PSoC stands for Programmable System on Chip. Cypress also calls their PSoC devices mixed-signal arrays. To really understand what a PSoC is you need more than these catch phrases.

A PSoC devices consists of several sub systems on a single chip. The systems them self and the connections between them may be configured to achieve a system on chip. Often times for the embedded designer using a PSoC means that the bill of materials (BOM) for their product is reduced because the system that used to take several ICs can now be implemented in a single PSoC device. While BOM count reductions vary, with the right application reductions can be significant.

However, there is more to PSoC than chips. Cypress Semidoncutor has also created an innovative Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to assist the PSoC developer in implementing their system. Cypress calls their IDE PSoC Designer. Actual code writing is only one component of PSoC Designer. Software IP blocks, called User Modules, are represented graphically and many block level configurations may be made using the GUI.

PSoC Subsystems

The following is a high level view of the hardware subsystems of a PSoC.

Analog PSoC Blocks

PSoC devices have an array of analog PSoC blocks that may work together or alone. The User Modules create by Cypress for the analog PSoC blocks give the developer a tool box of analog functions to create the signal processing chain needed by the application. Many analog User Modules are available, examples include band pass filters, instrumentation amplifiers, analog to digital converts, and digital to analog converters.

Digital PSoC Blocks

PSoC devices have an array of digital PSoC blocks. Each digital PSoC block may be used by it self as an 8-bit function or combined with other digital PSoC blocks to form 16, 24, or 32-bit functions. The User Modules created by Cypress for the digital PSoC blocks give the developer a tool box of digital functions to user in their system. Many analog User Modules are available, examples include timers, counter, UART, SPI, and CRC.

8-Bit Controller (M8C): Each PSoC device also has an 8-bit controller that runs at speeds from 93kHz to 24MHz. The controller runs code from an on board flash program store and has separate SRAM and register address spaces.

System Resources

Each PSoC also has an assortment of system resources such as I2C, configurable clocks, internal precisions oscillators that need no external components, and more. Of course PSoC's also have IO pins and they are configurable for various drive strengths and connections to internal resources.

More Information

For more information about PSoC products check out the rest of and visit the the Cypress Semiconductor web site.