48MIPS microcontroller for industrial control applications

The company's second application oriented controller device, FTDI Chip has announced the FT51 8-bit microcontroller. Incorporating one of the highest performance 8051 compatible processor cores on the market, the MCU features a 48MHz operating clock speed and a 48MIPS processing capacity (1clock cycle per instruction).

Possessing a comprehensive feature set, a vast array of I/Os and extensive data conversion capabilities, the FT51 differentiates itself through the high degree of connectivity it brings to system designs. The hardwired USB hub function enables cascading of sub-systems in order to extend overall system connectivity - facilitating data collection and downloading of complex systems. It can also be used as an expansion port facility that permits connection of multiple USB peripherals to the system (such as keyboards, mice, etc.). Other interfaces/ports include a USB 2.0 full-speed (12Mb/s) peripheral, I2C slave and master, as well as SPI slave and master interfaces.

Four, 8-bit single channel DACs and ADCs are integrated, in order to facilitate more efficient interaction with analogue ecosystems, through the inputs from sensors or actuator outputs. The built-in FT120 USB peripheral functions provide a simple interface mechanism for transmitting/receiving data and maximising throughput. Programming the FT120 element is straightforward, as it is a superset of the popular, D12 USB controller. The FT51 thus presents a higher performance, 8-bit microcontroller with an advanced feature set for multi-sensor environments and extensive USB functionality for system connectivity, data transfers and human interface device (HID) interaction.

The MCU has 16-bit PWMs on 16 of its output pins with drive capability from 4-16mA, enabling control of system actuators/motors. Other features include a high-speed UART capable of operation up to 6Mb/s, a 16kB multi-time programmable memory and battery charger detection. HID and communication device class support make it highly suited to data acquisition and industrial control applications, such as USB instrumentation, smartcard readers, barcode scanners, wireless modems, set-top boxes and smart metering systems. An Eclipse integrated development environment plug-in is available to assist engineers in developing and debugging activities. Drivers for Windows, MAC, Linux and Android operating systems can be freely downloaded from the company website.

"Our ‘Design Made Easy’ idiom is at the heart of everything we do at FTDI Chip. By basing this new MCU on the 8051 we can rely on engineers’ familiarity with a processor core that is among the longest established and most widely utilised. The FT51’s superior system connectivity, provided by its USB hub, along with its ability to communicate directly with the outside world via multiple sensor/actuator devices, furnish this IC with unique characteristics suited to addressing the ‘Internet of Things’ as it becomes an ever more tangible entity. With the launching of the 8-bit FT51 and 32-bit FT900 MCUs here at Embedded World, we continue to broaden our portfolio of semiconductor solutions that solve real engineering problems,” commented Fred Dart, CEO and Founder, FTDI Chip.

The FT51 series is offered in 28-pin SSOP, 32-pin WQFN, 44-pin LQFP and 48-pin WQFN packages, operating over a temperature range from -40 to +85°C. Running off a 3.3V supply rail, its current consumption is just 8mA when active and 70µA while in suspend mode. The FT51 (32-pin version) is priced from $1.46 (USD) in 10,000 unit quantities.

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