Daughter cards for FTDI’s Arduino-compatible EVE development boards

October 28, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Following on from the release of its VM800P development platforms, which facilitate more advanced human machine interface (HMI) implementation using its Embedded Video Engine (EVE) technology, FTDI Chip has introduced a series of accompanying daughter cards (or shields) that enable a wider range of connectivity options.

The Arduino-compatible VM800P 'PLUS boards' are based on the company’s FT800 EVE graphic controller devices, in which display, audio and touch functionality are all integrated onto a single chip. The boards also incorporate an 8-bit ATMEGA microcontroller unit (MCU) and a TFT display (with 3.5-, 4.3- and 5.0-in. inch sizes available). The six daughter cards will allow the expansion of the boards’ I/O capabilities; they use 1 or 2 Micro-MaTch miniature connectors to interface with a VM800P.

The VI800A_TTLU is a plug-in accessory for the PLUS boards which enables inclusion of a TTL level UART. This daughter card behaves as an SPI-to-UART bridging mechanism. It is complemented by the VI800A_RELAY, which effectively acts as an SPI-to-relay bridge for PLUS boards, with the SPI slave interface converted into a relay interface. The VI800A-ETH allows an external Ethernet interface to be connected and the VI800A_PoE enables Power-over-Ethernet (PoE). The VI800A N485U behaves as a SPI-to-RS485 bridge with the VI800A_232U behaving as an SPI-to-RS232 bridge – thereby allowing interfacing with legacy equipment.

“Our PLUS boards merge together the familiarity of Arduino and the ground-breaking technology of EVE, with its novel object-oriented approach to HMI implementation. Now, with the addition of these daughter cards, there are greater opportunities for more comprehensive external interfacing and a higher degree of control. This will unlock the true potential of EVE deployment in all manner of exciting new application environments,” states Paul Huang, Display Product Line Manager at FTDI Chip.

The VI800A_TTLU, VI800A-ETH, VI800A_PoE, VI800A N485U and VI800A_232U each have a form factor of 63.50 x 37.50 mm, while the VI800A_RELAY has dimensions of 68.90 x 48.75 mm. The VM800P daughter cards will be priced from $24.95.

FTDI Chip; www.ftdichip.com/EVE