Multifunction Application Board enhances Vinco platform.

Press Release Summary:

Designed to connect directly to the Vinco development/prototyping board, multi-function application board (shield) incorporates VLSI VS1053b codec for decoding of various audio files, Ethernet connectivity, and RTC feature using NXP Semiconductors PCF32123 timing device. Supplied in 55.4 x 68.6 mm format, product requires 3.3 V supply, generated via onboard regulator, to power PCB.

Original Press Release:

FTDI Adds Ethernet-to-USB, MP3 Audio Codec & Real-Time Clock Functionality to Vinco Platform

Building block & Arduino-inspired, development board approach enables designers to shorten product development time

Furthering market progression of the widely praised Vinco platform, USB solutions specialist Future Technology Devices International Limited (FTDI) has announced the introduction of its new multi-function application board (shield). By combining the Vinco development platform, with targeted application support, such as MP3 audio codec, Ethernet-to-USB bridge and real-time clock (RTC), engineers can jump-start their development.

This latest shield offering incorporates a VLSI VS1053b codec for the decoding of various audio files (Ogg Vorbis, MP3, AAC, WMA, FLAC, WAV and MIDI), Ethernet connectivity, plus an RTC feature using NXP Semiconductors' PCF32123 timing device.

Designed to connect directly to the Vinco development/prototyping board, the shield enables the Vinco's Vinculum-II (VNC2) dual-channel USB host/device controller IC to access an Ethernet port via a Wiznet W5100 chipset. The W5100 converts Ethernet data into SPI data (and vice versa). The SPI port is a slave to the VNC2 SPI master. A set of 4 LED indicators on the shield show the nature of the Ethernet traffic, so that engineers can determine whether the shield is receiving data, transmitting data, is in full duplex, or is experiencing data collisions. The shield also has a hardwired TCP/IP stack that permits 10Mbit/s or 100Mbit/s data transfer over the Ethernet link, so the system it is incorporated into can be networked with other systems.

An MP3 audio file player gives access to MP3 files from the USB drive accessed through the Vinco motherboard. A 3.5 mm audio socket provides the interface for connecting headphones or an amplifier to the audio codec output.

The shield comes in a 55.4 mm x 68.6 mm format. A 3.3V supply is required to power the PCB. This is generated through an onboard regulator supplied with 5 V from the Vinco board. An additional 1.8 V supply is needed for the VS1053b audio codec's operation, which can also be generated from an on-board regulator.

"The Vinco has received considerable acclaim from within the electronics engineering community over the last year and, with an ever increasing array of feature-packed shields to accompany it, design teams will find implementing the systems they envisaged even easier," commented Dave Sroka, Global Product Director at FTDI.

FTDI has free software libraries and Ethernet, SPI Master and GPIO drivers to support the new Vinco shield - furnishing engineers with all the building blocks they need to implement Ethernet, MP3 and RTC applications. An Integrated Development Environment (IDE), that includes a code editor, 'C' compiler, assembler and debugger, can be downloaded for free from the company's website.

The FTDI Vinco multi-function Ethernet, RTC, MP3 shield is available at a cost of $59.50 for single units.

More information is available for download at:

About FTDI
Future Technology Devices International (FTDI) specialises in the design and supply of silicon and software solutions for the Universal Serial Bus (USB). FTDI offers a simple route to USB migration by combining easy-to-implement IC devices with proven, ready-to-use, royalty-free USB firmware and driver software. The company's single and multi-channel USB peripheral devices come with an easy-to-use UART or FIFO interface. These popular devices can be used in legacy USB-to-RS232/RS422 converter applications or to quickly interface an MCU, PLD, or FPGA to USB. A wide range of evaluation kits and modules are available to evaluate FTDI's silicon prior to design-in.

Vinculum is FTDI's brand name for a range of USB Host/Slave controller ICs that provide easy implementation of USB Host controller functionality within products and use FTDI's tried and tested firmware to significantly reduce development costs and time to market.

FTDI is a fabless semiconductor company headquartered in Glasgow, UK with R&D centres in Glasgow and Singapore and has regional sales offices in Oregon, USA, Shanghai, China and Taipei, Taiwan. More information is available at

Regional sales offices and distributor lists are available


All Topics