Pachinko Solutions
Technical Information
Bus Controllers
The bus controller serves as an interface between most standard parallel-bus-microcontrollers/microprocessors and the serial I2C bus, and allows the parallel bus system to communicate bi-directionally with the I2C bus. This is commonly referred to as the bus master. Communication with the I2C bus is carried out on a byte-wise basis using interrupt or polled handshake and controls all of the I2C bus specific sequences, protocol, arbitration, and timing.
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LED Controllers
LED controllers/drivers are most commonly used for blinking, dimming, and color mixing LEDs in I2C, SMBus, IPMI, and PMBus applications. Using a separate I2C LED controller limits bus traffic and frees up the I2C Master (MCU, MPU, DSP, chipset, etc.) timer. Other specialized uses include operating number displays such as a 7-segment block or driving a photo flash LED in applications such as mobile phones and PDAs. Other interfaces may also be available including serial.
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Bus Buffers
New bus buffers from NXP Semiconductors overcome the previous system capacitance limitation of 400pF. These bus buffers allow designers more freedom in their design to expand the use of the I2C or SMBus:
  • More I2C devices than the 400pF maximum allowed by the I2C specification
  • Long bus wiring in point-to-point or multi-point applications
  • Different operating supply voltages or logic voltage levels within one system
  • Opto-isolation for safety or due to difference in ground plane
  • Isolating a section of a system that has lost its power supply
  • Insertion of unpowered cards into an active I2C bus on multi-point backplanes like those found in CompactPCI, VME, or AdvancedTCA systems
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Stepper Motor Controller
A stepper motor is a digital version of the direct current electric motor. The rotor moves in discrete steps as commanded, rather than rotating continuously like a conventional motor. When stopped but the windings are energized, a stepper (short for stepper motor) holds its load steady with a holding torque and has full torque at standstill. With steppers, precise positioning and repeatability of movement are achievable. They offer excellent response to starting/stopping/reversing. They are reliable since there are no contact brushes in the motor. Therefore the life of the motor is simply dependant on the life of the mechanical bearing. Since the motors respond to digital input pulses, open-loop control of the motor is possible, making the motor simpler and less costly to control. Due to these reasons steppers are extensively used in many applications including gaming, robotics, industrial control, toys, medical equipment, door control, disc drives, printers, etc.
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