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PC Card Design

Mon, 10/08/2001 - 4:27am
For Hand-Held PCs and portable PCMCIA applications Elan has just released a PC Card UART, the VPU16550. A miniature ultra-thin quad flat pack IC, it has a number of extra features which greatly simplify PC Card design. It is ideally suited to the creation of PC Cards and Compact Flash cards that require a standard "COM" port type functionality and can be used with cards such as GSM, GPS, classic modems, serial ports, RF data links or any proprietary interface cards.

The VPU16550 is designed to operate without any extra glue-logic and combined with a crystal, an E² and a suitable transceiver, it forms a complete serial port device compatible with industry standard "COM" ports.

To enhance the flexibility of the device, a number of special modes are provided including a general purpose digital I/O port, and a means to access the UART's TX/RX data characters via a simple parallel port.

PC Card digital audio is also supported to make modem dial sounds easy to implement in a PC Card compliant manner, typically using a single output pin from the modem micro-controller.

A clear advantage to using the VPU16550 is the Operating System level compatibility that the 16550 architecture brings.

The creation of the VPU16550 has evolved as a direct result of the expansion of Elan's Custom Design services, developing specialist PC Cards for a wide variety of industrial applications, and now enables other PC Card designers to benefit from Elan's experience in this field.

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