USB to serial mini modules

USB to serial mini modules

Posted on 07. Jun, 2009 by in Misc Modules

Adding USB support to your project isn't the easiest thing to do. You have to worry about the driver stacks on the host computer and a bunch of other details which make the USB interface really unfriendly to the hobbyist especially when compared with the simplicity of a serial or parallel interface.

Because of this, a company called FTDI has carved a nice niche out by creating chips which communicate via USB to a computer, but then present a simpler serial interface on the other side. If your laptop is lacking a serial port, yet you have something which needs a serial connection, you probably have a USB to serial cable which contains a FTDI converter chip.

These chips are just as handy for you to embed in your projects. FTDI has created what they call "mini modules" which are small DIP sized boards which contain either a two-port or four-port converter chip pre-mounted and ready to use. On the "project side" of the module, you can select a UART, I2C, or several other interfaces to connect with your Arduino, PIC, FPGA, or whatever you're working with.

The dual-port FT2232H Mini Module features:

  • Dual High Speed USB to Multipurpose UART/FIFO/MPSSE IC
  • Provides two independent configurable interfaces
  • 4KB TX and Rx data buffer per interface
  • Extended temperature range (-40ºC to +85ºC)

And the quad-port FT4232H Mini-Module features:

  • Quad High Speed USB to Multipurpose UART/MPSSE IC
  • Provides four channels
  • 2KB TX and Rx data buffer
  • Extended temperature range (-40ºC to +85ºC)

You can purchase single units of the affordable FTDI USB to serial Mini Modules for less than $30 no matter whether you want the dual port FT2232H version or the quad port FT4232H from Mouser or other suppliers.

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