FTDI are specialists in converting legacy peripherals to Universal Serial Bus (USB). We offer the easiest route to USB migration by combining USB-Serial (USB-RS232) and USB-FIFO silicon solutions with our ready-to-go royalty free USB drivers.
FTDI’s “total” solutions offer reduced development and debug costs and a fast time to market.
FTDI was set up in the early 1990’s by CEO Fred Dart, an experienced ASIC designer – FTDI’s 10th anniversary was on 13th March, 2002. The company is privately owned by the Dart family. Prior to setting up FTDI, Fred ran another start-up, Computer Design Concepts Ltd. ( CDCL ) for 5 years which undertook sub-contract ASIC design work. Deciding to branch out and design some novel original ic’s, FTDI was organized as a product company selling own-designed integrated circuits rather than as a design consultancy. CDCL was subsequently merged into FTDI.
FTDI’s initial products were chipsets for PC motherboards – their main customer at the time being IBM who used FTDI’s chipset devices in their Ambra and PS/1 PC’s. By 1996 Intel had captured a large share of the PC chipset market, so the company moved direction from this market to focus on the PC peripheral sector. With the peripheral market in mind, the company designed its own 8-bit embedded CPU ( EMCU ) core for use in forthcoming peripheral device designs. The EMCU core can be found in FTDI’s innovative FT8U100AX USB hub controller – the first USB hub controller to feature in-built legacy serial and PS/2 keyboard / mouse support as well as supporting seven downstream USB hub ports.
When the Universal Serial Bus ( USB ) specification was released, FTDI foresaw that the interconnection technology for many PC peripherals would change to this forthcoming standard and focussed its efforts on developing new devices / solutions for USB. Through a combination of combining competitively priced silicon together with off-theshelf USB drivers, the company developed its own market niche focussing on solutions for upgrading legacy RS232 peripheral designs to USB and providing a “ready to go” solution for new designs that minimized the design effort and time-to-market. Though market acceptance of USB as the dominant PC interconnection standard took much longer than originally anticipated, the companies vision has now been realized.