USB-TO-SPI Bridge chip joins 'smart interface' range

December 10, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Silicon Labs has introduced a high-performance bridge controller that offers a turnkey solution for bridging a universal serial bus (USB) host and a serial peripheral interface (SPI) bus with driver support for Windows, OS X and Linux operating systems.

The CP2130 USB-to-SPI bridge controller provides high data throughput, configurability and a high level of mixed-signal integration in a 4 x 4 mm package. The CP2130 bridge controller is suitable for new designs or upgrading legacy designs to include USB for a wide range of embedded applications including USB dongles, tablets, handheld controllers and testers, blood glucose monitors, docking stations, point-of-sale products, data logging modules and card readers.

With the proliferation of USB in the embedded world, developers are looking for cost-effective solutions to help speed time to market, and Silicon Labs developed the CP21xx bridge family with this goal in mind. The CP2130 bridge controller enables developers to add USB functionality to their applications without requiring USB software, firmware or hardware domain expertise typically required with more complex alternatives. The CP2130 bridge controller joins Silicon Labs’ CP21xx Smart Interface portfolio, adding SPI to USB-to-UART, I 2C/SMBus and I 2S interface solutions.

The highly integrated CP2130 controller features on-chip functions and peripherals that eliminate the need for external components. The CP2130 device includes a USB 2.0 full-speed controller and transceiver, an SPI controller that enables communication with a wide range of SPI slave devices down to 1.8V, 348-byte programmable memory, crystal-less USB operation and an integrated 5V voltage regulator rated at 100 mA.

The CP2130 device’s highly configurable SPI controller can communicate with up to 11 SPI slave devices using any of its 11 GPIO pins as chip-selects or be configured for alternate functions that can be used to eliminate external circuitry and components. The CP2130 device is the fastest full-speed USB bridge controller available, Silabs says, providing up to 6.6 Mbps read throughput and 5.8 Mbps write throughput.

The CP2130 controller is priced at $1.23 (10,000). The CP2130EK USB-to-SPI evaluation kit, at $20, allows complete evaluation and customisation of the CP2130 controller.

Silicon Labs;