AI Control

Using USB in conjunction with AI (Artificial Intelligence) and industrial control systems is an emerging field that combines the flexibility and standardization of USB with the advanced capabilities of AI for industrial automation.


Here’s an overview of how USB can be integrated with AI and industrial control.


Data Acquisition and Sensor Integration

USB can be used to connect various sensors and data acquisition devices to industrial control systems. These sensors can collect data such as temperature, pressure, humidity and motion which can then be processed by AI algorithms to optimize industrial processes.


    • USB Sensors

Temperature sensors, humidity sensors, motion detectors etc., connected via USB.


    • AI Processing

AI algorithms analyze the sensor data to predict equipment failures, optimize energy usage or improve production quality.


Edge Computing Devices

USB can interface with edge computing devices that perform AI processing at the edge of the network, closer to the data source. This reduces latency and bandwidth usage, enabling real-time decision-making and control in industrial environments.


    • Edge Devices

Small form-factor computers or AI modules (like NVIDIA Jetson Nano) connected via USB.


    • AI Capabilities

Real-time image recognition, anomaly detection and predictive maintenance.


Human-Machine Interfaces (HMIs)

USB is commonly used to connect HMIs, such as touchscreens and control panels, to industrial control systems. AI can enhance HMIs by providing advanced features like voice recognition, gesture control and predictive suggestions to operators.


    • HMI Devices

Touchscreens, tablets and other input devices connected via USB.


    • AI Enhancements

Voice-activated commands, predictive text and smart alerts.


Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and USB Modules

PLCs are widely used in industrial control systems. USB modules can be used to expand the capabilities of PLCs by adding AI processing units or connecting to external AI platforms.


    • USB Modules for PLCs

USB interfaces for adding AI co-processors or connecting to cloud-based AI services.


    • AI Applications

Improved control strategies, fault detection and process optimization.


Robotics and Automation

USB can be used to interface with robotic components, such as cameras, grippers and sensors, which are crucial for automation. AI algorithms can enhance robotic systems by enabling advanced capabilities like machine vision, autonomous navigation and adaptive control.


    • Robotic Components

Cameras, LIDAR sensors and motor controllers connected via USB.


    • AI Integration

Machine vision for quality inspection, path planning for autonomous robots and adaptive control for dynamic environments.


Integrating USB with AI and industrial control systems offers numerous benefits, including enhanced data acquisition, real-time processing, improved human-machine interaction and advanced robotics.  This combination leverages the simplicity and ubiquity of USB with the transformative power of AI to create smarter, more efficient, and more responsive industrial environments.


The FT2232H is a USB 2.0 High Speed (480Mb/s) to UART / FIFO IC. It has the capability of being configured in a variety of industry standard serial or parallel interfaces. The FT2232H has the following advanced features:

    • Single chip USB to dual serial / parallel 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.
    • Dual Multi-Protocol Synchronous Serial Engine (MPSSE) to simplify synchronous serial protocol (USB to JTAG, I2C, SPI or bit-bang) design.
    • Dual independent UART or FIFO or MPSSE ports.
    • RS232/RS422/RS485 UART Transfer Data Rate up to 12Mbaud. (RS232 Data Rate limited by external level shifter).
    • USB to Asynchronous FIFO transfer data rate up to 8 Mbyte/Sec.
    • Single channel Synchronous FIFO mode for transfers up to 40 Mbytes/Sec
    • CPU-style FIFO interface mode simplifies microcontroller interface design.
    • 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.
    • Configurable I/O drive strength (4, 8, 12 or 16mA) and slew rate.
    • Supports bus powered, self-powered and high-power bus powered USB configurations.
    • +1.8V (chip core) and +3.3V I/O interfacing (+5V Tolerant).
    • Extended -40°C to 85°C industrial operating temperature range.
    • +3.3V single supply operating voltage range.


The FT2232H can be used to transfer data from a PLC (programmable logic control) module to an AI agent that will respond in real time to any problems encountered. Here is a simple block diagram of how the FT2232H can be used in a smart factory application:


Recommended ICs:

FT232H / FT2232H / FT4232H

FT232HP / FT2232HP / FT4232HP