Computer/Embedded Technology


Touch-enabled development board

21 March 2012 Computer/Embedded Technology

In order to offer engineers greater scope to create system designs within a shorter period of time, USB solutions specialist FTDI is adding to the range of input/output application boards (or ‘shields’) available for its Vinco development module.

The new Vinco Touch Key shield mates with the Vinco motherboard, providing it with full touch pad functionality.

Supplied in a compact form factor with dimensions of 55,4 mm x 68,6 mm (in harmony with the established format of the Arduino Duemilanove and Uno boards), and incorporating an STMicroelectronics STMPE821 8-channel general purpose input/output (GPIO) capacitive touch key controller IC, the shield has eight touch keys which employ capacitive sensing technology, responding to physical input stimulus from the user. It also has a set of four pushbuttons and five GPIO-controlled LED indicators.

The touch keys are capable of passing input data to the Vinculum-II (VNC2) dual-port USB host/device controller IC on the Vinco module via an I²C bus, where it can be processed by the IC’s integrated 16-bit microcontroller core. Access to the Vinco pulse width modulation (PWM) interface is also available on the header pins. The shield requires a 5 V supply, which can be drawn from an external supply or through the Vinco motherboard connections.

To support the Vinco platform and its expanding range of shields, FTDI offers free software libraries, drivers and source code, allowing engineers a high level of design flexibility. A comprehensive integrated development environment (IDE), which includes a code editor, C compiler, assembler and debugger, is also available to download for free from the company’s website.



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