FTDI Chip’s FT600 Series – Providing Simple, Cost-Effective Method to Implement USB 3.0 Functionality

FTDI-FT600The USB 3.0 SuperSpeed standard has the capacity for an order of magnitude increase in data rates compared with USB 2.0, thereby furnishing engineers with the opportunity to address far more data intensive applications. Some reports suggest that global sales of USB 3.0-enabled devices will reach 3 billion units by 2020.
So far semiconductor solutions available supporting this standard have been microcontroller based. This has made them very complex to implement, as well as resulting in elevated power budget, hefty bill-of-materials costs and considerable board space allocation.

FTDI Chip has set about changing this – avoiding the overkill that a microcontroller approach represents. The company unveiled its first generation of USB 3.0 interface ICs in late 2014. The FT600/1 USB 3.0 to FIFO bridge devices can deliver 3.2Gbps data bursting rates. They are based on a proprietary hardwired 32-bit processing core (running at 100MHz), which controls the various internal sub-units of each IC. This means engineers do not have to worry, as they do for other solutions, about creating reams of code to operate the microcontroller element. This translates into a USB 3.0 IC offering that has much lower price tag (only 30% of what competing ICs cost) and far shorter development times (measured in hours instead of weeks).

The FT600 has a 16-bit wide FIFO bus interface, while FT601 has a 32-bit one. The hardwired embedded processor core of the FT600/1 platform controls the data transfers and protocols for the USB and FIFO interfaces, while also offering 16kBytes of data buffering. Thanks to the highly effective processing resource, engineers integrating these USB 3.0 devices into their designs are bestowed a great deal of flexibility. They can be easily configured to match particular application requirements.


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