Industrial Control DesignLine Blog
With the announcement of two new families of programmable system on
chip (PSoC) devices, along with a new development environment (see
article here), Cypress is looking to
change the way engineers design systems.
PSoC 1 created a bit of a stir when originally launched based around
the proprietary M8C processor, but with the addition of two new
processor options, the potential market has significantly increased.
The choice of the still popular 8051 core, along with the increasingly
popular ARM Cortex-M3, has also created a migration path for the system
designers that are already acquainted with those particular cores.
The other part of the announcement is the introduction of Cypress' new
PSoC Creator software. This visual programming tool makes it easier for
the SoC user to configure their device as seen in this video. Many an embedded
system designer has indicated that the design tools are a large part of
the processor decision making process (see the Embedded Market Survey webinar).
The decision to improve the PSoC design software is a good
These devices fit within the system-on-chip continuum in a very unique
place. Mixed-signal FPGAs are becoming more commonplace and are a good
solution for those looking for a complete programmability. On
the other end of the spectrum, microcontrollers and other SoC devices
are available in many different configurations. The new PSoC families
position themselves in between these two extremes. A quick analysis
early PSoC users will be designers who know they want either an 8051 or
ARM Cortex-M3 core with diverse--and changing--analog requirements.
Initial costumers are in the automotive and industrial--markets that
are traditionally not as concerned with low power. If these devices can
really compete with microcontrollers on analog and power capability
(Cypress claims a 200nA hibernation current) they may also achieve
design wins in portable devices.
The PSoC devices and design software do create an interesting package
when put together, and may truly signal a change in the way that
systems are designed.