Cortex-M0 at the core of Cypress' PsoC 4 programmable architecture

March 21, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
With its PSoC 4 architecture Devices, Cypress claims to have the most flexible, lowest-power ARM Cortex-M0-based devices for embedded designs, that is scalable, reconfigurable and that will vie for designs prsently fulfilled with 8-, 16-, and 32-bit standalone MCUs.

The PSoC 4 programmable system-on-chip architecture combines Cypress’sPSoC analogue and digital fabric and CapSense capacitive touch technology with ARM’s Cortex-M0 core, offering analogue performance and a high level of integration, along with access to free PSoC Components. These appear as “virtual chips” represented by icons in the PSoC Creator integrated design environment. The new PSoC 4 device class will challenge proprietary 8-bit and 16-bit microcontrollers (MCUs), along with other 32-bit devices.

Included is the CapSense capacitive-touch sensing technologyfor which Cypress claims high level of noise immunity. In addition to capacitive sensing, Cypress envisages applications in field-oriented control (FOC) motor control, temperature sensing, security access, portable medical, and many other applications.

The PSoC 4 architecture offers power leakage of 150 nA while retaining SRAM memory, programmable logic, and the ability to wake up from an interrupt. In stop mode, it consumes only 20 nA while maintaining wake-up capability. It has the widest operating voltage range of any Cortex-M0-based device, enabling full analogue and digital operation from 1.71V to 5.5V. The architecture facilitates integrated, high-performance custom signal chains and provides both configurable analogue and flexible routing.

You design using the PSoC Creator integrated design environment with a graphical interface in which you drag and drop pre-characterised, production-ready analogue and digital IP blocks—PSoC Components—into a single PSoC device. Cypress’s platform solution—PSoC 4, PSoC Creator and PSoC Components—simplifies and accelerates the design process and reduces bills of material, Cypress asserts, adding that PSoC solutions bring the flash-based equivalent of a field-programmable ASIC to embedded designs without lead-time or NRE penalties.A single PSoC device can integrate as many as 100 peripheral functions, accelerating cycle time and improving quality while reducing board space, power consumption, and system cost.

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