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PSoC 3 Breakout Board

posted Nov 2, 2010, 1:19 PM by Bill Bai

So I got this fancy demo/evaluation board from a company called Cypress that makes this nifty little chip called the Programmable System on a Chip (PSoC).  At first glance it looks like a regular microcontroller, but it actually does a lot more.  The cool thing about it is that Cypress gives you this nice GUI and graphical programming interface that's pretty easy to use.  But the amazing thing is that the PSoC is kind of a mash-up of a microcontroller and a programmable logic device.  It can do a whole lot of digital and analog functions.  Very cool.

It's pretty sweet.  Comes with everything you need: Battery, board, USB cable.

Nice looking little board.

It comes with a bunch of demo programs like this one that shows off their capacitive sensing technology.

But the pinout for the I/O is arranged in a very "non-conducive to student development" manner

Just plugging the thing into a breadboard covers up half the board and half the pins.  Which is doubly an issue because of the two full ports we can access, half of each port is now inaccessible.  

EAGLE CAD to the rescue!  I made a simple breakout board.

This is the PCB layout for the breakout board.

So this is what it will look like when it's done fabricating.  It expands out all the I/O pins into a SIL configuration and groups the I/O ports together in a more logical fashion.

We'll see how the breakout board turns out in a few weeks when my order from BatchPCB gets here.


posted Oct 31, 2010, 9:33 PM by Bill Bai

(EAGLE schematic view)

EAGLE CAD is a computer aided design program that is used to create PCB designs from schematics.  I have previously used the propriety PCB Artist from Advanced Circuits, but EAGLE is more in line with industry standards for PCB manufacturing.  The main reason for my switching to EAGLE is so I can use BatchPCB, a service started by Sparkfun that allows hobby PCB designers to get cheap PCBs.  The cost at BatchPCB is $2.50/square inch + $10 handling + ~$5 shipping.  The cost of a board from Advanced Circuits is $33/board with a maximum of 60 square inches + ~$15 shipping and handling.  So any boards smaller than 13.2 square inches will be cheaper to get from BatchPCB.  

Furthermore, Advanced Circuits just recently announced that they will also support the industry standard Gerber files output by EAGLE and other PCB design programs in addition to their proprietary PCB Artist.  So it just makes sense to use the much more versatile EAGLE and be able to buy PCBs from multiple sources.

(EAGLE PCB view)

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