Environmental Control

Environmental control in a smart home refers to the ability to monitor and manage various environmental factors like temperature, humidity, air quality and lighting for optimal comfort, energy efficiency and safety. Here’s a breakdown of what it typically includes:

    • Temperature Control:

FT4232H device has 4 channels which can be configured as UART/SPI/I2C/JTAG/FIFO interface independent; an environment control system can read data from temperature sensor through one channel of FT4232H device and control air conditioning (HVAC) systems through another channel of FT4232H device.

    • Humidity Monitoring:

Environment control system can detect humidity levels from sensor through one channel of FT4232H device and trigger actions such as turning on dehumidifiers or adjusting HVAC systems to maintain comfortable humidity levels through another channel of FT4232H device.

    • Air Quality Management:

Environment control system can monitor indoor air quality parameters like pollutants (e.g., VOCs, CO2, particulate matter) through one channel of FT4232H device and trigger action like turning on and off air purifiers through another channel of FT4232H device.

    • Lighting Control:

Smart lighting systems allow users to adjust brightness, colour and scheduling of lights using voice commands. The voice command can be transferred to digital data and sent to an environment control system through one channel of FT4232H device, then the environmental control system control the smart lighting systems through another channel of FT4232H device.

    • Energy Efficiency:

Environmental control systems often include energy monitoring and management features to track energy usage and optimize energy consumption. This can involve scheduling energy-intensive tasks during off-peak hours, adjusting HVAC settings based on occupancy, or integrating renewable energy sources like solar panels. All above tasks can be implemented by FT4232H device.

FTDI products can be integrated into an environment control system to read data from sensors via various IO interface and control different equipment.


The example below uses FTDI’s FT4232HL USB 2.0 bridge IC which has the following key features, making it an ideal candidate for an environmental control system to control the house environment:

    • Single chip USB to quad serial ports with a variety of configurations.
    • Entire USB protocol handled on the chip. No USB specific firmware programming required.
    • USB 2.0 High Speed (480Mbits/Second) and Full Speed (12Mbits/Second) compatible.
    • Two Multi-Protocol Synchronous Serial Engine (MPSSE) on channel A and channel B, to simplify synchronous serial protocol (USB to JTAG, I2C, SPI or bit-bang) design.
    • RS232/RS422/RS485 UART transfer data rate up to 12Mbaud. (RS232 Data Rate limited by external level shifter).
    • FTDI’s royalty-free Virtual Com Port (VCP) and Direct (D2XX) drivers eliminate the requirement for USB driver development in most cases.
    • Support for USB suspend and resume conditions via PWREN#, SUSPEND# and RI# pins.
    • Highly integrated design includes +1.8V LDO regulator for VCORE, integrated POR function and on chip clock multiplier PLL (12MHz – 480MHz).
    • FTDI FT232B style, asynchronous serial UART interface option with full hardware handshaking and modem interface signals.
    • Fully assisted hardware or X-On / X-Off software handshaking.
    • UART Interface supports 7/8 bit data, 1/2 stop bits, and Odd/Even/Mark/Space/No Parity.
    • Auto-transmit enable control for RS485 serial applications using TXDEN pin.
    • Operational configuration mode and USB Description strings configurable in external EEPROM over the USB interface.
    • Low operating and USB suspend current.
    • Configurable I/O drive strength (4,8,12 or 16mA) and slew rate.
    • +1.8V (chip core) and +3.3V I/O interfacing (+5V Tolerant).
    • Extended -40ºC to 85ºC industrial operating temperature range.
    • Compact 64-LD Lead Free LQFP/LQFN and 56-LD VQFN packages.


The block diagram below shows at a high level how FTDI’s FT4232H be integrated into an environmental control system.


Recommended ICs:

FT4232HQ / FT4232HL / FT4232H-56Q