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What's the least painful way to implement simple (as in a strictly limited
set of connecting devices) USB Host support on a C8051-based design?  USB
Peripheral mode is easily handled with something like FTDI's chips.

Atmel's AT43USB380 looks interesting.  However, not sure if their API's
support the 8051.

Thanks,

-Martin



Re: USB Host
Hello !

In this case, I would consider Phillips's ISP1160BD/01, ISP1160BM/01,
ISP1760BE or ISP1760ET. They are all USB host controllers designed for
embedded applications. The latter two are Hi-Speed rated.
All feature a generic, programmable parallel connection to any modern
microprocessor, thus I would imagine that the 8051 is also supported. The
most common use is make these controllers appear like a memory mapped
devices for the microprocessor/-controller.
I do not know if they'll directly fit a 8051-compatible bus, because I
didn't read the datasheets. But you could try checking them out. Here's a
link to get you started:
http://www.semiconductors.philips.com/similar/ISP1160BD_01.html

-Antti


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Re: USB Host
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Add an ATmega128 and an AT43USB380.
Let the 80C51 communicate with the AVR using SPI.
Since you  need 64 kB of code and 4 kB of data on an AVR,
you probably will find the 80C51 too small for this.

/Ulf
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Re: USB Host

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Ulf, is there anything in this world for which the AVR is not the ultimate
solution?

--
Nicholas O. Lindan, Cleveland, Ohio
Consulting Engineer:  Electronics; Informatics; Photonics.
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Re: USB Host
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    It's a floor wax _and_ a desert topping!
    
--
Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow!  World War III? No
                                  at               thanks!
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Re: USB Host

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limited
solution?

Yep, lots of applications for ARM as well!
My favorite application for the C51 is road filling in China ;-),
but from time to time, due to peripheral contents it can be the best
solution.
You may disagree, but there are many people that don't like the C51
and don't want to use it. I never see this reaction to the AVR.

Nicholas, to be serious:
The AT43USB380 is a package containing S/W and H/W.
Part of the S/W runs on the chip and another part is a library
which is only available in object form.

Anyone that want to use the chip can only work with chips supported by this
library.
There are also limitations on performance and code size.
I do not think it makes sense to go for any controller with less than 128 kB
memory which rules out the vanilla 8051.
If there is a significant opportunity, then Atmel will port to a new chip
but I do not think that the 80C51 is supported today.

You can add an ARM, a Coldfire, A PowerPC and others to the AT43USB380,
but I believe the AVR is the lowest cost solution offered at the moment.


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Re: USB Host
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Hmmm...
  I've seen the AVR designed out, because there was no larger-code
version in the same package.. [thin family syndrome...]

  Then there is the (usually unprintable) reaction to the AVR where
a) Someone cannot buy a variant because it is now EOL .. :(
b) or the device is on long leadtime, or allocation... :(

You will remember the last AVR allocation supply-cycle, Ulf ?

-jg



Re: USB Host

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I really like the AVRs, speaking as a programmer or for-fun electronic design
hobbyist.

When I did my first professional application on an AVR, an AT90S2313-4PC, I'd
expected it to take a couple of weeks of work to get done and maybe another week
to work through "issues."  This project needed me to operate a front panel for a
power supply and included keeping font definitions and using them for the
display.  There were a number of complex details about the power supply, as it
was a specialized system used for calibrated lamps and required careful ramping
up and down, for example, with feedback in a closed loop control.  User
parameters were allowed and needed to be saved and restored each time the power
was applied.  And lamps needed to have their operating time clocked and
recorded.  Nothing surprising for me, but it was a new processor I'd picked for
this job and I didn't know what I'd be faced with when I got to writing the code
for it.  I actually got it done in 4 days, using assembly, and used the last day
of the week to find the only bug I've yet found (and it's been years in
operation) -- I'd simply mistaken the order in which two bytes needed to be
written to one of the 16-bit latches in one place in the initialization code.
First time I'd ever taken on a new processor with this much ease.  So, I guess
I've found programming in assembly on the AVR very nice.

However, that positive experience was colored by a number of subsequent
experiences.  One is that I have to go though a local FAE (or my distributor,
who will simply go through the FAE anyway) who often then forwards my questions
back to France (in the case of the ARM) -- and it can take several days to get
my first reply back, though it often happened in about 24-36 hours.  But this
1-2 day loop can led to unavoidably protracted discussions.  I can usually live
with this, knowing the situation.  But it is still a point of comparison for me.

With Microchip, for example, I've a long distance phone call I can make and get
hold of some excellent staff and get an answer within minutes, even on complex,
highly narrow and technical questions that aren't entirely disclosed in the
manuals -- detailed logic behavior of functional blocks, for example.  Quite a
difference, when timing is vital.

Some time ago, in a case of regarding Atmel samples when I was wanting to
evaluate their use, I actually ordered two samples from Atmel of a new part
through my local distributor.  In this case, I explained our estimated volumes
and general application area to both the distributor as well as to our local
Atmel FAE, directly.  I had already read that Atmel (on their site) was nearly
ready for sampling on the AT91FR40162-66CI, so although I expected some delay I
didn't expect the 10 months I experienced.  My request letter went to All
American in late February, that year.  The response from Atmel (looking up my
email now to refresh my memory), a few weeks later, said,

   "Atmel's AT91FR40162-66CI will be available as samples
    sometime in April or May."

In April, I was told by my distributor,

   "Atmel came back on the AT91FR40162-66CI and advised that
    samples would be available sometime in May."

On the phone, in late May, I was told that it wouldn't be until late July.  And
then in June, I was told in writing,

   "I was advised this morning that the production schedule
    slipped and the samples will not be available around the
    24th of July."

July became August, August became September, and then in late September, I spoke
again with the FAE after some phone calls on my part in early September.  This
time, the FAE started grilling me even more on our application details and
wanting to know "numbers" and how "certain" I could be of them.  More, he was
now also asking if I really needed them before November.

By this time, I have to admit I wasn't really caring nearly as much.  We were
near the end of September and I had pretty much set the possible use of their
chip aside.  It was still remotely possible we could use it for a different
project, though, so I told him that I'd prefer it before November and disclosed
my frustrations up to this point in time.

Keep in mind that I *had* disclosed to them an expected annual purchase, early
on, of about 5000/yr.  This was a pretty accurate figure, since we were already
shipping those quantities for a version we were replacing.

I finally received the two parts in December, shortly before Christmas.

Needless to say, I've not specified any Atmel parts and I'm not planning to.

In contrast, for example (we use a number of vendors, including TI and Microchip
and Motorola, to name just some), we've had excellent and direct support from
Microchip.  When they fly out, they see us.  When I have questions, I get
through to people who can answer them.  When I've had chip bugs, I get immediate
and excessive efforts to help validate my report and to flush it out in more
detail -- this has happened several times.  When I had problems with their C
compiler (crap that it was), I was able to talk with two of the three active
developers/coders on the project by phone within 24 hours of the request.  It
wasn't denied me. Instead, they consider the situation carefully and I got a
direct line to people who could deal with me, directly.

The point here is that Microchip treated us like a big customer, even though
they knew exactly what we were buying from them.  There was (and is) no question
about our tiny role in their bottom line.  But they made us feel important.  And
that speaks for much, when you aren't important to _their_ bottom line, but when
you really have products that are important to your own bottom line.  And when a
vendor cares about you, you care about them, too.

While I have no problem using Atmel parts for hobbyist work (in fact, I've tubes
of them around here for exactly that reason), I would think several times before
specifying them in a commercial product.  Well, at least if I knew in advance
that the project would be "small potatoes" to them.  I'm sure that Atmel treats
their big customers like the gold they are.  But then, that's just obvious.

Atmel has made us feel exactly like how we impacted their bottom line.  If you
can see _your_ impact in their annual report, you get treated accordingly.  And
if you can't see your impact there, likewise is also true.

This can be important to some.  It is, to me.  This isn't something I bring up
because I feel a mission here.  I like the AVR a lot and I really enjoyed using
the STK500 board, which was provided to me at an excellent price and has served
me well.  The documentation is good, too.  Also, my experiences with programming
on the family is excellent and the products are carried at Digikey in some
quantity.  So there is a lot going for this family of Atmel's.  I don't pause
for a second to consider them in my hobby projects and, in fact, I keep tubes of
them around here for that purpose.

But as far as relationships go, I do not feel that I can count on Atmel to be
there when the chips are down, so to speak.  Not at volumes my company has,
anyway.  I guess it's going to take some effort (on both our parts, I suppose)
to improve the lost trust.  And perhaps I'll see about that some time in the
future when I don't need to rely on being provided some urgent attention.  It
may very well turn out that things are much better.  But I just don't know
because I don't specify their parts in my commercial projects, now.  Luckily,
there are other excellent choices.

Jon

Re: USB Host

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This was regarding the AT91 and the technical support was/is located in France.
I believe I spoke with Jaques on several occasions on the phone, as well.  But
the point remains that whether I wrote them directly or went through my FAE (who
only forwarded the email, at first) there was still the almost "half-the-world"
around issue.  This isn't anyone's fault, at the time.

Atmel just didn't have knowledgeable people for the AT91 in a closer time-zone
and I've no reason to believe that these technical questions were seriously
delayed.  If I gave the impression otherwise, let me correct that now.

But, from my perspective here on the west coast of the US, it was a real issue
that contrasted with support I could get from a manufacturer who was, at most,
only a time zone away from me.

(Regarding the samples, though, I went through the usual channels -- namely, our
distributor and our local Atmel FAE.  I don't recall the FAE or the distributor
suggesting to me that I should bypass them in any way to press for the samples.
They were each quite aware of the situation in hand and I've no reason to
believe that they weren't already doing "their best" to help on this score.)

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It is, for the AVR.  However, as I already pointed out (well, I think) in my
post, I haven't been having technical problems with the AVR.  Instead, I found
it quite easy to use and I hope my post made that quite clear to all.  I really
have not needed any technical support for the AVRs I can get hold of.

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Not sure I follow the point, here.  I my mind these are two, disconnected
phrases and I don't see the connection.  Could you clarify?

Jon

Re: USB Host

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don't
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They may.  But an experience I mentioned that may not be clear and which you do
not deal with is that the FAE on several occasions called me to ask more about
what my volume was likely to be.  As I'd already disclosed details such as the
product concerned, existing product lines and volumes, and a host of other
information, the only question he pounded on was about volume.  Somehow, this
was the salient point at the time about whether or not they would be
forth-coming with the parts, it seemed from the discussions.

Not that he said as much, of course.  But if you were present for the calls, I'm
pretty sure you'd understand exactly why I take this sense from them.

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SAP being?

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That may be so.  Perhaps if this "work" were fully disclosed and transparent so
that I could judge how this affects me for now, it would help some.  But in any
case, I cannot judge anything from being ignorant about what is going on.

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Putting it bluntly, yes.

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Which would now suggest to me that I was properly exposed to the real mindsets
of the real people involved.  In other words, I got a clearer picture of how
Atmel employees see the world, since it wasn't hidden behind some automated
system.

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Care to share more of this with us?

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Perhaps.  But I was in biweekly contact (sometimes, as long as a month, later
one when things were certainly dragging out) with my distributor over those 10
months, who themselves sent emails to Atmel (they told me they were doing this
and I've no reason to imagine otherwise.)

I later found out that there were large customers receiving these parts 6 months
before I saw even one.  I cannot forget this detail in my case, coupled with the
constant return to "numbers" by the FAE, on those occasions we talked.  Look, my
FAE was feeling pretty guilty by the end of September.  That was clear from the
apologies I received.  Yet he also instantly returned to the only question he
had, which was "numbers."  It seemed that this is what he was being asked to
double-check, to me.  So when I discovered the fact that others were receiving
said parts, it put the pieces together as I have recounted them here.  For me,
at least.

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I've no reason to doubt this point.

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Thanks for the response.

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Perhaps, but as I hope I've made clear I don't think that was the entire picture
at the time.  Parts were being shipped to others -- larger 'others' at the time.

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Agreed.  However, this was a case of a project that was to start designing with
prototyping in September, hopefully to resolve the key technical hurdles in
using the AT91 by sometime in December/January, with design of the final product
starting then.  In other words, I already planned for the usual "slip" I
experience.  Also, assuming you accept my assurances (you can check for
yourself, since I've given you the exact part number here) that these parts WERE
shipped as samples to others months before I received my two in December, there
is an issue here that isn't quite as simple as you seem to suggest.

I'm still not convinced that there wasn't an evaluation going on, an intelligent
one with "malice aforethought," to decide whether or not I was worth taking two
parts from a much bigger customer wanting more than a few.  There was some kind
of balancing and weighing going on behind the scenes and I didn't rate high
enough, I think.

Understood, of course.  Perhaps our products didn't deserve a high score on the
Atmel "profit motive" scale.  But I have had experiences with companies who do
manage to make us at least __imagine__ we rate some attention, even if the truth
is still different.

Jon

Re: USB Host
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SAP is a German Company that makes a lot of money from their Business
Management Software.
You have the customer order system, and everything else in SAP
so this runs the company, not management.
Many large corporations use it, but it is a beast that needs to be slowly
tamed
to make it do what you want it to do.
The favorite translation of SAP is "Simply Awful Program".

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mindsets
how
automated system.

I think you mean certain Atmel employees.

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Don't know all the details, but the actual printout of the sample order was
a limiting factor
after SAP was installed. One or more pages per sample order on a slow
printer...

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later
those 10
this

That would not give the disti more info. I had lot of problems myself last
year.
Called the sample dept, and they promised shipping the same week.
Eventually I started copying a VP on mails, and parts started to appear.
About one month ago, I started to see massive shipments coming oout
of the sample dept, and I talked to the Director of AVR and he said
that the problem at the sample department is more or less solved,
but the product lines needs to maintain the stock and they have problems
with SAP as well, due to lack of visibility. They will only find out
when the sample dept is sold out. Once they have good info, I think the
sample situation
is going to improve.

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months

Atmel do sampling in several stages.
------------------------------------
Alpha Site            a few companies world wide.
Beta Site              samples handled by marketing.
                            There is a finite amount of these.
General sampling. samples handled by sample department.

I generally do not have problem getting samples in phase 2, even for smaller
customers
but there is typically a very limited amount.
If you order samples from the sample department then you will find that
there can be considerable delay, because the parts are simply not available
there.
The only one I had significant problems getting hold of last year was the
tiny2313.
Now there seems to be plenty available.

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Would piss me off as well.

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picture
time.

Personally I think 5k AT91FR40162 is quite nice business.
Rather have 10 x 5 k than 1 x 50k because the level of business becomes more
stable.

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with
in
product

Schopenauers Law: Anything takes longer than you think, even if you take
Schopenauers law into account!

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on the
who do
truth

So you have met poor sales guys. If they think your volume is key,
then they should ask that once and tell you once and for all that you wont
get any parts
so you can drop it.
Personally I never promise anything which is not generally sampling.
Based on long experience,I only give best case scenarios on delivery.

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--
Best Regards
Ulf at atmel dot com
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Re: USB Host
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Who ever said there aren't.

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You just have.  I was on the receiving end of a new Atmel design.
You may think it is 'fun to design new chips': I can assure you
it is no fun for your customers when you pointlessly do so.
 
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Oh, dear.  Maybe Atmel should work on supporting present
chips rather than 'having fun'.

--
Nicholas O. Lindan, Cleveland, Ohio
Consulting Engineer:  Electronics; Informatics; Photonics.
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Re: USB Host
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I see this as a reaction to Atmel, more than to the AVR.
Cost reduction of parts is key to future success and can only be
accomplished by shrinking devices. This is true for all companies.
Atmel shrinks the 8051 as well,. is that a reason not to use the 8051?

The shrink can be more or less compatible. An effort is made
to ensure compatability. This is not always achieved, but
the problems in doing the migration is AFAIK always
documented in an app note.

I try to solve the problem for my customers in different ways
and try to influence the product line to change some decisions

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I think the fab in North Tyneside is a good example that
Atmel does want to support present chips.

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/Ulf





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The lowest cost parts (the one Mattel uses) are NOT shrunk.  
At the low end, bonding pads dominate die size.  The lowest
cost parts are from Chinese facttories that buy the old equipment
from those companies that believe in shrinking devices at fire-sale
prices, combine them with cheap labor, and flood the market so that
Atmel and buddies cannot compete at the low end with the products
put out by Winbond. Elan, and SunPlus.





Re: USB Host
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Yes, it does not support 1GB of DRAM and does not run Linux.
It would be surprising that an entire industry would fail to
produce anything which is unavailable with an AVR.

Very few companies deliver standard parts from 1kB to 256kB,
supply it as ASIC for up to 8 MB,
and makes available versions with integrated programmable logic.

The new strategy to let each design team build multiple
compatible parts with mainly changes in memory sizes
is resulting in a quick expansion of the options.

The original question was for a nice device to start with.
I do not see a reason to start with a technology that forces people
spend multiple extra hours to handoptimize C code to bring out
the most of the part just because the architecture does not support
good code practices.
You can get pretty far with the AVR with just a few guidelines.


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Shrinks are a fact of life, but pin compatible parts are normally available.
The window from release of a replacement to the obsolecense
of the predecessor has been on the short side for a few devices.
I think this needs to change, and I think that it will.

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The supply cycle varies, and there may always be trouble.
The question is what conclusions you draw by the fact that a part is sold
out.
The leadtimes are based on the production cycle which is 3-4 months.
If you are interested in getting supply, then you realistically have
to order at least that far in advance to ensure you do get parts.
If you want to have 4 weeks leadtime, then you are taking a risk.
It happened about one year ago, that someone put in an order for
the entire stock of ATmega8s.
Anyone without orders then immediately suffered.
Leadtimes for other parts were not affected at all.
Leadtimes generally go up when there is a capacity problem.
At that time, the Atmel fabs were running at max throughput, and it took
time to sort that out, but with the North Tynside fab and the expansion
of the Rousset factory to 2 x capacity, I think that the time to handle
a sudden increase of demand is significantly reduced.

It did not help that the order processing at that time was more
or less manual. The lesson learned here is the SAP business
system which will make life easier.

They are more reasons not to like Atmel than to not like the AVR.

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My boss sure likes them. Our latest system has up to 21 ATmega128s in each
box.

Peter



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I have a toy design that has a requirement that the microcontroller
and all peripherals (including xtal if one is required) must cost
less than ten cents total, and the vendor muct be able to deliver
100,000 chips per day as bare dies to an assembly plant in China.

Which AVR should I choose?  :)

 


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For 36 Mu/year I am sure you can do a ROM based 0,13u ASIC containing the
AVR.
Even at 10 cents it even meets the minimum business guidelines...
Atmel do die business regularily so if the chip is simple enough, no sweat!

/Ulf






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Looks like your gambit has been accepted, Guy!  Point to über-Atmel.

Jon

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I don't think that an ASIC with an AVR in  it can hit the ten
cent mark.  A 4-bit microcontroller can it the 5 cent mark.


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