Slow data rate FT245BM to PC

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I am working on a PIC project that uses an FT245BM to transfer data to
the PC over USB. I am transferring about 3MB of data and want to do it
as fast as possible.  However, my current solution is way too slow.
Maybe someone can point out what I am doing wrong.

Let me start off by saying that I know VB isn't a speed demon, but I
don't think it is the bottle neck here.  I am running this on a P4
3.2Ghz machine, so even VB is quick.

Here are the symptoms of my problem. The 245's TXE seems to go high
(signaling that the internal buffer is full) for "long" periods of time
even though I am doing FT_Reads as fast as possible on the PC.  I've
run into issues like this before using the FTDI chips, but was able to
solve them by tweaking the timeouts, latency timer, and buffer sizes.
However, this time, tweaking the settings just seem to slow things down
even more.

Here are the basic init commands I am using (note this is not runnable

FT_OpenEx("Device Name", FT_OPEN_BY_DESCRIPTION, lngHandle)
FT_SetTimeouts(lngHandle, 500, 0)
FT_SetLatencyTimer(lngHandle, 1)
FT_SetChars(lngHandle, 126, 1, 0, 0)
FT_SetUSBParameters(lngHandle, 16384, 0)
FT_Purge(lngHandle, 3)

Here is the code I use to poll the device:
    lngBytesRead = 0
    queue_length = 0
    ftStatus = FT_GetQueueStatus(lngHandle, queue_length)
    If queue_length > 32000 Then
       queue_length = 32000
    End If
    ftStatus = FT_Read(lngHandle, strReadBuffer, queue_length,

    If (ftStatus = FT_OK) Or (ftStatus = FT_IO_ERROR) Then
        If lngBytesRead > 0 Then
            bigarray() = StrConv(strReadBuffer, vbFromUnicode)
            ReDim Preserve bigarray(lngBytesRead)
            CopyMem imgarray(data_buffer_pointer),
            data_buffer_pointer = UBound(bigarray) +
            lngTotalBytesRead = lngTotalBytesRead + lngBytesRead

        End If
        flFatalError = True
    End If
Loop Until (lngTotalBytesRead >= 3145728) Or (cancel_but = True) Or
(flFatalError = True)

The code functions well, it is just a bit slow.  It can take up to 30
seconds to transfer 3 megs.  I tried not using the FT_GetQueueStatus
and just used a fixed number for the FT_Read.  This seemed to be less

Any suggestions would be helpful.  Thanks!


Re: Slow data rate FT245BM to PC
Using one of FTDI's examples, I recoded this using VC++ 6.0. It was a
little faster, but still nowhere close to the rated speed.  Here is the
main loop I used to empty the receive buffer (I know it does not store
the data yet):

        Read(rx, bytes_in_buf, &ret_bytes);
        if(ret_bytes==0) Read(rx, bytes_in_buf, &ret_bytes);

Any suggestions would be helpful.  Thanks!


Re: Slow data rate FT245BM to PC

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Did you try to remove the DoEvents?

Re: Slow data rate FT245BM to PC
Yes, I tried removing the DoEvents.  Still nowhere near the rated speed.

Re: Slow data rate FT245BM to PC
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   Your rash assumption about USB on VB is wrong.

   The generic driver used in Windows _is_ the basic bottleneck.

   I am not a PC driver programmer. So I can not address the problems there.

Re: Slow data rate FT245BM to PC
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How slow exactly _is_ "way too"?  Try to give some hard numbers.
Ahh...  now I see you did, at the far end of your post:

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Well, let's see: that means you got at least 100 kByte/s, or .8 Mbit/s
of payload throughput.  That's only one order of magnitude below the
baud rate.  What USB transfer mode are you using?

You should also try to relate them with the bandwidth of the interface
between your PIC and the FT245BM, and the speed of the PIC itself.

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It may feel quick, but that doesn't mean it actually is.  You're
trying to talk to a low-level driver here --- there could be all kinds
of internal delays involved, not the least the context switching time
between your application and the kernel's USB layer.

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How long is "long"?

Hans-Bernhard Broeker (
Even if all the snow were burnt, ashes would remain.

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