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abecedarian

Anyone played with the Cypress PSoC's yet?

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I played with them a little bit this past spring when they introduced the $4 PSOC4 developer board.  They are a nice bit of kit but the Windows-only development system is a deal-breaker for me.  Even if you are a Windows user, you are essentially forced to use their editor as external editor support sucks.

 

I wouldn't mind doing my hardware configuration under windows if I could do software development elsewhere.  The hardware configuration tools generate C code so there is no reason for this not to be possible.  I actually had a hour-long conference call with some of the lead developers on this, and they agreed that this should not be a big deal since they use GCC under the hood.  The only catch is that Cypress does some magic hand-waving in the link stage, and this would need ported  away from Windows.  They did express some interest in implementing this, but it never went anywhere.  My interest in the PSOC never went anywhere as a result.

 

But if you prefer Windows and don't mind using their IDE you might like them.  They are certainly worth checking out.  You can't beat the $4 development board, and even if you never use the PSOC it is still worth $4 just for the USB-Serial dongle.

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I haven't yet but I have plans. PSoC's UDB is perfect for WS281x/APA10x controllers.

 

That was one of my intended purposes for them as well.  I would have been all over the PSOC4 if I could take that UDB configuration and do the rest of my software development under OS/X.

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I was curious about what anyone had actually accomplished with them, and what their opinions of them were.

I'm pretty much a Windows only user so the environment isn't an issue.

 

I've got a dozen other things on the table so what's a few more? ;)

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Yes, I did (and its still my preferred prototyping platform). But first I should add that its perfectly possible to use Keil, IAR or Eclipse for the software development part, so you are not bound to the editor of PSoC Creator. Linux support is still bad, though :( (I use a VM with XP in it)

 

My first project, several years ago, was a combined analog-digital scope. 2 analog channels, 8 digital inputs, 1MSpS, up to 48kbyte storage (so 16 samples for everything). Digital triggers where based on bit-state with masks. Analog triggers where with configurable trigger level and slope and edge direction, and they could be combined with the digital triggers. Analog channels also had a PGA with up to 50x gain. Best of all: this was still only a single PSoC5, and its done in hardware completely (so the software just needed to set up the parameters and wait for the result). For the UI I used a GLCD and CapSense-buttons. (I even did a video on it, showing how it works and build)

 

The biggest change in development with PSoC is to think more in hardware than in software. Many problems can be solved much easier and effective when using some of the hardware blocks (or by programming one of the UDBs).

 

Another project I did is a reciprocal frequency counter. That one is also done completely in hardware, somethings that also not possible with other MCUs (one needs not only two independent counters, but also some small amount of logic between them)

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I want to get a PSoC 5LP kit... the one with the Cortex M CPU. I think I can build an MSK direct-conversion SoC for the LowFER band with it. LowFER is a boutique thing, so the relatively high price of the PSoC is just fine.

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