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  • FT232RL – USB UART Interface Device

    FT232RL device package

    FT232RL device package

    FT232RL schematic symbol

    FT232RL schematic symbol

    Along with numerous other fields, modern computer systems have also revolutionized the communications technology. A general purpose computer system is capable of interfacing with a number of different devices and hence speaks a number of protocols. Often there is a need for conversion from one type of communication protocol to another type of protocol. USB and serial UART are very popular and widely used data transfer and communication protocols in computer systems. A USB UART interface is an integrated circuit chip which converts USB protocol data to UART protocol data.

    What is FT232RL?

    The FT232RL is a modern integrated USB UART interface device manufactured by FTDI Ltd. This USB to serial UART interface comes with an optional clock generator output and the latest FTDIChip-ID security dongle feature. The integrated chip also features synchronous and asynchronous bit bang modes. The device also features built-in EEPROM, clock circuit, and USB resistors which greatly simplifies the USB to serial UART circuit design process. The internally generated clock signal of 6/12/24/48MHz can be used for driving the external microcontrollers and digital circuits. Each FT232RL chip has a unique identifier burnt into the device memory which can be read over the USB. This unique identifier can be used to implement a dongle based security feature which protects the customer data from getting copied without consent.   

    Pin Configuration                

    The pins of FT232RL are divided into several functional groups. The description of each group is provided as following:

    Pin number Pin group description
    15,16 USB interface pins
    4,7,18,21,17,20,25 Power and ground pins
    8,19,24,26,27,28 Clock signal and external device reset pins
    1,2,3,5,6,9,10,11,12,13,14,22,23 UART interface and CBUS interface pins


    • Single chip USB UART interface solution
    • No need for USB-specific firmware programming
    • UART supports 7/8 data bits, 1/2 stop bits and even/odd/no parity bit
    • X-On / X-Off software handshaking
    • Data transfer rates from 300 Baud to 300 Mega Baud
    • RS-422, RS-485, RS-422 and TTL serial data transfer support
    • Royalty free FTDI VCP and D2XX drivers
    • Built-in support for event characters and line break condition
    • FTDIChip-ID security dongle feature
    • Configurable CBUS I/O pins
    • Support for transmit and receive LED drive signals
    • Internal clock signal can be used for driving external MCU or FPGA
    • High data throughput due to FIFO buffers
    • Synchronous and asynchronous bit bang modes
    • Integrated 1024 bit EEPROM for storing VID, PID and serial number
    • Pre-programmed unique USB identifier
    • Support for USB suspend and resume
    • Integrated 3.3V USB I/O level converter
    • Integrated USB resistors
    • Fully integrated internal clock with no need for external oscillator
    • No need for external RC filter due to integrated AVCC supply filter
    • Supports USB bulk transfer mode
    • Low USB bandwidth consumption
    • Available in RoHS compliant 28 pin SSOP and QFN-32 packages


    The FT232RL USB to serial UART interface has following common applications:

    • USB to RS-232 / RS-422 / RS-485 converters
    • Interfacing the legacy peripherals with USB
    • USB data transfer in cellular and cordless phones
    • Interfacing the MCU and FPGA based systems with USB
    • USB smart card readers
    • USB flash card readers and writers
    • Interfacing serial industrial instrumentation systems with USB
    • PC to USB interface in set top boxes
    • USB wireless modems
    • USB based security dongles


    The main technical specifications of the FT232R chip are listed as following:

    • Data transfer rate: 300 to 3 MegaBaud
    • Receive buffer size: 256 bit
    • Transmit buffer size: 128 bit
    • FTDI drivers: VCP, D2XX
    • Clock signal: 6/12/24/48 MHz
    • Bit bang modes: synchronous, asynchronous, CBUS
    • Internal EEPROM: 1024 bit
    • CMOS drive output: 5/3.3/2.8/1.8V
    • Integrated supply filter: AVCC
    • Packages: 28 pin SSOP, QFN-32


    FT232RQFT232RQ-Reel, FT232RQ-Tube; 

    How FT232RL work?

    One of the most common applications of FT232RL chip is the USB to RS-232 converter. The RS-232 is a very popular serial communication protocol which is widely used in industrial instrumentation devices, commercial embedded systems and computer systems. There are many industrial and commercial devices which do not have a built-in USB slot and which need to communicate with other devices via USB interface. The FT232RL is the best solution for such situations.

    The application circuit diagram of an FT232RL based USB to RS-232 converter is presented as following:

    FT232RL based USB to RS232 application circuit

    FT232RL based USB to RS232 application circuit

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