Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE:CY), today introduced Version 2.1 of PSoC Express(TM), the innovative development tool for PSoC(R) (Programmable System on Chip(TM)) mixed-signal arrays that dramatically simplifies embedded design. The new release includes third-party development capabilities that allow software developers to write modules for specific functions. It also adds many new device drivers that designers can select to easily implement functions within a PSoC device, including 7-segment displays, thermocouples, accelerometers, I2C remote monitor and control devices, distance sensors, and ambient light sensors.
PSoC Express, introduced in 2005, is the first easy-to-use development tool that allows system engineers to develop microcontroller-based designs without any Assembly language or C programming. By operating at a higher level of abstraction and not requiring firmware development, PSoC Express enables new designs to be created, simulated and programmed to the targeted PSoC device in hours or days instead of in weeks or months. With built-in support for portability, seamless multi-processing, design visualization and a rich content library, the designs can be created faster and with higher reliability using PSoC Express.
PSoC Express 2.1 also adds a new level of integration with Cypress’s full-featured PSoC Designer(TM) software, allowing users to complete designs exclusively at a high-level (using only PSoC Express), combine high-level and low-level design (start with PSoC Express and complete with PSoC Designer), or develop exclusively at the machine-level (using only PSoC Designer). Other new features include user definable pins and memory map, a state machine creator, multi-object move capability, and the ability to duplicate and rename circuits.
“PSoC Express introduced a revolutionary new design paradigm, allowing application experts to complete designs without needing firmware development skills,” said George Saul, vice president of Cypress’s PSoC Business Unit. “Version 2.1 takes this ease of use to a new level, providing seamless design integration with PSoC Designer that allows designers of all abilities to get the full benefits of the flexible PSoC architecture while saving valuable design time. The benefits multiply with each additional design, since designs are easily updated and ported to a different embedded target using either the same or different input and output devices.”
With PSoC Express, designers work within their areas of application expertise, defining a custom solution by choosing input and output devices from a catalog, and then logically linking them to define system behavior. For example, a user can select temperature sensors, voltage inputs, fans, LEDs, and then define temperature regions for fan operation, voltage monitor thresholds and “sequence-on” logic. Within PSoC Express the designer is able to verify designs through simulation, then generate and download the device-programming file. The tool allows users to target the design to any of Cypress’s PSoC devices. It also creates customized project documentation including a datasheet with register map, interface schematics, and bill of materials. Without writing any microcontroller code, designers implement reliable, custom applications faster than they can write the requirements.
Oliver Bailey, noted consultant and author of multiple books on embedded design, said, “PSoC Express is the first and only tool that makes designing embedded applications possible for users of all skill levels. Version 2.1 now extends that capability and allows software developers to customize drivers for specific applications, greatly expanding the reach of the PSoC architecture.” Cypress has published the first of a series of content developer guides, the PSoC Express Version 2.0 Driver Author Guide.
To further accelerate the design cycle, PSoC Express contains illustrative examples that the designer can learn from, use “as-is” or modify to meet specific application requirements. This is just one level of the content-driven architecture underlying PSoC Express. A proprietary application generation engine (linked transparently to the award winning PSoC Designer(TM) low-level code generator) utilizes a catalog including real-world-device drivers (e.g. fans, thermistors, switches, voltages, etc.), transfer functions (state machine, truth table, threshold checking, priority encoder, etc.) and communication protocols such as I2C and RS232, all of which are combined visually by the designer to build custom solutions. Cypress plans to release quarterly catalog updates and will release more content developer guides throughout the year to further enable third parties to generate PSoC Express content.
Pricing and Availability
PSoC Designer is free and can be downloaded. Users can register for a free PSoC Express 2.1 web seminar to be held on August 31, 2006. Recorded versions of Cypress on-line seminars are also available in the “Events” section of the Cypress web site.
About the PSoC Family
PSoC devices are configurable mixed signal arrays that integrate a fast 8-bit microcontroller with many peripheral functions typically found in an embedded design. PSoC devices provide the advantages of an ASIC without the ASIC NRE or turn-around time. A single PSoC device can integrate as many as 100 peripheral functions with a microcontroller, saving customers design time, board space and power consumption. Customers can save from 5 cents to as much as $10 in system costs. Easy to use development tools enable designers to select configurable library elements to provide analog functions such as amplifiers, ADCs, DACs, filters and comparators and digital functions such as timers, counters, PWMs, SPI and UARTs. The PSoC family’s analog features include rail-to-rail inputs, programmable gain amplifiers and up to 14-bit ADCs with exceptionally low noise, input leakage and voltage offset. PSoC devices include up to 32KB of Flash memory, 2KB of SRAM, an 8×8 multiplier with 32-bit accumulator, power and sleep monitoring circuits, and hardware I2C communications.
All PSoC devices are dynamically reconfigurable, enabling designers to create new system functions on-the-fly. Designers can achieve far greater than 100 percent utilization of the die, in many cases, by reconfiguring the same silicon for different functions at different times.
Software and Support
PSoC Designer, the traditional software development environment for PSoC, is a full-featured, GUI-based design tool suite that enables the user to configure design-in silicon with simple point and click options. With PSoC Designer, users can code the MCU in either C or assembly language; and debug the design using sophisticated features such as event triggers and multiple break points, while single-stepping through code in C or assembly or a mix of the two.
Cypress solutions perform: consumer, computation, data communications, automotive, industrial, and solar. Leveraging proprietary silicon processes, Cypress’s product portfolio includes a broad selection of wired and wireless USB devices, CMOS image sensors, timing solutions, specialty memories, high-bandwidth synchronous and micropower memory products, optical solutions and reconfigurable mixed-signal arrays. Cypress trades on the NYSE under the ticker symbol CY.
Cypress and the Cypress logo and PSoC are registered trademarks, and “Programmable System-on-Chip,” PSoC Designer and PSoC Express are trademarks of Cypress Semiconductor Corp.