PC general purpose interface

A general purpose interface PC interface that should be able to give a regular pc I/O interfaces that are commonly found on MCU-s.

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When developing something, or doing some sort of experiment, I often need some kind of control. The usual way would be to just throw in a mcu, or something Arduino like. But what if you need something that needs something more, or you just want something done very quickly with just a few connections? Why bother with Arduinos, when you have a super fast computer next to you that has a proper monitor, mouse and keyboard? Not to mention that you can choose which language you want, and have a proper debugging.
The only devices like this that I saw used old hardware, like 8051 mcu-s, and connected via the LPT port, which is almost non existent nowadays. So I would like to have something that would speed up the developing of my projects, and not having it cost hundreds of dollars for some fancy proprietary hardware. The idea is to have a cheap and expandable solution that would allow for an open source and flexible platform that can be expanded, regardless the initial hardware concept.

In the current concept, the interface consists of

-USB to Serial converter for basic communication

-6800/6500 series bus, which is also Intel 8000 series compatible. The bus is intended to be used to add extra peripheral devices, such as faster USB I/O interfaces, GPIO interfaces, etc...

-Four input interrupt lines for various hardware

-Support for FT245 (FIFO buffer status lines)

-I2C bus for I2C devices that might be used

-Current DAC, which can also be converted in a voltage DAC

-ADC with a input amplifier which gain can be modified

The bus is driven at the clock of 1MHz, which is actually adequate for this prototype, since the FT245 maximum transfer rate is similar.
At the moment for generating the two phase clock an old MC6875 clock gen IC from Motorola is being used, but that should be replaced when switching to a larger PSoC device, one that has more logic cells, and more I/O pins.

  • 1 × Cypress PSoC4 4$ kit (CY8C4245AXI-483)+USB serial module
  • 1 × Signetics SY6522
  • 1 × Motorola MC6875
  • 1 × Linear LT1632
  • 2 × Trimmer pot

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  • First working prototype

    DL10108/20/2014 at 02:50 0 comments

    Finally I have something that works!
    For now I can only connect via usb serial, and use the pheripheral bus, a/d and d/a converters. the I2C bus is protocol is still not implemented, and the FT245 interface needs to be implemented as well.

  • PSoC wins

    DL10108/07/2014 at 23:21 0 comments

    I've decided to ditch the CPLD and use the PSoC4 instead. The plan is to have it working both in usb serial mode, or for a faster data stream with the FTDI module.

  • Thoughts

    DL10108/06/2014 at 16:34 0 comments

    Maybe I should ditch the CPLD and use a PSoC4 instead...
    With the CPLD I would have to use a dedicated USB interface IC.
    When using the PSoC4 I can use any kind of serial interface, and also the dedicated usb chip. Along with the extra features that can be found in the PSoC4.

  • Project start

    DL10107/16/2014 at 20:43 0 comments

    Working on the first prototype, which will use parts that I currently have in my drawer, nothing fancy yet, just to test the concept. For start I was thinking about using the FT245 USB interface and a Xilix CPLD for control.

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