Cypress PSoC 62S2 Wi-Fi & BT5.0 Pioneer Dev Kit - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Cypress PSoC 62S2 Wi-Fi & BT5.0 Pioneer Dev Kit

Author: misaz

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools

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?: ARM MCU development boards and relevant parts (debuggers, Wi-Fi modules, ...).

What were the biggest problems encountered?: Buggy development environment with limited debugging capabilities and only basic eclipse integration.

Detailed Review:

Introduction

This review is very long and I do not expect that you will read everything that I have written. This is reason why I decided to include this “overview of table of contents” chapter that should show you what is recommended to read to everyone and what is recommended only for user which are really interested in buying that board and want to know everything about board and its design before buying it. Expect table of contents and summary there are 2 types of chapters. Chapter with name starting with “Review” are reviews where I discuss some part of the board in very deep details. I also present there some my thoughs from real-live usage of board. There are also chapters with name starting with “Project” and they are not a formal review. I have written them as tutorials showing how to make some basic (maybe interesting?) project with usage of some specific part of board. Some tutorials consist of multiple variants showing the same project made with different toolsets, libraries and backing operating system (for example there are variant for pure application without any operating system or library and another variant show the same example using different cloud service prociders).

 

Table of Contents

 

 

Overview of Table of Contents

  • Chapter “Review of development board” discuss basic information about board, describes topology of board, basically describes onboard peripherals, powering options, chips used, reviews the board design and describes some of my notes about real usage of board. This chapter do not target any features of MCU, Wi-Fi and BT module, other onboard peripherals, and debugger. These aspects of board are reviewed in detail in the following chapters. I recommend to reading this chapter to everyone.
  • Chapter “Review of microcontroller” reviews main microcontroller of the board, his peripherals, his unique features, missing features, compares with other ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers on the market, compares it with microcontrollers within the same family and across families, covers possibility of migration between other MCUs (within and across families), describes peripherals of microcontroller and compares peripherals with peripherals of other vendors. I recommend reading this chapter for users whom priorities are based on MCU or PSoC platform.
  • Chapter “Main module” reviews the module which is core of the board. I do not describe MCU presented on module (because it is already described in chapter “Review of Microcontroller”) and describes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip, his performance, show how easy/hard is to use this chip of the module, what software and libraries are available for developing software for module. I recommend reading this chapter to everyone.
  • Chapter “Review of onboard peripherals” shows details of peripherals which are presented on the board like FLASH, FRAM and capacitive buttons and slider. I recommend read CapSense part of this chapter to everyone. You can also read part about FRAM and FLASH, but it probably will be too detailed for most readers.
  • Chapter “Reviews of programmer and debugger” describes features of onboard programmer and debugger, shows his features, compares it with other onboard and standalone programmers. I recommend it to read this chapter to readers who consider buying board and have some expectations from debugger. For users who are not experienced with debuggers I do not recommend reading it.
  • Chapter “Review of development software” describes details about software which is recommended for developing applications using this board. It describes not only development IDE but also operating systems like MBED OS or FreeRTOS and provided libraries PDL, HAL and some others. I recommend reading this chapter to everyone who is focused at any development on PSoC platform.
  • Chapter “Reviews of documentation” reviews how detailed and accurate the documentation is. It describes not only datasheet, reference manual, programming specification and application notes but also materials available online like availability of examples and their quality.
  • Project 1 is simple project measuring temperature and printing it over serial. It is implemented in 4 variants. I recommend reading PDL, HAL and MBED variant. I recommend reading low-level (registry accesses) variant only to extremely enthusiast users of MCU.
  • Project 2 reuse part of project 1 and connects to the cloud. It sends measured temperature (and humidity) to cloud and visualize it on the chart. It is implemented using AWS and Azure services. I recommend reading one of the variants (AWS or Azure) to everyone. It usually does not make sense to read both.
  • Project 3 shows application intensively using FRAM memory. It shows application that can remember its state when power loss occurs. It is implemented in two variants. Each variant uses different library. I recommend reading variant showing solution with serial-flash library for most readers.
  • Project 4 shows application using Bluetooth (low energy) and capacitive slider. It is implemented only in one variant and I recommend reading it to everyone. You will see how easy is to develop Bluetooth application using PSoC 6 platform and you will see how to make application using capacitive touch control using provided library.
  • Project 5 shows application split to both CPU cores and communication between them. I recommend reading that for readers considering development on PSoC 6 platform or on any dual core MCU.
  • Project 6 shows usage of one unique MCU peripheral – profiler. It is very detailed and expect some basic knowledge of ARM Cortex-M internals. Problem described and troubleshooted in this project apply for all nowadays ARM MCU no matter how much cores they have. I recommended it for all developers of any ARM MCU.

 

 

Summary

The PSoC 62 is good platform and I like it. Technically I have no problem with it. Software libraries and code examples are very high quality and enables you rapidly develop even complex application. I like design of MCU. The biggest problem you will face at least at the beginning on this platform is inconsistent naming of things. You will se lot of different names of development board, its parts, MCU, MCU family and subfamilies and much more. Development board enables you to develop broad range of application. Board features powerful Wi-Fi module, FLASH and FRAM memories, SD card slot, capacitive touch control and expansion header. Unless you need some special things like Ethernet, It is good choice.

 

Score

 

Category

Pros

Cons

Score

Development board

  • Good choice of peripherals
  • Capacitive buttons and slider included
  • FRAM included
  • SD card slot presented
  • Expansion header exports all features
  • Intuitive port mapping on expansion header
  • 1.8V power supply support
  • 17.2032 MHz crystal for audio
  • Price
  • RGB led
9.5 / 10

MCU

  • Easy to understand
  • Generic peripherals (SCB, TCPWM)
  • Intuitive port numbering
  • Clock subsystem
  • Dual core
  • SMIF
  • Big internal FLASH and SRAM
  • Integrated CapSense
  • Flexible powering options
  • PDM to PCM decoder
  • Hard to buy in small batches
  • USB
  • Peripherals are easy to understand
  • No support for ethernet
  • Brief support for modern high-resolution displays
  • Unintuitive address space layout
  • Complicated naming
  • Efficiently no support for XIP write to FRAM
9.5 / 10

WiFi + BLE

  • Performance
  • Easy to use
  • Common libraries available
  • Lot of examples

 

10 / 10

Programmer + debugger

  • Good support in OpenOCD
  • DAPLink mode

 

10 / 10

Software

  • Tools in ModusToolbox
  • Good libraries
  • Examples
  • GitHub
  • Doxygen docs for all libraries
  • MBED support
  • Active development
  • Open source friendly
  • Only basic Eclipse integration
  • Bugs
  • Complicated concept of shared/local libraries
  • Can’t debug CM0 and CM4 at the same time
  • No tools for debugging (hard fault analyzers, peripheral SFRs view)
6 / 10

Documentation

  • Detailed
  • User friendly
  • TRM separation to architecture and registry
  • Schematics
  • PDFs
  • PDFs
  • Undocumented features
  • Minor mistakes
  • Hard to find on Cypress website
8 / 10

Misc

  • Support from Cypress engineers at Cypress community
  • Activity at GitHub
  • Efficiently no MCU samples for students
  • Inconsistent naming
9 / 10

 

 

Roadtest score mapping

The score from previous table I mapped to score at header using following formula with following weights.

 

CategoryIncluded sectionWeightFinal score
Product Performed to ExpectationsDevelopment board0.30.97 = 10 / 10
MCU0.3
Wi-FI + BLE0.3

Programmer + debugger

0.1

Specifications were sufficient to design with

Documentation0.70.83 = 8 / 10
Misc.0.3
Demo Software was of good quality10 / 101.00 = 10 / 10
Product was easy to useSoftware0.50.74 = 7 / 10
Documentation0.3
Programmer + debugger0.2
Support materials were availableDocumentation0.70.83 = 8 / 10
Misc.0.3
The price to performance ratio was good10 / 101.00 = 10 / 10
Anonymous
  • Great review and a great reference for anyone using this module. I have another PSOC6 kit and it should even help with that. 

  • Thank you for feedback. I replied the same to Who Are Your RoadTest Heros of 2020?  when you noticed the same.

     

    I did not mention that explicitly, but I think that everything included in "cons" section in summary table should be improved. For example, "RGB led" cons could be translated to sentence "Cypress should spent more time with tweaking RGB led resistors to make brightness more consistent and consider changes to make RGB led working when board is configured to run at 1.8V". All cons presented in that table (cons = things which could be improved) are described in more detail in one of "Review" chapter. For example, mentioned "RGB led" cons is described in PSoC 6 Pioneer Kit Roadtest - Review of Development Board  in subchapter "LEDs".

     

    But You are correct, I did not write anywhere explicitly what should be improved.

  • Your review was very thorough, although I would have like to see a conclusion in his summary which included his thoughts to improve the kit.

     

    Stay Safe & Stay Well,

     

    Gordon

     

  • I made some last changes to my review at 2020-12-30. Since that date review is complete and final. I have done following changes in review and blog posts since original publishment of them before 2020-12-30.

     

    • All tables of contents in every blog post were updated to contains all links to all other chapters.
    • All images were reuploaded. Originally, they were copied from Word with lower resolution and some of them was blur. Now there have better resolution and they are bigger.
    • All missing attachments to projects and source codes are now available at the end of each project.
    • Some typos were fixed.
    • Text summary was added to main page of review (this page).
    • Added missing "Hard to find" and "Inconsistent naming" bullets in summary table.
    • Removed duplicate FRAM bullet from summary table.
    • Layout of tables in this article was updated. Tables now looks better.

     

    If you have read any article of review, you do not need read it again, there were no changes in contents of reviews and projects except changes mentioned above.

     

    I published complete review and tutorials 9 days over deadline, but I think it is OK now. Delay was caused because I initially thought that I provide shorter and less detailed review. But later I changed mind and provided more detailed and longer review and project tutorials. Final review is 195 pages of A4 size in length and contains 171 images.

     

    Thank you all who read this review (or at least part of it). I also welcome any feedback about my review.

  • Wow! That's quite a thorough road test.

  • Awesome, very detailed review! I like your analysis on the FRAM and explanation of how it works