A medical microscope is a specialized microscope designed for examining biological specimens, particularly those relevant to medicine and healthcare. It is a powerful tool used by medical professionals, including doctors, pathologists, microbiologists and researchers to observe tissues, cells and microorganisms at high magnification.

These microscopes typically have features tailored to the specific needs of medical applications, such as adjustable magnification levels, high-resolution optics and various illumination techniques (e.g., brightfield, darkfield, phase contrast, fluorescence) to enhance visibility of different types of samples. Medical microscopes are used in various medical fields, including histology, pathology, microbiology, haematology, and cytology, to aid in diagnosis, research and treatment.

FTDI ICs can be used to connect medical microscopes to a PC which runs custom software to view, manipulate and save the images/videos.

FTDI’s USB to FIFO based ICs are ideal products which can send data over the FIFO interface to the USB interface to be received on a PC running specialised software.

FTDI’s USB Full and High-Speed FIFO ICs are ideal products with FIFO performance noted below:

FTDI Device USB Speed # Channels Asynchronous FIFO Performance Synchronous FIFO Performance
FT245RN Full 1 1 Mbyte/sec NA
FT240X Full 1 1 Mbyte/sec NA
FT232H High 1 8 Mbyte/sec 40 Mbyte/sec
FT2232H High 2 Asynchronous or

1 Synchronous

8 Mbyte/sec 40 Mbyte/sec

(single channel)


If a higher throughput is required, one could then consider FT600/FT601 with 16bit/32bit wide parallel FIFO interface, supporting 2 parallel slave FIFO bus protocols with data bursting rate up to 400MBps! You can also check out the FT601 Demo!


FTDI IC’s have the following key features which make them an ideal candidate for this application:

    • USB Full/High/SuperSpeed connectivity depending on the application requirements.
    • Multiple data interfaces including UART, RS232, RS485, RS222, SPI, I2C, FIFO and GPIO.
    • Entire USB protocol handled on the chip. No USB specific firmware programming required.
    • EEPROM for customization.
    • Data transfer rates (up to): UART (12Mbaud), SPI (52.8Mbps), I2C (6.66Mbit/s), FIFO (Full Speed: 1Mbyte/s, High Speed: 40Mbyte/s, SuperSpeed: 400Mbyte/s).
    • Integrated receive and transmit buffers for high data throughput.
    • FTDI’s royalty-free drivers eliminate the requirement for USB driver development.
    • Low operating current and USB suspend current.
    • Extended operating temperature range: -40°C to 85°C (Industrial), -40°C to +105°C (Automotive).
    • Available in various compact Pb-free from 12 Pin DFN package (RoHS compliant).

The block diagram shows how FTDI’s USB FIFO ICs can be integrated into this typical application.


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