Portable Control Benefit from Cypress Programmable Mixed-Signal Array

8/13/2003 - Cypress MicroSystems Inc., a subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE: CY), announced the industry’s lowest-power, system-aware range of programmable System-on-ChipTM (PSoCTM) devices for portable, flash-based applications, including remote sensors, handheld instruments, and portable consumer electronics.

PSoC devices are high-performance, field-programmable, mixed-signal arrays for high-volume embedded-control functions in consumer, industrial, office automation, telecom and automotive applications. With a typical sleep current of just 3 µA—with all power supervisory functions turned on—PSoC offers the lowest system power consumption in the industry for flash-based applications, enabling true portability and maximum flexibility at a very competitive price.

“Most manufacturers of embedded microcontrollers specify ‘sleep mode’ with all functions turned off,” said John McDonald, VP of marketing for Cypress MicroSystems. “In the case of portable, flash-based applications, this is totally misleading. The controller must be aware of the environment in order not to corrupt the code and data stored in flash memory. When you add critical power supervisory functions to sleep current, PSoC has the lowest sleep-power consumption in the industry, making it ideal for portable, embedded control applications.”

PSoC’s sleep-mode specification includes operation of all power supervisory functions, including power-on reset (POR), which ensures that the part only starts to operate when power is within operating limits; brown-out detection (BOD), which insures that the part shuts down safely when power is not within preset limits; low-voltage detection (LVD), which alerts the processor that power is failing; sleep timer, which wakes the part periodically to perform time-critical functions; and watchdog timer (WDT), which resets the processor if it is not properly executing code. All of these functions are required in flash-based embedded designs in order to avoid corrupting code or data stored in the flash memory in the event of a power failure.

PSoC CY8C26x family devices draw just 3 µA in sleep mode with all power supervisory functions turned on, for a total power consumption of 10 µW. In contrast, one industry-leading controller claims a sleep current of only 0.1 µA; however, with supervisory functions turned on it draws 12 µA, for a power consumption of 36 µW. Another leading controller claims a sleep current of 0.5 µA; but with supervisory functions turned on, it draws 61 µA and consumes 152 µW—50x what PSoC requires in the same application. This sort of ‘specmanship’ makes it difficult for designers to choose an embedded controller that will provide the results they need in their designs.

About the PSoC Family
Programmable System-on-Chip (PSoC) devices are high-performance, field-programmable, mixed-signal arrays for high-volume embedded-control functions in consumer, industrial, office automation, telecom and automotive applications.Containing over 100 reconfigurable analog and digital library components created from 12 fundamental analog and 8 digital blocks, PSoC CY8C27x devices are true systems on a chip. Each contains a 24 MHz 8-bit microcontroller unit (MCU); 16 kbytes of flash memory; 256 bytes of SRAM; an 8x8 multiplier with 32-bit accumulator; power and sleep monitoring circuits; and a precision real-time clock.

All PSoC devices are dynamically reconfigurable, enabling designers to create new system functions on-the-fly. Being able to re-use the same silicon for different functions on different clock cycles, designers can achieve more than 120% utilization of the die in many cases.

To further shorten design cycles, the PSoC family includes pre-programmed, specialized versions for lighting, energy, motor control, communications, automotive and battery applications. Each family member comes with a reference design and extensive application notes to speed application development.

Software and Support
The software development environment PSoC Designer 3.21 supports all current PSoC devices as well as future low-cost versions. PSoC Designer 3.21 is a full-featured, GUI-based design tool suite that enables the user to lay out their design on silicon with simple point and click options; 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 the code in C or assembler or a mix of the two. PSoC Designer 4.0 is free and can be downloaded at http://www.cypress.com/support.

The CY3205-DK Professional Class Development Kit includes a full-speed emulator with a large trace buffer, both of which seamlessly integrate with PSoC Designer 4.0. The development kit includes everything necessary to complete a design with the new PSoC family of ICs in DIP packages; the kits also contain all materials for the first four “Tele-training” modules. The tools are designed to keep the cost of development to a minimum while providing all the features found in tools that cost $2000 or more. The CY3205-DK is priced at $399.

Early training is key to quickly realizing the cost saving and technical benefits of the PSoC architecture. Free “Tele-training” classes are offered live every week, with introductory training classes starting on Friday; sign up for training at www.cypress.com. A Fall and Winter regional seminar series is being scheduled; to find out when a PSoC seminar will held locally go to www.cypress.com/aboutus/events.cfm.

Pricing and Availability
The CY8C26x PSoC family is in full production and contains eight family members ranging from an 8-pin PDIP to a 48-pin SSOP—for as low as $1.99 in 50,000-unit quantities.

About Cypress MicroSystems
Headquartered in Lynnwood, Wash., Cypress MicroSystems develops and markets Programmable System-on-Chip (PSoC) devices – high-performance, field-programmable ICs for high-volume embedded control functions in consumer, industrial, office automation, telecom and automotive 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. More information about Cypress MicroSystems and its products—as well as access to over 100 PSoC applications notes—is available online at www.cypressmicro.com.

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 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. More information about Cypress is accessible online at www.cypress.com.

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,” PSoC and PSoC Designer are trademarks of Cypress MicroSystems.

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