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What's the easiest way to get fast USB serial communications from an Atmel SAM microcontroller? I consider fast to be faster than 1 Mb/s.

In my previous projects I've used an FTDI module, but I've had lots of issues with drivers on the Mac. In OS X Mavericks Apple released their own FTDI driver, but it doesn't support non-standard baud rates. Getting users to disable the Apple FTDI driver and then enable the FTDI's own driver is causing too many support issues.

The Atmel software framework comes with a serial driver, but OS X and Linux only support serial ports at standard baud rates and seem to top out at 115.2k.

Are there any other USB protocols that are easy to implement, or an inexpensive stack / driver is available, that let me communicate like a serial port. I just want to read/write streams of bytes, blocks of bytes would be ok too.

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I have used the FT245 chip (now the FT245R) with its bidirectional 8-bit FIFO interface in an FPGA-based project, and it worked quite nicely.

I'm not sure how it interacts with the "standard" OS X and Linux drivers; we used it with the D2XX driver on Windows. As far as the USB host is concerned, it functions just like a serial port, except there's no baud rate generator and no hardware handshaking.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The FTDI drivers for OSX and Linux provide both serialPort (SLOW!!! between requests as it is userspace), they also provide a d2xx interface. I have a nice python module that works on windows and linux (in theory should work in osx but I cannot test it) that allows faster interfacing \$\endgroup\$ – JonRB Aug 22 '14 at 8:54

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