Software gets control of USB power at FTDI

FTDI cuts USB port powerFTDI Chip has added ‘selective suspend’ to its USB driver software to power-down unused USB ports.

The revised drivers have just passed Microsoft certification and are available to download free from the FTDI Chip website. WHQL pass has been achieved for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and Server 2008.

“The USB host can either enable or suspend a port/peripheral as needed via software control, resulting in a marked reduction in the overall power consumption,” said the firm. “This capability can be employed for controlling USB ports that are configured together as part of a hub structure, so that it is possible to access particular peripherals or, conversely, power them down when they are not required to be active.”

Applications are expected to include card readers and biometric scanners on laptop PCs, with further possibilities in building automation, environmental monitoring and industrial control systems, said FTDI.

“By providing it as a standard feature we feel that many applications can benefit, especially considering the growing number of distributed systems with sensing capabilities, like the internet of things, where power consumption is key and where having the software capability to activate/deactivate subsystems can have large impact on power budgets.”

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