SAN JOSE, Calif. – Element 14 is taking orders for a new, low-power PSoC development board. The PSoC 4 Pioneer Kit from Cypress Semiconductor costs $25 and comes with the Creator integrated design environment.
The fourth generation of Cypress’ programmable SoC family -- announced in March -- packs an ARM Cortex M0 core with low-power characteristics to address the wide variety of applications served by 8-, 16- and 32-bit microcontrollers. It sports a variety of programmable analog and digital blocks that can be tailored for use in field-oriented control, motor control, temperature sensing, security access, portable medical and other applications
PSoC 4 can keep power leakage to 150 nA while retaining SRAM memory, programmable logic and the ability to wake up from an interrupt. In stop mode, it consumes 20 nA while maintaining wake-up capability. It also allows analog and digital operation from an operating range spanning 1.71 to 5.5 volts.
The device includes the latest version of Cypress’ CapSense capacitive-touch sensing technology claiming a new level in noise immunity. Cypress plans to announce the availability of new PSoC 4 families in the first half of 2013 and the PSoC 4 Pioneer Kit by the end of April 2013.
The board includes Arduino Shield and Digilent Pmod compatible connectors, enabling links to a variety of third-party expansion cards. It also includes a CapSense slider, an RGB LED and a user button. A PSoC 5LP device on the board serves as a programmer and debugger.
The Creator IDE provides a graphical interface to drag and drop into a design as many as 100 Cypress PSoC components, pre-characterized, analog and digital IP blocks. The combination of the programmable part, IDE and IP blocks aim to simplify and speed the design process and reduce costs.
David Shen, Group CTO at Premier Farnell, the parent company of Element 14, said the kit is “flexible, cost-effective and expandable with open-source architectures.”
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.