FTDI Chip has updated its expansive USB driver portfolio in order to include a selective suspend feature. The revised drivers have just passed Microsoft certification and are available to download free of charge from the FTDI Chip website.
With the launch of lower-powered versions of X-Chip series proving highly successful, the company has now followed this up with enhanced power management in the accompanying driver technology. Supporting many popular Windows environments (with WHQL pass for this feature being achieved in relation to Windows 7, 8, 8.1, Server 2008), the innovative selective suspend feature now incorporated into the FTDI Chip drivers means that the USB host can either enable or suspend a port/peripheral as needed via software control - resulting in far greater flexibility for design engineers when implementing their systems as well as a marked reduction in the overall power consumption.
This new capability can be employed for controlling USB ports that are configured together as part of a hub structure, so that it is possible to access particular peripherals or conversely power them down when they are not required to be active. Among the applications where this could prove to be an operational advantage are card readers and biometric scanners on laptop PCs, as well as potential opportunities being envisaged in building automation, environmental monitoring and industrial control systems.
“This additional functionality incorporated into our drivers will be of real benefit to engineers and we see great scope for its future utilisation,” state Dave Sroka, Global Product Marketing Director for FTDI Chip. “By providing it as a standard feature we feel that many applications can benefit, especially considering the growing number of distributed systems with sensing capabilities, like the Internet of Things, where power consumption is key and where having the software capability to activate/deactivate subsystems can have large impact on power budgets.”