NATIONAL Instruments has released a new USB device for use with inter-integrated circuit (I2C) and serial peripheral interface (SPI) communication devices.
Engineers and scientists can use the new NI USB-8451 interface with NI LabVIEW software to easily create programs to test, validate and program devices such as analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and EEPROMs.
Because the module operates on the USB bus, it offers plug-and-play setup and is ideal for use in close proximity to the system components.
Many consumer electronics such as DVD players and computer motherboards contain hundreds of components that work with each other and communicate through I2C or SPI. Previously, engineers often faced programming challenges when implementing I2C and SPI protocols for use with digital I/O boards.
The new USB-8451 interface includes driver software that provides high-level, easy-to-use LabVIEW functions for quickly developing applications without requiring in-depth knowledge of I2C and SPI communications.
In addition to providing both I2C and SPI communication, the new USB-8451 also includes eight digital lines for general-purpose I/O and is capable of full-speed USB connectivity. The interface is ideal for applications involving consumer electronics such as programming, testing and communicating with devices including LCDs, ADCs and sensors.
Hardware design engineers can use the USB-8451 interface to test and validate component prototypes. For example, engineers wanting to validate the functionality of a microcontroller that includes I2C or SPI communication lines no longer need to place the microcontroller on the printed circuit board (PCB) and hope that it interacts well with the other components.
Instead, they now can send I2C or SPI commands to the microcontroller through the USB interface to validate its functionality before placing it on the PCB.