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Use USB memory stick as random memory?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Bill Bowden, Jun 16, 2008.

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  1. Bill Bowden

    Bill Bowden Guest

    Is it possible to use a little USB flash drive as RAM memory for a PIC
    microcontroller project without a lot of serial I/O software?

    How complicated is it?

    What procedure is needed to read and write a single byte to some
    location inside the USB flash drive?

    I'm guessing it requires writing and reading entire files to move
    small bits of data.

  2. The drive doesn't know anything about files. You read and write blocks
    of data to locations on the flash. You have to implement USB host and
    issue USB commands over the wire, which is pretty painful. Why do you
    want to use a USB flash drive? You might be better off with, say, an SD
    card, which has a far simpler interface designed for small devices to

    Nicholas Sherlock
  3. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Fairly. You'd need to implement a "USB host" to talk to the USB flash
    drive. Depending on which side of the build/buy equation you're on, you
    can get pre-packaged interface libraries.
    If you have to have a USB drive (customer requirement, etc.) then you
    do. But, if you just want a ton of flash storage, then it's probably
    easier to implement an SPI driver for SD cards in MMC mode.

    Here's a link to a PIC project that does just that
  4. Bob Monsen

    Bob Monsen Guest

    If you want to use SD, you might use this:

    It is a 'miniboard' from those Australian guys. You can use it to read and
    write an SD card. It is basically just a breakout board, but you won't have
    to run your own board.

    Bob Monsen
  5. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest



    Cheers Don...

    Don McKenzie

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    Xbee Wireless Modules, and low cost Interface Boards.
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