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The USB Wildcard™ - Add Universal Serial Bus Communications to your instrument controller

standard universal serial bus communication

The USB Wildcard implements a standard USB (Universal Serial Bus) interface that enables a PC host to communicate with Mosaic's embedded computers for data logging, data acquisition, high-performance measurements and instrument control. This tiny 2" by 2.5" board is a member of the Wildcard series of mezzanine boards that connect to Mosaic embedded controllers. You can plug it into Mosaic's QCard, QScreen, or PDQ Board to add USB communications to your application.

Industry Standard Operation

Mosaic's USB Wildcard is implemented using the industry standard FT245BM chip made by FTDI, and behaves as a peripheral on the USB bus. A pre-configured EEPROM memory on the board automatically announces the USB configuration data to the PC host during USB enumeration after the Wildcard is plugged in.

Optional Bus-Powered Operation

For Mosaic Controller stacks that require a single +5V supply, it may be convenient to take advantage of the 5 volt power that the USB host can deliver. A jumper on the USB Wildcard enables selection of either self powered or bus powered mode. In self powered mode, the controller and its Wildcards do not draw power from the USB bus. The bus powered mode taps the +5V 500 mA USB supply to power the USB Wildcard and the entire connected controller stack.

Uses Standard USB Cables

A 5-pin "Mini-B" USB receptacle is mounted on the USB Wildcard. A standard "Type A to 5-pin Mini-B" USB cable Part# USB-C37 interfaces the Wildcard to your PC or other USB host. If the board-mounted Mini-B receptacle does not meet the form factor requirements of your instrument, a 5-pin header enables connection to a panel-mounted Type B USB receptacle Part# USB-C36 available from Mosaic.

Data Rates

The USB Wildcard complies with the "Full Speed" USB peripheral device standard. Data rates on the USB cable exceed 2.4 Megabits per second (MBit/s), and benchmarked end-to-end throughput on a PDQ series controller exceeds 320 MBit/s.

Pre-coded Software Drivers

Royalty-free PC drivers from FTDI run on your PC to manage communications with the USB Wildcard, converting the data stream to a "virtual com port" that can talk to a terminal or other PC application. Mosaic supplies a package of pre-coded device driver functions to control the USB Wildcard hardware. This software makes it easy to revector the standard serial I/O print and scan functions to use the USB port


Description: The USB Wildcard implements a full-duplex USB serial port client enabling USB to RS232 and USB to RS485 communications with a PC or other USB host
Protocols: Compliant with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 full speed protocols
Data Rates: Benchmarked end-to-end throughput on the PDQ controllers exceeds 320 megabits/second
Buffers: 384-byte FIFO (first-in/first-out) transmit buffer, 128 byte FIFO receive buffer
Hardware Implementation: The USB Wildcard uses the industry standard FT245BM chip from FTDI to implement the USB port
Data Integrity: Loss-less communications (no dropped characters) guaranteed by the USB protocol
Powering Options: A 3-post 2-position jumper allows selection of "self powered" or "bus powered" mode; the latter powers the Wildcard and its connected controller stack from the +5V nominal power source delivered by the USB host
Connectors: A standard USB 5-pin "Mini-B" receptacle is mounted on the USB Wildcard, and a 5-pin 0.1" spacing header enables remote mounting of a standard USB Type B panel-mount receptacle
Drivers: Pre-coded communications software runs on the Mosaic Controller, and industry-standard PC drivers from FTDI run on the PC host

Documentation and Pricing

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