The micro-DRIVE (µDRIVE-µSD-G1) is an extremely compact high-performance “Embedded Disk Drive” module that can be added easily to any microcontroller design that requires a DOS-compatible file and data storage system. Most microcontrollers have small and limited on-chip memory. For applications that require large volumes of data, the micro-DRIVE integrates the 4D-Systems GOLDELOX-DOS chip onto a tiny drop-in-module. A simple serial interface is all that is required to take away the burden of low-level design that otherwise would be required for the host controller.
The micro-DRIVE module utilizes off-the-shelf removable microSD memory cards of up to 2GB capacity, or microSDHC cards of higher capacity with limitations (see below). A handful of straightforward commands provides direct access to the memory card for storing and retrieving any size or type of data. Access to the card can be at (FAT-based) file levels or at raw disk byte levels. Applications can range from data logging, program storage, music files, image and video files, or any type of general-purpose data storage. So, next time your microcontroller application requires file/data storage, this micro-DRIVE may be the ideal solution.
The pictures to the right show a microSD card installed, but one is not included.
Using microSDHC Cards The micro-DRIVE module is capable of having a microSDHC card up to 32GB inserted. However, due to the nature of the system, not all of this can be addressed. If using FAT, then a max of 4GB can be accessed and addressed. If using RAW, then a max of 8GB can be accessed and addressed. If using a combination of FAT and RAW, then a max of 12GB can be accessed and addressed.
Embedded MicroSD Storage Device Features
- General-purpose data storage device with a simple serial interface that can be added to any design in a wide range of embedded applications
- DOS-compatible file access (FAT16) as well as low-level access to card memory
- On-board microSD memory card interface and adapter
- Accommodates off-the-shelf microSD removable memory cards up to 2GB capacity or microSDHC up to 32GB (max 12GB addressable; see note above)
- Simple serial commands provide full read/write access to the card
- Easy 5-pin interface to any host device: VCC, TX, RX, GND, RESET
- Serial interface (TTL levels) with auto-baud feature from 300 to 256K baud rates
- Green LED Power and Memory Card detect indicator
- Red LED Drive data access indicator
- 3.6V to 5.5V range operation
- Tiny footprint: 14.9 × 18.9 × 3.5 mm
Embedded MicroSD Storage Device Resources
- uDRIVE Data Sheet
- uDRIVE Command Set
- Firmware PmmC file
- 4D Workshop4 IDE Tool: This is a Windows-based software tool is used to program the PmmC file into the GOLDELOX-DOS processor. It also tests all of the high-level file-handling capability and the raw byte-level read/write options. For raw read/write, the ‘Protected FAT’ checkbox needs to be unchecked. You also can do random tests, available under the ‘Test’ tab.
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