New microcontroller brings advantages to control system implementations

FTDI Chip has released the FT51, an 8-bit microcontroller with a comprehensive feature set, a vast array of I/Os and extensive data conversion capabilities. It incorporates one of the highest performance 8051 compatible processor cores on the market and operating at a 48MHz clock speed, it has a 48MIPS processing capacity (1clock cycle per instruction).

The FT51 also provides a high degree of connectivity 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 (12Mbit/s) peripheral, I2C slave and master, as well as SPI slave and master interfaces.

Four, 8-bit single channel digital-to-analogue converters (DACs) and analogue-to-digital converters (ADCs) are integrated, in order to support 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 maximise throughput.

According to FTDI the programming of the FT120 element is straightforward, as it is a superset of the popular, D12 USB controller. The FT51 is able to present 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 FT51 MCU has 16-bit PWMs on 16 of its output pins with drive capability from 4mA to 16mA, enabling control of system actuators/motors. Other features include a high-speed UART capable of operation up to 6Mbit/s, a 16kBytes multi-time programmable memory and battery charger detection (BCD). Human interface device (HID) and communication device class (CDC) 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 (IDE) 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.

The FT51 series is offered in 28-pin SSOP, 32-pin WQFN, 44-pin LQFP and 48-pin WQFN packages, with an operational temperature range covering -40°C to +85°C. Running off a 3.3V supply rail, its current consumption is just 8mA when active and 70µA while in suspend mode. Unit pricing (at 10k volumes) for the FT51 is $1.46 (for the 32-pin version).


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