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Interfacing micro-PC with an USB

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by marcob, Jan 28, 2004.

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  1. marcob

    marcob Guest

    I have to implement a data transfer from a custom board (to be
    designed) and a standard PC (Win98/XP).
    An interesting solution could be perhaps the use of a standard USB
    connection so that the PC could see my board just a removible disk.
    In this way it would be also not necessary to write any driver for the
    PC side (at least under XP, I suppose).

    Is there anybody who faced this kind of problem or that have
    implemented an USB mass storage protocol with a microcontroller?
    Every tips about other alternative solutions (ie. memory cards or
    other standard interfaces) are welcome.

  2. Bob Stephens

    Bob Stephens Guest

    Cygnal ( now Silicon Labs) has a couple of parts the C8051F320 and 321
    which contain a hot rod 8051 core and are USB2.0 full(not high) speed
    compliant. The development kit comes with USBXpress which contains the
    firmware for the client side and a Windows USB device driver for the PC
    side. They also provide "Virtual Com Port" drivers which allow you to map
    the USB port to a COM port.

    All well and good for your application. Now for *MY* little problem.
    I need to embed USB into a device which will communicate with a Pocket PC
    running 4.2 for Pocket PC aka Pocket PC 2003. I have identified a
    compact flash USB Host side adapter which comes with a WINCE driver, but
    neither that company nor Cygnal will claim that I will be able to
    communicate with their drivers. The Cygnal chip code is designed to be used
    with the corresponding Win XP driver, and the CF USB adapter is - I think -
    designed to be a generic plug and play USB Host. Does anyone have any idea
    of a chip that comes with WinCE support? I'm really trying to avoid having
    to write my own WINCE driver as I am under a very aggressive time table.


  3. Fred Bloggs

    Fred Bloggs Guest

    Have you looked at Cypress?
  4. I'm looking at using the FTDI FT245BM ( They
    have a virtual COM port driver for regular Windows version. They
    talk about CE drivers but it's not really clear how/where to get them

    I haven't actually used the chip yet but it looks like the interface to
    any microcontroller should be pretty straightforward.

  5. I'm looking at using the FTDI FT245BM (

    I use and sell the FT232 and FT245. The nice point about the 232 is
    that you can make serial-port and USB-port versions of you gadget, and
    your PC software always (thinks it) talks to a serial port.

    But the cypress chips are much cheaper. But EPROM only, a real pain in
    the ass for low-cost development.

    Wouter van Ooijen

    -- ------------------------------------
    PICmicro chips, programmers, consulting
  6. Chon Tang

    Chon Tang Guest

    TERN has a line of boards that uses CompactFlash cards for this type
    of transfer. It's pretty convenient, requires basic software support
    on the controller side (for the FAT filesystem), and can be accessed
    easily on the PC through a number of standard CF drives.

    Take a look at:

    For an example. Obviously, the downside is that you have to have
    someone physically moving the card over.
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