This week’s EYE ON NPI (video) is from long-time Maker-buddies FTDI Chip: The FT233HP and FT232HP builds on decades of work FTDI have pioneered in making excellent quality USB controller ICs. This chip has taken the successful FT232H that we’re very fond of and added first-class USB Type C support with PD3.0 control.
Now in case you haven’t tried them out yet, we make some nice FT232H breakouts here at Adafruit.
This chip from FTDI is similar to their USB to serial converter chips but adds a ‘multi-protocol synchronous serial engine’ which allows it to speak many common protocols like SPI, I2C, serial UART, JTAG, and more! There’s even a handful of digital GPIO pins that you can read and write to do things like flash LEDs, read switches or buttons, and more. The FT232H breakout is like adding a little swiss army knife for serial protocols to your computer! We recently even gave this chip a bit of a refresh by adding a Stemma QT port, an I2C mode switch, and a USB C port. However, that USB C port doesn’t do anything fancy with USB C, it just has the bare-minimum resistors to let the upstream port know to give it 5V and use classic USB D+ and D- lines.
The FT232HP, on the other hand, is a full new version of the chip with individual CC1/CC2 pins that are used to communicate with the upstream port to tell it what voltage level and current level desired. With PD, we can request up to 20V on the power pins – and it can do this fully automagically by configuring an external EEPROM chip that is wired up on a PCB. You can program the EEPROM as many times as you like, using the FTDI Prog tool or via a command line tool. Once configured, you can also use GPIO pins to adjust the PD settings, or even use a built in I2C peripheral engine that can be configured by a separate microcontroller.
Besides the fancy new USB C power delivery control – the FT232HP and FT233HP also, of course, have the GPIO-control goodies we love about this series. The MPSSE peripheral set can mimic a wide variety of popular and useful protocols such UART RS232, RS422, RS485, 8-bit parallel, JTAG, SPI and I2C controllers. We’ve got Adafruit Blinka support for MPSSE and while we haven’t tested it with the FT232HP just yet, we’re pretty sure it is going to be largely compatible (besides perhaps having a different USB PID).
If you’re making a product that needs USB C PD, and maybe some GPIO control over USB – this chip could really do a great job at saving you months of development time. Particularly if you can use the MPSSE control software on a computer to avoid any firmware writing at all! Or, if you do have a microcontroller, you could get rid of half your power supply by dropping a DC jack input and going with a smart USB adapter with PD source control. The FT233HP has more pins than the ‘232HP and adds a USB Sink PD port as well as 8 more GPIO pins.
See on Digi-Key at https://www.digikey.com/short/mp80vwdr