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USB-to-UART converter eases USB connectivity addition

Posted: 07 Apr 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:protocol converter? USB? UART? embedded application?

MCP2200 USB-to-UART protocol converters

Microchip Technology Inc.'s MCP2200 USB-to-UART protocol converter, with its low-cost evaluation tool, software libraries and Windows-based configuration tool, enables designers to quickly and easily add USB connectivity to their application without completely redesigning the system.

The whole solution is designed to shorten time-to-market for a variety of applications in the industrial (e.g. data loggers, instrumentation, DAQ systems and smart-card readers) and medical markets (e.g. heart-rate, blood-sugar and blood-pressure monitors), in addition to legacy RS-232 applications.

End users increasingly want to connect their embedded applications to PCs for data collection, transfer and analysis, as well as for system networking/connectivity. One of the simplest ways to add this capability to existing systems is via a USB-to-UART protocol converter. By simply connecting the MCP2200 UART interface to any microcontroller UART peripheral, USB connectivity can be added. Additionally, the MCP2200 includes eight GPIO pins that can be controlled by the PC using the Windows-based configuration tool that comes with the MCP2200. As a result, a wider range of applications can be supported.

"USB connectivity continues to be one of the most requested items from our customers," said Bryan J. Liddiard, VP of marketing with Microchip's analog and interface products division. "Our portfolio of PIC microcontrollers with embedded USB functionality continues to expand. The MCP2200 USB-to-UART protocol converter and related support materials provide an easy-to-use, small-footprint and cost-effective option for adding USB connectivity to existing systems, providing more options for our customers."

Microchip also announced the MCP2200 USB-to-Virtual Communications Port Demo Board. Along with software libraries and a PC-based configuration tool, the board removes the burden of thoroughly understanding the USB protocol from system designers, which simplifies the addition of customizable USB functionality to existing designs. It serves as a complete USB-to-RS232 converter solution (dongle) and provides USB-to-GPIO capability, enabling designers to manipulate the on-chip I/O from the included PC software, so that they can program and test different functional configurations.

The MCP2200 USB-to-UART protocol converter is available in 20-pin SSOP and SOIC packages for $1.39 each, in 10,000-unit quantities (for both package options). It is also available in a 5 mm x 5 mm QFN package, for $1.50 each, in 10,000-unit quantities.





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