12675825 © Dennis Tokarzewski | Dreamstime.com
6669adbed08b8b2723db442f Breadboard Dreamstime L 12675825

“Sandwizz” Schematic-Configurable Breadboard Now on Kickstarter

June 12, 2024
The schematic-configured breadboard, available on Kickstarter, comes with integrated analog and digital functions, variable power supply, and Arduino capability.

What you’ll learn:

  • Microaware’s Sandwizz, a schematic-configurable breadboard, is available on Kickstarter until July 19, 2024.
  • The KiCad freeware schematic capture tool is used to configure an active circuit breadboard.
  • Library cards with Arduino Nano and protoboard function can be added.
  • Sandwizz-breadboard features include integrated op amps, comparators, PGAs, DACs, analog muxes, TTL digital functions, as well as a variable power supply and function generator.


EIM’s Kickstarter campaign, featuring a book on analog and semiconductors, was covered by Electronic Design in an article here. The introductory-level book was accompanied, optionally, by the components needed to implement its example devices and circuits with higher “pledge” levels, including breadboards, power supplies, and rudimentary lab equipment in the Kickstarter campaign that’s active (click here).

The intent of EIM was to provide basic knowledge and education, as well as a medium for review and keeping one’s axe sharp, for a broad range of users that could include engineers and their kids/grandkids/significant others, technicians, students, academia, Makers, Arduino afficionados, and coders who seem to always dream of playing with hardware but get stymied by pullup resistors.

One “feature” of Kickstarter is that they have a promotional section at the bottom of each campaign page that has related Kickstarter projects and those that may be of interest to its signed-in member (they’re watching…). This is how Microaware’s “Sandwizz” campaign, now active, was discovered on Kickstarter.

Here’s the Sandwizz Scoop

Sandwizz might sound like yet another of the many kitty litterboxes that pervade Kickstarter, but it seems like a spiffy breadboard prototyping technology that’s likely to pique Electronic Design readers’ interest. The Sandwizz (Microaware pronounces it “sandwich”) breadboard system incorporates an “SoC” (an Infineon/Cypress PSoC 5) that’s integrated under its breadboard to create what Microaware calls a “Sandwizz-breadboard” (Fig. 1).

Unlike conventional breadboards where components are placed into the breadboard’s socket field, interconnected by jumper wires, Sandwizz integrates components and interconnects within the breadboard itself. It’s a sandwich of a conventional breadboard and a circuit board hosting devices that include the SoC and makes the connections electronically.

This configurable breadboard’s design flow begins in unorthodox fashion by using KiCad, a freeware circuit board design tool that’s available for PC, Mac, and Linux, to capture a schematic comprised of components that can be a mix of user, and Sandwizz-embedded, components. Each Sandwizz-breadboarded CY8C5868AXI-LP032 “SoC” can provide up to four op amps, four comparators, two programmable gain amplifiers, three digital-to-analog converters (DACs), three Vrefs, and three 4-input analog multiplexers on the analog side (Fig. 2).

The Sandwizz also has an integrated programmable gate array that can provide an assortment of digital and “synthesized” functions, which presently includes a pre-synthesized function generator and popular TTL gates in Sandwizz’s KiCad library. The power supply, integrated into the Sandwizz-breadboard, uses either a USB or external +5-V power source and provides user-programmable supply voltages.

After completing schematic capture, the user generates a KiCad netlist that then feeds Microaware’s secret-sauce translator. It configures the Sandwizz-breadboard’s SoC and provides a netlist and location describing where each of the external components plugs into the Sandwizz-breadboard. A good overview of the design process, using a Class B amplifier as an example, is shown in the following video:

Checking Out Arduino for the Breadboard

The basic Sandwizz-breadboard and programmable functions are expandable through the addition of “library cards” in a similar concept to an Arduino shield. Library cards can include an Arduino Nano library card (Fig. 3) or a protoboard library card (Fig. 4), available as additional pieces in a higher pledge-level package. Microaware’s recent video shows the Nano library card being integrated with a Sandwizz.

For larger and more complex projects, the system is expandable to multiple Sandwizz-breadboards using an expansion connector that facilitates nose-to-tail docking. Node voltages in the schematic can also allegedly be soft-probed.

Red Pill or Blue Pill?

Sandwizz doesn’t use more expensive analog crosspoint switches to make breadboard connections. Rather, it relies on the inherent higher-resistivity connectivity provided in the PSoC device, which provides the targeted functionality that differentiates Sandwizz from other intelligent breadboards.

“If in the future we find that there is a demand for a [more expensive] full analog matrix, we could create a library board that can be added underneath. This would enable full matrix switching between all breadboard pins, but it is an option we would consider if the market demands it and users are willing to pay for it.”—Microaware

Speaking of higher-resistivity, Bob Pease did a nice writeup on the general limitations of prototyping with breadboards

Though Sandwizz will not be open-sourced, Microaware does plan to release schematics after fulfilling its Kickstarter backer pledges around November 2024, retaining full rights to the design after doing so. They believe the schematics will aid users in understanding how Sandwizz signal lines are routed to/from the SoC.


Microaware’s “Sandwizz” Kickstarter campaign runs until July 19 and the project’s Kickstarter video is shown below, provided for your convenience. Check out Microaware’s Kickstarter here and feel free to leave comments, below, on what you think of this innovative approach to breadboarding. If not anything else, it seems like a pretty decent PSoC 5 application/eval board.

At the least, Sandwizz forces circuits to be documented up front, a process almost every design engineer can’t wait to do (/sarc). I’d point out that PeaseCAD seemed to work very well for documenting prototypes. However, Bob Pease was exceptional to almost every rule and his uniquely fonted schematics seemed to give Paul Rako heartburn to where he’d redraw Bob’s schematics in ORCAD.

If this project makes its funding goal, there should be a Sandwizz-breadboard set coming this way for a tirekicking after their development and testing stabilize. That’s going to be after campaign close, though.

Kickstarter isn’t a store and it’s risky in terms of losing all pledged money. But at the same time, if innovation wasn’t encouraged and supported, we’d still be using iron sights instead of op amps on anti-aircraft guns.

Microaware’s Kickstarter campaign video for the Sandwizz-breadboard.

105562587 © Golubovy | Dreamstime.com and EIM Technology
Photo 12675825 © Dennis Tokarzewski | Dreamstime.com
Photo 257562261 © Sebastiankiek | Dreamstime.com
Photo 186794956 © Arnabsaha285 | Dreamstime.com
About the Author

Andy Turudic | Technology Editor, Electronic Design

Andy Turudic is a Technology Editor for Electronic Design Magazine, primarily covering Analog and Mixed-Signal circuits and devices. He holds a Bachelor's in EE from the University of Windsor (Ontario Canada) and has been involved in electronics, and gearhead stuff, for a bit over a half century.

"AndyT" brings his multidisciplinary engineering experience from companies that include National Semiconductor, Altera, Agere, Zarlink, TriQuint, SW Bell (managing a research team at Bellcore, Bell Labs and Rockwell Science Center), Bell-Northern Research, and Northern Telecom and brings publisher employment experience as a paperboy for The Oshawa Times.

After hours, when he's not working on the latest invention to add to his portfolio of 16 issued US patents, he's lending advice and experience to the electric vehicle conversion community from his mountain lair in the Pacific Northwet[sic].

AndyT's engineering blog, "Nonlinearities", publishes the 1st and 3rd monday of each month. Andy's OpEd may appear at other times, with fair warning given by the Vu meter pic.

Sponsored Recommendations


To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Electronic Design, create an account today!