28 February 2012

Embedded World: FTDI adds advanced user interface mechanism Vinco platform

USB solutions specialist, Future Technology Devices International is adding to the range of input/output application boards available for its Vinco development module.

The new Vinco Touch Key shield mates with the Vinco motherboard, providing it with full touch pad functionality. FTDI is exhibiting in Hall 4A 4A-322 at Embedded World, Nuremberg.

Supplied in a compact form factor with dimensions of 55.4 x 68.6mm and incorporating a STMicroelectronics STMPE821 8channel general purpose input/output capacitive touch key controller IC, the shield has eight touch keys which employ a capacitive sensing technology, responding to physical input stimulus from the user. It also has a set of four push buttons and five GPIO-controlled led indicators.

According to FTDI, the touch keys are capable of passing input data to the Vinculum-II (VNC2) dual port USB host/device controller IC on the Vinco module via an I2C bus, where it can be processed by the IC's integrated 16bit microcontroller core. Access to the Vinco pulse width modulation interface is also available on the header pins. The shield requires a 5V supply, which can be drawn from an external supply or through the Vinco motherboard connections.

"The Vinco platform captures the spirit of Arduino open source model. It furnishes engineers with a unique, easy to use environment where they can easily create system designs that include various input methods as well as product connectivity," said Dave Sroka, global product director at FTDI. "The new Touch Key shield demonstrates the Vinco platform's ability to utilise the Android Open Accessory initiative, so that devices using the Android operating system, such as tablet pcs, can control items of external hardware through a human machine interface, over USB."

To support the Vinco platform and its expanding range of shields, FTDI offers free software libraries, drivers and source code. An integrated development environment, which includes a code editor, C compiler, assembler and debugger, is also available to download for free from the company's website. Further shield introductions will be announced in the near future.

Author
Chris Shaw

Supporting Information

Websites
http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/AppNotes/An_196%20Accessing_Android_Open_Accessory_Mode_with_Vinco_Development_Platform.pdf
http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/DataSheets/Modules/DS_Vinco.pdf

Companies
Future Technology Devices International Ltd

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