Cypress enters wearables, IoT fray with BLE PSoCs - Embedded.com

Cypress enters wearables, IoT fray with BLE PSoCs

At Electronica in Munich, Germany, this week, Cypress Semiconductor   introduced two Bluetooth Low Energy optimized Programmable SoCs for simplifying the design of sensor-based systems for the Internet of Things.

Cypress is demonstrating the solutions in Hall A5, Stand 520 at Electronica. The new PSoC 4 BLE and PRoC BLE solutions are currently sampling with production expected in December 2014.

According to John Weil, Vice President of PSoC Marketing, the new PSoC 4 BLE Programmable System-on-Chip   (Figure 1 ) delivers what the company thinks is an easy to use and easy to integrate way of additing IoT capabilities to a range of applications in home automation, healthcare equipment, sports and fitness monitors, and other wearable smart devices.

Figure 1. PSoC 4 BLE Programmable System-on-Chip

The new BLE optimized devices , he said, integrate a Bluetooth Smart radio, a high-performance 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 core along with ultra-low-power modes, programmable analog blocks, and Cypress’s CapSense capacitive touch-sensing building blocks.

In addition, he said, the aim with the PRoC BLE Programmable Radio-on-Chip (Figure 2 ).is to provide a turnkey solution for wireless Human Interface Devices (HIDs), remote controls and applications requiring pure play wireless connectivity.

Figure 2. PRoC BLE Programmable Radio-on-Chip

“Touch-based HID devices are gaining popularity across nearly all applications and industries,” Weil said. “Most of these devices also use proprietary 2.4 GHz wireless technology.

“However, going forward, Bluetooth Low Energy (a.k.a. Bluetooth Smart) is expected to become the dominant technology for wireless HIDs. This is supported by the fact that most new PCs and laptops shipping today are Bluetooth 4.0 compatible. As a result, an estimated 500 Mu PCs and laptops will be Bluetooth Smart ready by 2016. “

The new BLE optimized devices , he said, integrate a Bluetooth Smart radio, a high-performance 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 core along with ultra-low-power modes, programmable analog blocks, and Cypress’s CapSense capacitive touch-sensing building blocks.

PSoC 4 BLE adds a Bluetooth Smart radio to the flexible PSoC 4 architecture and its integrated programmable analog front-end for sensor interfaces and programmable digital peripherals for glue logic and control.

“We think this combination delivers a compelling, customized one-chip solution to streamline design of Internet of Things applications,” Weil said, adding that to further accelerate time-to-market, both the PSoC 4 BLE and PRoC BLE have an on-chip balun that simplifies antenna design while reducing board size and system cost.

“Designers looking to create Bluetooth Smart products currently must use software tools from multiple vendors and develop complex firmware to meet wireless specifications,” he said.

“We have made a great deal of effort to simplify the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol stack and profile configuration by also developing a new royalty-free, GUI-based BLE Component—a free embedded IC within PSoC represented by an icon.”

Weil it can be dragged and dropped into designs using Cypress’s PSoC Creator integrated design environment (IDE). “Alternatively, users of Eclipse and other ARM-based tools can customize their own Bluetooth Low Energy solutions on PSoC Creator and export the design to their preferred IDE,” he said.

As part of its PSoC BLE rollout, the compay has already integrated application details for its BLE Bluetooth Low Energy Development Kits and Reference Designs into the company's PSoC Creator.

The CY8CKIT-042-BLE Development Kitgives users easy access to the Cypress BLE devices, while maintaining the design footprint from the PSoC 4 Pioneer kit. The development kit includes a USB BLE dongle that pairs with the CySmart master emulation tool, converting a designer’s Windows PC into a Bluetooth LE debug environment.

Weil said Cypress is also providing additional design support with multiple development kits and with FCC-certified BLE Modules. PRoC BLE is supported by the CY5672 PRoC BLE Remote Control Reference Design Kit and the CY5682 PRoC BLE Touch Mouse Reference Design Kit, which provide production-ready implementations of a Bluetooth Low Energy or Bluetooth Smart touch remote control and mouse, respectively.

The remote control has a trackpad to detect two- and one-finger gestures and includes a built-in microphone to capture and stream voice data to the host device, while the touch mouse reference design includes buttons which map to common user interface shortcuts for Windows 8.

To learn more about the Cypress BLE approach to wearable and Internet of Things design, go to “The role of Bluetooth Low Energy in wearable IoT designs,” by Richa Dham and Pushhek Madaan on Embedded.com.  

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