Cypress released a Cortex M3 MCU some time ago that caught my interest. I ordered two devkits costing 10.- USD each and all in all their concept actually impresses me. Cypress have for years released MCU’s that are referred to as “PSoC” (Programmable System on Chip). The difference is that a 5LP includes a ARM MCU, but very little I/O by default as this will have to be coded in Verilog logic. Basically it is a merge of a MCU and a programmable digital- and analogue- sub-system.
What caught my attention was their free IDE containing a C compiler and a EDA to program logic in block diagram form. This just had to be tested and I am always impressed by something as complex as this being made so easy. I am also pleased to see that all required tools are free so I will advice to pick up a kit and start hacking!
Comparing 5LP with STM32F105 (as an example) is like comparing apples and bananas. The STM32 comes with a pre-defined list of I/O and if you only need standard I/O it will be far more cost optional. But, the issue with 5LP is that it can do so much more than standard I/O.
The included plug&play blocks also comes with C libraries, but testing a simple UART I must admit that the C library did not impress me. Cypress (the Company) did however impress me because as I communicated my thoughts back to Cypress I was contacted by several people in their organization to discuss my opinions. Obviously the company care a lot about their products and customers.
I have three applications in mind for 5LP:
- An advanced GPIO Hat with programmable Logic.
- An Oscilloscope.
- A Logic Analyzer.
I must however admit that while I am fairly comfortable with STM32 this MCU is so complex that it put my skill-set at a test. I need a far better understanding of it’s capabilities before I start any project with this one.