Programmable System on Chip (PSoC) Design Challenge 2002 Contest Elicits a Range of Embedded Design Ideas

9/30/2002 - Cypress MicroSystems announced the winners of the PSoC Design Challenge 2002. Sponsored by Circuit Cellar magazine, the contest challenged embedded system designers to develop innovative electronics applications based on Cypress MicroSystems’ Programmable System on ChipTM (PSoCTM) technology, which enables designers to configure a flash-based mixed signal array into a low-cost, single-chip system.

"The PSoC Design Challenge invited engineers to showcase their design skills to make the most of the flexible PSoC architecture," said George Saul, president and CEO of Cypress MicroSystems. "The creativity, quality and variety of submissions was astounding. The winning entries demonstrate an exceptional level of innovation, resulting in a range of consumer, industrial control and equipment testing applications."

Fabio Piana Ovada of Italy was awarded first place for his PSoC Range Finder design. The PSoC Range Finder is a simple, inexpensive ultrasonic distance meter used for robotics positioning, distance measurement and contactless liquid level measurement. The system takes advantage of the highly integrated analog functionality of the PSoC device to eliminate external components that would be required by other architectures to create the amplifiers, filters and comparators.

Bernard Debbasch of the United States won second place with OnTV-21, a device that allows "couch potatoes" to stay in touch with friends and family while watching television. The device collects information from incoming emails, chat requests and telephone calls, and displays the information on a television screen using the Closed Caption decoder – much like traditional Caller-ID functions. The OnTV-21 system dynamically reconfigures the analog and digital resources on a PSoC device to easily switch between "receive" and "transmit" modes.

Third place honors went to Robert Lacoste of France for his Vector-SoC, a 1GHz Vectorial Network Analyzer. The Vector-SoC is a low-cost testing instrument used to accurately measure and display frequency responses during testing of high-frequency designs. PSoC devices provide a number of pre-built design modules that represent common peripheral functions, such as digital to analog converters (DACs) and programmable gain amplifiers (PGAs). These modules provide sufficient internal resources to minimize the number of components required for the Vector-SoC design.

Designs from around the world were judged by the editors of Circuit Cellar, based upon their originality, architectural elegance and quality of design.

About the PSoC Family of ICs
The software-configurable PSoC family integrates a fast 8-bit CPU, 8 to 16 Kbytes of Flash memory, SRAM, and programmable arrays of analog and digital logic – which can be programmed to perform the functions of virtually any application. Unlike traditional MCU architectures, the resources inside of a PSoC device can be reconfigured to execute multiple tasks during the run-time of an application. In many embedded systems, this flexibility reduces the number of custom chips – speeding design time and lowering bill of material (BOM) costs by an average of $5.

About Cypress MicroSystems
Headquartered in Bothell, Wash., Cypress MicroSystems develops and markets Programmable System on Chip (PSoC) devices – high-performance, field-programmable ICs for high-volume embedded control functions in computer, communications, consumer and control applications. Established as a subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE: CY) in the fourth quarter of 1999, Cypress MicroSystems’ stockholders are its employees and Cypress Semiconductor. The close association with Cypress Semiconductor allows access to their process and design technology, and field sales and applications forces.

About Cypress
Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE: CY) is Connecting From Last Mile to First MileTM with high-performance solutions for personal, network access, enterprise, metro switch, and core communications-system applications. Cypress ConnectsTM using wireless, wireline, digital, and optical transmission standards, including Bluetooth, USB, Fibre Channel, SONET/SDH, Gigabit Ethernet, and DWDM. Leveraging its process and system-level expertise, Cypress makes industry-leading physical layer devices, framers, and network search engines, along with a broad portfolio of high-bandwidth memories, timing technology solutions, and programmable microcontrollers.

Cypress and the Cypress logo are registered trademarks of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation. "Connectivity From Last Mile to First Mile" and "Cypress Connects" are trademarks of Cypress. "Programmable System on Chip" and PSoC are trademarks of Cypress MicroSystems.

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