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Can I Use Visual Basic with the Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter to Run a Data Exchange with an External Board?

Question from the Customer:

I am looking into purchasing the Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter for computer communication with a microcontroller on an external board for data exchange. I am planning on using a Visual Basic platform to develop an easier customer interface to access the information.

  • Can I use Visual Basic with the Aardvark adapter?
  • Are there program examples available?
Response from Technical Support:

Thanks for your questions! You can write and read I2C and SPI data with the Aardvark adapter using Control Center Software, Flash Center Software, and Aardvark Software API. For your setup, we recommend using the Aardvark Software API, which supports Visual Basic. The Aardvark API gives you access to all the functions of the Aardvark adapter, and you can write a custom program for your specifications. The API comes with support for multiple operating systems (Windows, Linux, and Mac) and multiple programming languages (C, C#, Python, .NET, VB.NET, and VB6 – 32- and 54-bit). Examples programs are provided in the Aardvark API package, which includes the following:

  • aai2c_eeprom - read/write an I2C serial EEPROM
  • aaspi_eeprom - read/write to an SPI serial EEPROM
  • aagpio - run GPIO tests
Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter Figure 1: Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter

For information about the Aardvark API commands, please refer to section 5 of the Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter User Manual.

For more speed and flexibility, you may want to check out our latest I2C/SPI product: the Promira Serial Platform, It offers:

  • Integrated level shifting provides voltages from 0.9 to 3.3 volts without an accessory board.
  • High-speed USB connectivity to the host system provides high performance for benchtop programming, testing, and emulation.
  • Ethernet connectivity is enables remote control for automated operations.
  • Provides 200 mA of power - power your device with easier connectivity.
  • Promira Software API for custom setups and specifications.
Promira Serial Platform Figure 2: Promira Serial Platform

When used with the I2C Active - Level 1 Application, the Promira platform supports high speed I2C programming, high performance debugging, and superior emulation for your I2C protocol needs. I2C programming speeds with the Promira platform are twice as fast as those of the Aardvark adapter.

For the SPI bus, using the SPI Active - Level 1 Application with the Promira platform supports clock speeds of up to 12.5 MHz for master and 8 MHz for slave functionality. Over eight times faster than the Aardvark adapter, the Promira platform supports faster programming for debugging and emulation of SPI devices.

Additional resources that you may find helpful include the following:

We hope this answers your question. If you have other questions about our host adapters or other Total Phase products, feel free to email us at sales@totalphase.com, or if you already own one of our devices and have a technical question, please submit a request for technical support.