Modules enable drop-in use of FTDI Chip’s ‘Super-Bridge’ MCUs

October 15, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
FTDI Chip (Glasgow, Scotland) has introduced a series of modules for evaluation, development and application of its 32-bit FT90X Super-Bridge MCUs.

Based on a combination of proprietary processor topology and an ingenuous shadow RAM element, FT90X Super-Bridge MCU devices can differentiate themselves from conventional generic microcontrollers. They can achieve zero wait state operation at speeds of 100 MHz. This suits them to data intensive applications, such as data bridging between a camera and an Ethernet connection or sensors and SD storage (for machine vision, building access and surveillance purposes).

For use in home security, industrial control, home/building automation systems, data logging and embedded multimedia applications, the MM900EVxA series of FT90X-centered modules comprises four units. The MM900EV2A and MM900EV3A incorporate 1.3M pixel camera modules, capable of capturing images from VGA (up to 30 fps) to SXGA (up to 15 fps) resolution in front-facing and rear-facing configurations respectively. Each module also has a built-in audio codec with microphone input pins, a 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack, a stereo speaker output header, DC power socket, 2 RGB LEDs, reset switch and a real time clock with coin cell battery support. An RJ45 connector allows 10/100 Mbps Ethernet data transfer and extra memory capacity can be made available via the Micro SD card socket. The standard USB-A port (which provides the USB hosting) is complemented by a Micro-B USB port (which serves as a USB device port and a power source connection). A 40-way expansion connector enables access to the IC’s complete complement of IO, while a Micro-MaTch 2x5 female socket facilitates the debugging/downloading process. An additional 2 x 8-pin 2.54 mm pitch connector and 16-pin 0.5 mm pitch FFC/FPC connector permit interfacing with FT800/FT810 EVE display modules.

Presenting engineers with more streamlined versions of the MM900EVxA platform are the MM900EV1A and MM900EV-LITE. The MM900EV1A offers the exactly the same functionality as the MM900EV2A and MM900EV3A, excluding the camera unit, and is aimed primarily bridging functions. The MM900EV-LITE is optimised for HMI and embedded display applications. It dispenses with Ethernet connectivity, audio codec and the