Electronic Design

The Beginner’s Guide to PSoC Express

By Oliver H. BaileyISBN: 978-0-9790344-0-4

Cypress Semiconductor’s PSoC configurable microcontroller is a handy part to use in an embedded application because half of its peripheral set is specified by the designer. Unfortunately, when it first came out, this configuration process was a bit more difficult than writing a “Hello World” program. Cypress created the PSoC Express development tool to greatly simplify the process. PSoC Express is a graphical modeling system that allows developers to create applications without resorting to text-based programming tools. While PSoC Express is easy to use, it is not always intuitive for creating particular solutions because of its flexibility. What Oliver Bailey does is present a cookbook of useful PSoC applications that are implemented using PSoC Express. These include a capacitive touch sense application, wireless USB support in addition to covering useful peripherals such as the I2C and UART. A USB-UART bridge application combines the USB and UART discussions. The book provides a good intro for the range of readers from students to professionals looking for a new tool to solve problems with. It then provides a good introduction to the PSoC Designer user interface. A copy of this IDE and sample projects is included on the companion CD. The projects are based on support found on the WorldTour board from Cypress Semiconductor. It is a separate purchase. WorldTour board with four separate PSoC chips and support hardware. These include 7-segment displays, an accelerometer, capacitive buttons and a USB interface. The book is usable without the board because of PSoC Designer’s simulation capability but obviously hands on work with real hardware is usually the long term goal. The book does touch on C programming support via PSoC and PSoC Designer although it is possible to create a complete application simply by bringing soft components into the modeling space and dragging wires around to connect the components together. Overall the book is easy reading, well-organized and full of useful technical details. You will be able to take advantage of a PSoC microcontroller after reading this book even if you have never seen the chip specs before.

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