of traffic through the module.
The FT232RQ is a proven, industry standard USB to asynchronous serial interface IC. Device drivers for all current Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems are available.
The USB-COM232-PLUS1 module has a wide range of operating temperature from – 40ºC to + 85ºC making it suitable for applications in harsh environments. Likely applications include industrial machinery such as CNC machines and lathes, retail equipment such as point of sale scanners, printers and other data collection devices. Other target sectors include medical monitoring devices, sports equipment and many other home automation and person electronic devices.