These days, Universal Serial Bus impacts everything from memory sticks to test-and-measurement and data-acq, in products large and small. Here's a product that can help you use and embed USB in your next instrumentation and/or data acquisition and control project.
The new interface board, shown above, is now available from instrumentation supplier Saelig Co. (Pittsford, New York). It comprises a straightforward way to get a drop-in 12-Mbits/s USB interface with your host PC, providing a 5-pin connector for a 90-kbit/s I2C serial interface.
Saelig's USB-I2C/IO board not only lets you quickly connect external I2C hardware, but there are also 20 lines of user-configurable digital I/O, as well as an 8-bit wide data bus for fast FIFO transfers.
The USB-I2C/IO measures just 3 x 2.25-inches in size, letting you tuck it into almost any available corner of your design or package, where it will provide the hooks to interface to I2C components, or connect USB to I/O connections such as LEDs or switches. It also includes its own -3-terminal voltage regulator.
Of course, this little board is also a natural for I2C test fixture interfacing, and likewise for many data acquisition and digital I/O tasks.
The full-speed USB interface provides your application hardware with a hot plug-and-play industry-standard connection to a PC host, thanks to the on-board Cypress Semiconductor AN2131QC USB micro-controller chip.
An AN2131QC Development Platform, Too
What's more, this board can actually serve as a low cost USB development platform for the AN2131QC. An EEPROM enable/disable jumper lets the board be used as a development platform when coding firmware.
As you'd expect with a plug-in USB device, the board is equipped with a USB Status LED that lights on enumeration, and blinks to indicate USB traffic (it's off when suspended). A power configuration jumper also permits the USB-I2C/IO to be powered either by the USB port, or by external circuitry.
The software also provides support for connecting multiple boards. This makes the USB-I2C/IO useful for multiple equipment instances, such for test fixtures, production equipment, and certain assemblages of test instruments. In that type of application, each board can be uniquely identified by the application software via a serial number.
The USB-I2C/IO board can also be configured to download its firmware upon connection to your PC, or to boot from an I2C bus. Mentioned above, an onboard I2C EEPROM is on the board, providing 16-kbytes of storage for code or data. There's also an EEPROM Write Protect jumper that can provide protection from accidental on-board erasure.
In addition to an API (application programming interface), included are device driver, DLL, and example application software.
Saelig says its USB-I2C/IO is available now for less than $80 a pop. Large volume OEM discounts are also available.
For more details contact Alan Lowne at Saelig Co. Inc., 1160-D2 Pittsford-Victor Road, Pittsford, New York 14534. Phone: 585-385-1750. Fax: 585-385-1768. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on this image to see the board's schematic in .PDF (Acrobat) format.
Click to see schematic
Visit Saelig's Web site and follow the links for more details, including specs, software, BOM, and outline drawings.