CY8CKIT-044 PSoC® 4 M-Series Pioneer Kit - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: CY8CKIT-044 PSoC® 4 M-Series Pioneer Kit

Author: azorp12

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Microcontrollers with ARM core, Zynq SoC

What were the biggest problems encountered?: I didn't encountered any bigger problem

Detailed Review:

Something about me: I'm the embedded hobbyist since 2012. I programmed a lot of boards, with AVR and ARM core. This year I started my adventure with FPGA's (in Verilog language). I discovered the SoC devices like Zynq and now I'm a roadtester of awesome Cypress PSoC kit. As a FPGA guy first I tested the possibility of building own components in Verilog HDL.

 

 

Informations about kit

 

This kit is the next release of Cypress PSoC board. This kit is combination of programmable blocks and microcontroller. Programmable blocks in PSoC chip are divided into four groups:

  1. Digital blocks - logic gates, LUT's, timers, counters,...
  2. Communication blocks - UART, SPI, CAN,...
  3. System blocks,
  4. Analog blocks - op-amps, analog to digital converters, current DAC's, comparators.

This kit doesn't contain any voltage DAC, but it is very easy to convert current DAC to voltage DAC.

 

These blocks are something like peripherals of microprocessor, which is located in structure of PSoC. These peripherals are initialized and controlled by program in microprocessor unit.

Besides PSoC 4 M device the kit contains:

  1. Sensors: 3 - axis accelerometer, PWM temperature sensor, ambient light sensor,
  2. Connectors: Raspberry PI, Arduino, Digilent PMOD(6 pin connector),
  3. FRAM memory,
  4. CapSense circuit, user buttons and led's,

 

At the back of the kit we can found a complete pinout, few schematics and I2C adresses of accelerometer and FRAM device:

 

Besides CY8CKIT - 044 the box contains:

- Poximity and connector wires - it can be used to make connection between PSoC 4 M board and external circuits,

- Micrium uC probe monthly license - which is very useful in graphical visualising of variables in software,

- Short user manual.

 

 

Kit - first opening


Product was professionally packed into a pretty box with magnetic fastener.


 

Inside the box:

 

The most of the box is filled by special foam, which protects kit against electrostatic damage, therefore the box is much bigger than board.

 

The board has a lot of built-in sensors and other peripherals which allows to build a various type of applications. The most interesting part of this board is Capsense.

 

Moreover the kit contains Digilent p-mod and Raspberry PI connectors, so the engineers can use this board in cooperation with other boards and extensions (DAC, Ethernet,...) .

 

 

First applications:

 

Development process in PSoC Creator is very easy and is divided into two steps:

  • Dragging and dropping components into a schematic diagram,
  • Writing an application in C for each component in schematic.

Each component has a detailed documentation with a lot of practical examples. Furthermore advanced users can create their own components in Verilog languages.

 

  1. Acquiring data from TMP05 PWM temperature sensor:

 

CY8CKIT - 044 contains a PWM temperature sensor. This sensor generate a modulated serial digital output, which is related to ambient temperature. The schematic contains TMP05 component and UART component. UART will be used to send the data to the terminal.

 

 

To drive these components is necessary to write a simple C program. This program initialize all components and send temperature measurement through UART.


 

Terminal output:

:

 

    2. How to measure resistance with only two components?

 

To measure the unknown resistance it is recommended to use a current source. It is known, that resistance is an element, which "converts" current to voltage (voltage drop - mental shortcut). This voltage can be measured and divided by known value of current to get the value of unknown resistance.

 

The CY8CKIT has on board few 8 - bit IDAC, which can be used as a current source. This current source cause voltage drop on the element, which can be measured by 12 - bit analog to digital converter. The processor acquire data from ADC and sets the value of current - this value sets the measurement range. Measured voltage is divided by appointed value of current.

 

 

 

 

Button is used as a trigger. The terminal output:

 

 

The measurement error can be minimized by experimenting with current value.

 

     3. Waveform recorder (not a oscilloscope) (UPDATE!):

 

In this example the cooperation between Cypress CY8CKIT - 044 and FPGA (SoC) Digilent ZYBO board will be shown. This is the part of my university project. The output of the MCP4822 DAC is connected to voltage divider. Divided voltage is brought to the analog - to - digital converter on CY8CKIT - 044. The waveform is sent through UART to LabVIEW program, which shows the shape of waveform and do the fourier transform (unfortunately I don't have any oscilloscope in my home laboratory )

to be continued...

 

 

Summary:


  1. Designing process is easy - this is suitable equipment for beginners in embedded domain.
  2. Professionals have possibility to build own components in Verilog language,
  3. All components and board are well documented,
  4. PSoC is a combination of analog and digital electronics - it is easy to build applications with op-ams and state machines

 

The Cypress kit contains one - year license for Micrium uC probe, which can be used to observe variables in real time.

 

This review will be updated, because I plan to use CY8CKIT - 044 in cooperation with Digilent p-mods and Zynq Board (DSP applicatio

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