USB-to-RS232 Adapter leverages semiconductor technology.

Incorporating sophisticated semiconductor technology to maximimise performance functionality

USB solutions specialist Future Technology Devices International Limited (FTDI) has expanded its portfolio of converter cabling solutions with the introduction of Chipi-X. Measuring a length of 10 cm, this is a USB-to-RS232 level full-handshake UART cable with a male DB9 connector. The DB9 provides the connectivity for RS232 communications and a USB-A plug deals with USB communications.

Supporting USB 2.0 Full Speed operation, this cable can cope with data transfer rates from 300 bits/s to 250 kbits/s at RS232 voltage levels. A 512 byte receive buffer and a 512 byte transmit buffer, which each utilise buffer smoothing technology, allow for high data throughput to be maintained.

An integrated FTDI FT231XS USB-to-UART interface IC (part of the recently announced X-Chip series) handles the entire USB protocol, while the company’s FT3243S transceiver IC deals with the RS232 level voltage conversion. The 2048 byte internal MTP memory in the FT231XS chip contains the USB descriptors e.g. vendor ID (VID), product ID (PID), serial number, and product description strings allowing OEMs to customise the cable’s appearance when connected to a PC. Additional user space on the MTP can also be programmed over the USB interface to enable increased versatility.

Safeguarding against electrostatic discharge (ESD) is an important consideration, especially in the uncompromising industrial environments which this cable can be employed. Protection on the Chipi-X’s RS232 I/Os exceeds ±15 kV IEC1000-4-2 air gap discharge, ±15 kV for human body mode (HBM) and ±8 kV IEC1000-4-2 contact discharge. Protection on the USB lines exceeds ±2 kV for HBM, ±200 V for machine mode (MM) and ±500 V for charged device mode (CDM). A wide operating temperature range, spanning from -40 °C to 85 °C, is also supported.

All components used in their construction are fully RoHS compliant. Royalty-free VCP and D2XX drivers, which can be downloaded from the FTDI website, eliminate the need for engineers to develop their own USB drivers.

“This latest cable release emphasises FTDI’s ability to not only produce leading edge silicon, but also to provide it in a form that makes it easy to implement even in harsh application scenarios,” states Fred Dart, CEO and founder of FTDI. “By utilizing the newly released X-Chip device, the user is getting FTDI’s latest technology which delivers high performance and robust operation at a low cost of ownership.”

Pricing for the Chipi-X cables is US $15.00 for the enclosed version (10-49 pcs). Further information on these products can be found at:…

About FTDI
Future Technology Devices International (FTDI) specialises in the design and supply of silicon and software solutions for the Universal Serial Bus (USB). FTDI offers a simple route to USB migration by combining easy-to-implement IC devices with proven, ready-to-use, royalty-free USB firmware and driver software. The company’s single and multi-channel USB peripheral devices come with an easy-to-use UART or FIFO interface. These popular devices can be used in legacy USB-to-RS232/RS422 converter applications or to quickly interface an MCU, PLD, or FPGA to USB. A wide range of evaluation kits and modules are available to evaluate FTDI’s silicon prior to design-in. Vinculum is FTDI’s brand name for a range of USB Host/Slave controller ICs that provide easy implementation of USB Host controller functionality within products and use FTDI’s tried and tested firmware to significantly reduce development costs and time to market. FTDI is a fab-less semiconductor company headquartered in Glasgow, UK with RD centres in Glasgow and Singapore and has regional sales offices in Oregon, USA, Shanghai, China and Taipei, Taiwan.

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