Latest PSoCs bring more resources to 8-bit world - Embedded.com

Latest PSoCs bring more resources to 8-bit world

NUREMBERG, GERMANY—Cypress Semiconductor has expanded its popular PSoC (programmable system on chip) product line with a new series that fills a gap in its lineup between the low and high end of devices of its PSoC-4 family. The PSoC-4S series targets replacement of 8-bit processors in existing as well as new embedded designs.

“There are two main reasons for not migrating in the 8-bit market,” said Cypress' senior product marketing manager Jim Davis in an interview with EE Times. “One is a lack of resources at the price point desired. The other is a need to replace proprietary protocols, hardware accelerators, and the like when migrating.” The PSoC-4S series addresses both of those issues, Davis added.

In terms of price, the 4S series pricing ranges from $0.25 to around $1 per unit in volume. For this the developer gets an ARM Cortex-M0 32-bit processor, 16k to 32k bytes of flash memory, up to 36 GPIOs, and Cypress' 4th-generation CapSense capacitive sensing controller, along with 9 programmable analog blocks and 7 programmable digital blocks. The programmability of the PSoC-4S devices means they can capture most of the external devices and proprietary accelerators used in older designs, saving power and board space as well as achieving overall cost comparability with 8-bit systems.

The 4th-generation CapSense controller helps replace mechanical buttons and sliders with robust capacitive sensing. As many as 36 IO lines, including buttons, sliders, and proximity sensing (including mutual capacitance for sensing liquid level) are achievable at 3µA per sensor with more than a 300:1 signal to noise ratio. The sensors meet IEC610001 standards for EMC with three times the noise immunity and liquid tolerance of the prior generation. At the same time, Davis added, they achieved a 50% reduction in power consumption.

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