Cypress Micro has announced the availability of production silicon for the first devices in their ground-breaking PSoC 4 family of ARM Cortex M0 chips. These are backed by the Pioneer development kit, which aside from packing some serious processing at a ridiculously low price, also features connector compatibility with a range of Arduino shields and PMOD expansion boards.
I’ve been a long fan(boy!) and user of the PSoC 1 which was a revolutionary chip when it came out (and still is in many ways). These chips are unique in that they combine both analogue and digital general purpose blocks that can be combined in a variety of ways into custom peripherals, that can also be re-configured on the fly. They eliminate many pf the external components normally required with other architectures and really are a System-On-a-Chip (SOC). However, it’s around 14 odd years now and has lost some ground to other architectures, particularly when it comes to power consumption and ease of debugging. For example, a typical PSoC 1 application would draw around 4-5mA in operation and require a special chip emulator for debug.
One of the great attractions of the PSoC 1 was the fact that it was available in packages from only 8-pins, so was great for either the main processor or a custom application specific companion chip. The newer PSoC 3 & 5 improved at the top end, but didn’t really fill the gap between 8-bit and 32-bit and allow the migration of the PsoC 1 apps.
From the look of it, this family will encompass small low pin count devices. Combine this with an ARM Cortex M0 core, low power, in-circuit debugger and the great PSoC Creator software, I think this will be a ground-breaking device. I cannot wait to test this out, and hopefully it will live up to expectations.
PSoC 2 anyone???