Evaluation boards for 5 Gbps USB 3.0-to-FIFO bridge ICs

September 11, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
To support design-in of its next-generation USB interfacing technology, FTDI Chip has a family of evaluation/development modules. Development with the company’s FT600/1Q USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ICs is enabled by the UMFT60XX offering; HSMC & FMC connectivity options aid deployment into FPGA-based designs.

This module family from FTDI chip (Glasgow, Scotland) comprises four models, which provide different FIFO bus interfaces and data bit widths. Through these modules operational parameters of FT600/1Q devices can be fully assessed and interfacing with external hardware undertaken, such as FPGA platforms from the industry’s leading suppliers.

Measuring 78.7 x 60 mm, the UMFT600A and UMFT601A each have a high speed mezzanine card (HSMC) interface with 16-bit and 32-bit wide FIFO buses respectively. The UMFT600X and UMFT601X have dimensions of 70 x 60 mm and incorporate field-programmable mezzanine card (FMC) connectors, again with 16-bit and 32-bit wide FIFO buses respectively. The HSMC interface is compatible with most Altera FPGA reference design boards, while the FMC connector delivers the same functionality in relation to Xilinx boards.

Fully compatible with USB 3.0 SuperSpeed (5 Gbits/sec), USB 2.0 High Speed (480 Mbits/sec) and USB 2.0 Full Speed (12 Mbits/sec) data transfer, the UMFT60xx modules support two parallel slave FIFO bus protocols with an achievable data burst rate of around 400 MBytes/sec. The multi-channel FIFO mode can handle up to four logic channels. It is complemented by the 245 synchronous FIFO mode, which is optimised for more straightforward operation.

“We recognised early on that USB 3.0 system designs that are reliant on programmable logic, rather than MCU technology, are going to have a multitude of important benefits to the embedded engineering fraternity. They will allow bill-of-materials costs to be kept under control and the writing/compiling of masses of C code to be avoided,” states Fred Dart, CEO and founder of FTDI Chip. “As a result we have worked closely with the most prominent companies in the programmable sector to promote this more technologically efficient and economical method of implementing USB 3.0. The new modules we have introduced are designed such that they can plug into most FPGA development platforms supplied by vendors such as Xilinx or Altera.”

FTDI Chip; www.ftdichip.com/ft60x