thoughts on PSOCs?

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Hi - I ran into PSOCs a little while ago - and I'm having trouble figuring
out *what* exactly they are... Cypress calls it a "mixed signal array" -
which is a term that I'm not very familiar with. They say it has a
microcontroller, along with a number of configurable "elements" (that can
be set to be ADCs, DAC, timers, PWM, etc.) But my understanding of a
microcontroller is that it essentially is a microprocessor with a number of
devices already built in - so what exactly is the difference here? Sorry -
I'm sure this is a really simple question - I guess I'm just getting
confused by the terminology. Regards,

-Michael Noone

Re: thoughts on PSOCs?
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array" -
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Basically they provide a way for you to make a mixed-signal ASIC in
small quantities, optionally flash-reconfigurable.

Example: someone I know is using one of these devices to replace an
EOLed ASIC that generates and decodes DTMF.

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number of
Sorry -

A microcontroller has a fixed peripheral set. You can't affect the way
those peripherals are interconnected. In a pSOC you can (at burn time)
establish internal wiring between analog modules. You can also in some
cases choose pin to function mappings.
A pSOC is essentially an _analog_ FPGA.

Re: thoughts on PSOCs?
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Conceptually, they are microcontrollers with a configurable array of
analogue functions.


Re: thoughts on PSOCs?

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Both close but not quite.

You have a bunch of analog an digital "Blocks". They can be configured (or
reconfigured) at runtime.
It gives you flexibility to choose you own mix, or change it depending on what
you need at differt points in the program.
You can download the design kit.  Look at .
Not that it is not the perfect solution to every problem.  So make sure it
suits you need before starting.

Re: thoughts on PSOCs?
Hi Michael,

Before embarking on PSoC just make sure you can live with the
performance of the offered on-chip devices. Often available modules such
as opamps are rather slow, have large offsets and sometimes common mode
may not include ground.

So far I haven't been able to tolerate these kinds of limitations in any
of my designs and ended up having 'to roll my own'.

Regards, Joerg

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