New design tools enable quick development of iPod/iPhone accessories -

New design tools enable quick development of iPod/iPhone accessories

A pair of releases crossed my desk this week, and they were striking similar and came from two competitors. Both are aimed at designers of iPhone and iPod accessories. One is from Cypress Semiconductor, while the second if from Microchip Technology.

Cypress introduced a development platform based on its PSoC 3 architecture. Designers can use Cypress's new CY8CKIT-023 PSoC expansion board kit, which is a plug-in board to the company's CY8CKIT-001 kit, to streamline design of innovative accessories. The kit leverages the iPhone OS operating system and the corresponding iPhone SDK (software development kit) to provide a two-way communication interface between apps from Apple's App Store and corresponding accessories.

The PSoC-based development platform enables highly-integrated modular design of functions such as capacitive touch-sensing, and LCD segment drive for traditional iPhone and iPod accessories such as audio docks and speakers, chargers, and automotive products. The platform also permits accessories that can leverage the 480 x 320 touchscreen display and other features of the iPhone and iPod touch. Potential markets for these accessories include health and wellness, point-of-sale, RFID, and diagnostics and instrumentation tools.

Details on the new kit and a video demonstration are available.

Microchip has also released three development kits that enable the rapid design of accessories for iPod and iPhone using the company's PIC microcontrollers (MCUs). The kits provide examples of the hardware and software required to implement applications, such as digital-audio sound systems, docking stations and a multitude of new accessories that can leverage the infrastructure for iPod and iPhone.

Microchip also provides a no-cost-license software library to support the development of these accessories. The library lets designers easily interface their application with the iPod or iPhone, which speeds time to market for their end-products.

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