PROGRAMMABLE SYSTEM ON CHIP
When developing complex projects, there is a need for additional peripheral units such as timers, ADC, DAC, counters etc. The implementation of these peripherals makes difficulties in our project. They take more space, increase power consumption and affect the price and development of the project. The introduction of PSoC helped in making all project needs in one chip. Before getting started with PSoC we have to learn about embedded system and microcontroller.
Embedded system is a computer system designed to perform certain dedicated function or task. It includes embedded software and computer hardware. Due to the small size, less power consumption, simple design and low cost made embedded system popular. It can be found everywhere from surrounding to spacecraft. Examples of an embedded system include washing machine, air conditioner etc.
In simple words, the microcontroller is a single silicon chip, commonly known as system on a chip (SOC). The microcontroller is considered as a self-contained system with a processor, RAM(Random Access Memory) for holding data, ROM(Read Only Memory) for holding programs and programmable input-output peripherals. AVR, PIC are some of the examples.Let’s move on to our topic “PSoC”.
What is PSoC??
PSoC is a family of microcontroller integrated circuit. It was invented by cypress in 2002.As mentioned earlier PSoC is a single chip consists of CPU, memory, ADC, DAC and other digital and analog peripherals. The PSoC platform features a CPU core and configurable analog and digital peripherals. Analog peripherals are used for the development of comparators, amplifiers etc. Using analog and digital peripherals, designers can create or modify the embedded applications. PSoC boards provide a high-quality development platform for engineers and the device is created using Silicon-Oxide-Nitrate-Oxide-Silicon technology which is a type of non-volatile computer memory related to flash RAM.
PSoC consists of three memory spaces.
1. Data memory for holding data.
2. Flash memory for holding instructions and fixed data.
3. I/O registers for accessing and controlling functions and configurable logic blocks.
PSoC Microcontroller Features
1. Working voltage : 3.3V to 5V
2. 32 bit accumulator
3. 16KB of programmable memory
4. 256 bytes of RAM
5. ADC/DAC with maximum resolution of 14 bits/9 bits
6. Programmable comparators, voltage amplifiers and filters
7. Timers and counters of 8, 16 and 32 bits
8. Full duplex UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter)
9. Multiple SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) devices
10. I2C (Inter Integrated Circuit)
11. Multiple master up to a speed of 400KHz
The four different families of PSoC are based on different microcontroller core. They are
1. PSoC 1: Based on M8C core.
2. PSoC 3: Based on 8051.
3. PSoC 4: Based on ARM.
4. PSoC5/5LP: Based on ARM Cortex M3 core.
5. PSoC 6 : Based on dual-core ARM M4
PSoC 6 is the most advanced series of PSoC family. It provides a new standard for IoT security. The rapid growth of IoT needs for innovation in its devices. PSoC 6 architecture enables the addition of new features such as USB, BLE, PDM, DAC etc. When more devices are connected to IOT, the cybersecurity is the most important issue behind it. This can be avoided using the architecture of PSoC6 which provides secure environment without any external memories.
Architecture of PSoC6
The above figure shows the architecture of PSoC6. It consists of
1. SCB (Serial Communication Block)
SCB component is a multifunction hardware block that implements SPI, UART components.
2 .USB (Universal Serial Bus)
It defines the cables, connectors and communications protocols used in a bus for connection, communication, and power supply between computers and electronic devices. It was designed to standardize the connection of computer peripherals (including keyboards, pointing devices, digital cameras, printers, portable media players, disk drives and network adapters) to personal computers, both to communicate and to supply electric power.
3. SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface)
SPI is a synchronous serial communication interface used for short distance communication. SPI communication is full duplex. It is also called four-wire communication.
4. DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)
It is the system which converts the digital signal into analog signal. They are used in music players, television, and mobile phone.
5. DMA (Direct Memory Access)
DMA is the capability of a computer system, allowing data to be sent directly from an attached device. It is also used for memory to memory copying and moving of data with memory.
Timers are used for measuring time interval. The PSoC power manager provides a timer to facilitate advanced power management. Timers are programmed to generate periodic interrupts for timing.
The sensor is electronic modules which detects or measures a physical quantity like temperature pressure, speed etc and converts it into a signal which can be read by an observer.
8. BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy)
It is a wireless personal area network (WPAN) technology for the applications in the healthcare, fitness, security etc.
9. FLASH Memory
It is a non-volatile memory that electrically erased in blocks and can be reprogrammed in bytes. It is a compact and flexible type of memory storage used in digital camera, video games etc.
10. SRAM (Static Random Access Memory)
SRAM is one of the classifications of RAM. SRAM is the fastest memory. It is a volatile type of memory, whose data is eventually lost when there is no power.
11. UDB (Universal Digital Block)
UDBs are used to create additional digital clocks for embedded applications.
12. PDM (Pulse Density Modulation)
PDM uses only one bit to convey the audio signal. It is easy to manipulate and provides low noise output.
13. OP-AMP (Operational Amplifier)
The operational amplifier is a voltage controlled device with very high gain. It is one of the basic building blocks of the linear designer. It is consists of two input terminals, one of which inverts the phase of the signal, other preserves the phase and an output terminal.
14. GPIO (General Purpose Input-Output)
GPIO is a generic pin found on an integrated circuit that doesn’t have a specific function. They are used for multiple functions. GPIO’s behaviour depends on whether it is an input or output pin.
15. ADC (Analog to Digital Converter)
It is the system which converts input analogue signal (voltage or current) into digital number proportional to the magnitude of the signal.
16. IPC (Instruction Per Cycle / Instruction Per Clock)
It is defined as the average number of instructions executed for each clock cycle. It is used to describe the performance of the processor.
PSoC6 microcontroller unit contains dual-core architecture with both cores on a single chip. The microcontroller unit provides the latest capacitive sensing technology which enables gesture-based interface and modern touch. It delivers ultra-low power (40nm), high performance and built-in security for IoT devices.
Advantages of PSoC6
- Easy to use
- Longer battery life
- Easily available
The possibilities of PSoC6 are endless. It can provide inexpensive, low-power IoT applications and offers high performance in the embedded system.