Which USB <> Serial Bridge Chip?

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No-one ever got fired for using a chip from FTDI, but there are not cheap. Does anyone have experience, preferably in commercial products, of the following...

 

CH3xx series

PL series chips from Prolific

MCP22xx series from Microchip

CP2xxx series from Silicon Labs

GL8xx from Genesys

 

Chips that are as plug-and-play with modern PCs as possible are to be preferred.

#1 Hardware Problem? https://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/...

#2 Hardware Problem? Read AVR042.

#3 All grounds are not created equal

#4 Have you proved your chip is running at xxMHz?

#5 "If you think you need floating point to solve the problem then you don't understand the problem. If you really do need floating point then you have a problem you do not understand."

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Started using CP2101 back in 2001 ish. That went obsolete but CP2102 has been an excellent replacement and have used it ever since.

 

It took a long time but finally Windows in the guise of Windows 10 has drivers built-in.

 

<edit> A brave man could make his own using ATmega16U2.

 

Last Edited: Sun. Apr 4, 2021 - 08:44 AM
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N.Winterbottom wrote:

<edit> A brave man could make his own using ATmega16U2.

 

At twice the price of the dedicated chip.

#1 Hardware Problem? https://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/...

#2 Hardware Problem? Read AVR042.

#3 All grounds are not created equal

#4 Have you proved your chip is running at xxMHz?

#5 "If you think you need floating point to solve the problem then you don't understand the problem. If you really do need floating point then you have a problem you do not understand."

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Note that newer FTDI chips like the ft231x are significantly cheaper than the old ft232r* chips...

 

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Brian Fairchild wrote:

At twice the price of the dedicated chip.

OK agreed.  So a really brave man chasing the lowest cost would choose an ATmegaAVR or perhaps XMEGA with built-in USB hardware instead of using a separate chip.

 

I only have experience of this on PIC24 where the Microchip Provided USB stack looks like a Generic CDC. So as with CP2102, no driver install is required for Windows10.

 

There is a caveat with this design in that when spending too long at a debugging breakpoint; Windows bombs out your COM port because you've been unresponsive for some time.

 

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N.Winterbottom wrote:
... and have used it ever since.
NRND though with a follow-on in CP2102N.

N.Winterbottom wrote:
It took a long time but finally Windows in the guise of Windows 10 has drivers built-in.
Indeed

 

edit :

WCID arrived with Windows 8; in addition to WinUSB are third party drivers.

WCID Devices · pbatard/libwdi Wiki · GitHub

 


Classic USB Bridges - USB to UART Bridge - Silicon Labs

USBXpress USB Bridges - USB-to-UART bridge controllers - Silicon Labs

Pololu - CP2102N USB-to-Serial Adapter Carrier

 

What is new with Serial in Windows 10 - Microsoft Tech Community - 270855

[1/4 page]

Now devices that report these compatible IDs:

[USB CDC ACM]

… including popular prototyping boards like Arduinos – just work with our built-in driver.

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Mon. Apr 5, 2021 - 02:36 AM
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N.Winterbottom wrote:
I only have experience of this on PIC24 where the Microchip Provided USB stack looks like a Generic CDC.
Likewise on USB PIC.

Recent USB PIC have ACT with enhanced UART (FBRG, auto-baud); can move functions into a USB PIC from an AVR (advantage of USB MCU over USB UART)

N.Winterbottom wrote:
So as with CP2102, no driver install is required for Windows10.
OEM drivers can enhance Microsoft drivers.

 


p-star-examples/usb-to-serial.X at master · pololu/p-star-examples · GitHub

Pololu - P-Star Programmable Controllers

PIC18F25K50 - Microcontrollers and Processors

Active Clock Tuning - Developer Help

 

USB UARTs - MaxLinear

...

For applications where the USB interface may be disconnected and reconnected while a COM port is still open, MaxLinear provides the XRUSB1 Windows driver that eliminates the need to close the COM port in the host application. 

...

...  and the GPIOs are readily tailored for enhanced functionality. 

...

due to CH340G IC vendor..... | AVR Freaks

XR21x14x Universal Async Receiver Transmitters - MaxLinear | Mouser

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Brian Fairchild wrote:

CH3xx series

PL series chips from Prolific

CP2xxx series from Silicon Labs

The CH340 has new version CH343, claiming higher baud rates of 6Mbd   http://special.wch.cn/zh_cn/prod...

 

The PL2303 has newest version as PL2303G series, claims up to 12MBd,  I have some PL2303GS coming from Amazon I'll test this week.  

https://prolificusa.com/product-...

 

The CP2102 is newest as CP2102N, which is a better performer than the CP2102, tho many Asian boards still use CP2102.

Silabs also have a EFM8UB3 48MHz 40k Flash mcu, that can host a USB-Serial 

 

Also good, but hard to get, is the  EXAR  XR21V1410 which can set up to 12MBd

 

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an important criterion for selecting a device may be the ability to have unique USB serial numbers if multiple devices are in use. On the CP2102 you can program your own serial number, the CH340 is not programmable and has no unique serial number. 

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PL2303, and FT230RL have both been cloned to the point where vendors have stopped supporting some versions (PL23xx) and/or specifically included code that detects clones and performs badly or not at all (FT232R)...  I'm somewhat inclined to avoid them for that reason :-(

 

I like CH340E MODULES from Aliexpress - USB/Serial chip, USB connector, and a couple of LEDs, all in a tiny, cheap module.   But I'm not sure I consider the supply "stable" enough to put on a commercial product.  (My favorite Aliexpress vendor seems to have abandoned "less reliable" shipping, which means that their cheapest shipping option is now about $50...  :-( )