MCU Enables 3D Graphics in Car Displays

Cypress Semiconductor has announced a new series in its Traveo automotive microcontroller family with more memory to support a hybrid instrument cluster with 3D graphics and up to 6 traditional gauges, as well as a head-up display. The highly integrated, single-chip devices in the S6J32xEK series include an advanced 3D and 2.5D graphics engine and provide scalability with Cypress’ low-pin-count HyperBus memory interface. The series continues Cypress’ expansion of its broad automotive portfolio with differentiated system performance via its MCUs, wireless radios, capacitive-touch solutions, memories and Power Management ICs (PMICs).
Cypress Traveo Automotive MCUs 2017

The Traveo S6J32xEK series integrates up to 4MB of high-density embedded flash, 512 KB RAM and 2 MB of Video RAM, an ARM Cortex-R5 core at 240 MHz performance, a Low-Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS) video output, a Low-Voltage Transistor-Transistor Logic (LVTTL) video output and a 6x stepper motor control. This combination enables the devices to serve as single-chip solutions to drive two displays. The devices have up to two 12-pin HyperBus memory interfaces that dramatically improve read and write performance of graphical data and other data or code.

A single HyperBus interface can be used to connect to two memories for Firmware Over-The-Air (FOTA) updates, which enable end-users to get software fixes and new features and applications for their vehicles on-the-go. The devices support all in-vehicle networking standards required for instrument clusters, including Controller Area Network-Flexible Data (CAN-FD) and Ethernet AVB. Additionally, the series provides robust security with integrated enhanced secure hardware extension (eSHE) support.

The Traveo S6J32xEK series include 50 channels of 12-bit Analog to Digital Converters (ADC), 12 channels of multi-function serial interfaces and I2S interfaces with an audio to output the complex, high-quality sounds required in today’s instrument clusters. The devices’ support for Ethernet AVB delivers increased bandwidth in multimedia applications and reduced programming time. The S6J32xEK series offers functional safety features to support Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) B, and the devices feature a wide ambient temperature range of -40˚C to +105˚C. The Traveo family is backed by a comprehensive tools and software ecosystem that simplifies system integration, including AUTOSAR MCAL 4.0.3 support.

The Traveo S6J32xEK series is sampling now and will be in production in the first quarter of 2018. The MCUs are available in a 208-pin and 216-pin thermally enhanced quad flat package (TEQFP).

Cypress Semiconductor | www.cypress.com

December Circuit Cellar: A Sneak Preview

The December issue of Circuit Cellar magazine is coming soon. Want a sneak peak? We’ve got a great selection of excellent embedded electronics articles for you.

Not a Circuit Cellar subscriber?  Don’t be left out! Sign up today:

 Here’s a sneak preview of December Circuit Cellar:

MICROCONTROLLERS IN MOTION

Special Feature: Electronics for Wearable Devices
Circuit Cellar Chief Editor Jeff Child examines how today’s microcontrollers, sensors and power electronics enable today’s wearable products.

329 Cover Screen CapSimulating a Hammond Tonewheel Organ
(Part 2)

Brian Millier continues this two-part series about simulating the Hammond tonewheel organ using a microcontrollers and DACs. This time he examines a Leslie speaker emulation.

Money Sorting Machines (Part 1)
In this new article series, Jeff Bachiochi looks the science, mechanics and electronics that are key to sorting everything from coins to paper money. This month he discusses a project that uses microcontroller technology to sort coins.

Designing a Home Cleaning Robot (Part 1)
This four-part article series about building a home cleaning robot starts with Nishant Mittal discussing his motivations behind to his design concept, some market analysis and the materials needed.

SPECIAL SECTION: GRAPHICS AND VISION

Designing High Performance GUI
It’s critical to understand the types of performance problems a typical end-user might encounter and the performance metrics relevant to user interface (UI) design. Phil Brumby of Mentor’s Embedded Systems Division examines these and other important UI design challenges.

Building a Robotic Candy Sorter
Learn how a pair of Cornell graduates designed and constructed a robotic candy sort. It includes a three degree of freedom robot arm and a vision system using a Microchip PIC32 and Raspberry Pi module.

Raster Laser Projector Uses FPGA
Two Cornell graduates describe a raster laser projector they designed that’s able to project images in 320 x 240 in monochrome red. The laser’s brightness and mirrors positions are controlled by an FPGA and analog circuitry.

ELECTRICITY UNDER CONTROL

Technology Spotlight: Power-over-Ethernet Solutions
Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) enables the delivery of electric power alongside data on twisted pair Ethernet cabling. Chief Editor Jeff Child explores the latest chips, modules and other gear for building PoE systems.

Component Overstress
When an electronic component starts to work improperly, Two likely culprits are electrical overstress (EOS) and electrostatic discharge (ESD). In his article, George Novacek breaks down the important differences between the two and how to avoid their effects.

AND MORE FROM OUR EXPERT COLUMNISTS:

Writing the Proposal
In this conclusion to his “Building an Embedded Systems Consulting Company” article series, Bob Japenga takes a detailed look at how to craft a Statement of Work (SOW) that will lead to success and provide clarity for all stakeholders.

Information Theory in a Nutshell
Claude Shannon is credited as one of the pioneers of computer science thanks to his work on Information Theory, informing how data flows in electronic systems. In this article, Robert Lacoste provides a useful exploration of Information Theory in an easily digestible way.

Microcontroller Family Provides 25 Sensing Functions for 25 Cents

Texas Instruments (TI) has unveiled its lowest-cost ultra-low-power MSP430 microcontrollers for sensing applications. Developers can now implement simple sensing solutions through a variety of integrated mixed-signal features in this family of MSP430 value line sensing MCUs, available for as low as US $0.25 in high volumes. Additions to the family include two new entry-level devices and a new TI LaunchPa development kit for quick and easy evaluation. Developers can implement simple sensing functions with TI’s lowest-cost microcontroller family

United_States_QuarterDevelopers now have the flexibility to customize 25 common system-level functions including timers, input/output expanders, system reset controllers, electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM) and more, using a library of code examples. A common core architecture, a tools and software ecosystem, and extensive documentation including migration guides make it easy for developers to choose the best MSP430 value line sensing MCU for each of their designs. Designers can scale from the 0.5-kB MSP430FR2000 MCU to the rest of the MSP430 sensing and measurement MCU portfolio for applications that require up to 256 kB of memory, higher performance or more analog peripherals.

The new MSP430FR2000 and MSP430FR2100 MCUs (with 0.5 kB and 1 kB of memory, respectively) and the new development kit join the MSP430 value line sensing family which includes the MSP430FR2111, MSP430FR2311, MSP430FR2033, MSP430FR2433 and MSP430FR4133 microcontroller families and their related development tools and software.

Developers can purchase the value line sensing portfolio through the TI store, priced as low as US$0.29 in 1,000-unit quantities and US $0.25 in higher volumes. Additionally, the new MSP430FR2433 LaunchPad development kit (MSP-EXP430FR2433) is available from the TI store and authorized distributors for US $9.99. Today through Dec. 31, 2017, the TI store is offering the LaunchPad kit for a promotional price of US $4.30.

Texas Instruments | www.ti.com

MCU Delivers Enhanced Security for Connected Devices

Renesas Electronics has announced the expansion of its RX65N/RX651 Group microcontroller lineup that addresses advanced security needs for connected devices operating in industrial automation, building automation, and smart metering systems. The expanded lineup features MCUs with integrated Trusted Secure IP, and enhanced, trusted flash functionality and human-machine interface (HMI) for industrial and network control systems.

2017113-rx65n-rx651-securityThe expansion of devices operating at the edge of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has increased system manufacturers’ need for secure network connectivity and reliability, including secure on-the-go firmware updates. The expanded RX65N/RX651 devices support these evolving security and reprogrammability needs, offering integrated Trusted Secure IP, enhanced flash protection, and other technology advancements to create a secure and stable integrated solution far above others in the market, as proven by the Cryptographic Algorithm Validation (CAVP) certification. In turn, these security advancements enable seamless flash firmware updates in the field through secure network communications.

The new MCUs expanded with enhanced security features are based on the high-performance RXv2 core and a 40nm process, which provide strong power efficiency for CPU operation at 4.55 Core Mark/MHz. Integrating the Trusted Secure IP into the new MCUs enables system control engineers to realize high root-of-trust levels for device operation through a combination of three new features:

  •    Protect encryption key by Trusted Secure IP
  •    Integration of encryption hardware accelerators including AES, 3DES, SHA, and      TRNG as part of Trusted Secure IP
  •    Protect boot code by area of Flash

The Trusted Secure IP received the CAVP certification, which ensures the customer will use a device with a high security level.

Renesas has optimized the new RX65N/RX651 MCUs for connected industrial environments. The new MCUs offer network connectivity and HMI support that makes it possible to:

  •     Monitor the operating state of machinery from both inside and outside the factory
  •     Exchange data for making changes to production instructions
  •     Reprogram the MCU’s memory to update equipment settings

Design engineers are often asked to integrate small thin-film-transistor (TFT) displays into their IoT edge devices or system control applications. These displays allow users to monitor machine behavior through a modern low-cost HMI solution. The RX65N/RX651 is an ideal solution for controlling these displays as it features an embedded TFT controller and an integrated 2D graphic accelerator to provide advanced graphics features and high-performance applications. Selecting a WQVGA display size allows the large 640 KB of on-chip RAM to be used as display frame buffer, which saves external RAM, ensuring a cost-optimized design.

Compared with other IoT devices, industrial applications are designed for long-term operation, which involves unique and sometimes challenging requirements, such as firmware updates in the field. The new RX65N/RX651 MCUs feature dual bank flash integration supporting both BGO (Back Ground Operation) and the SWAP function, making it easier for system and network control manufacturers to execute in-the-field firmware updates securely and reliably.

Firmware Integration Technology (FIT) is a holistic concept that emphasizes the embedded peripheral function module drivers and portability improvement between the RX65N/RX651 MCUs. The technology aims to lighten the burden of program development and resource management in software development using the entire family of RX MCUs. FIT provides a common application program interface for peripheral drivers and middleware for RX family, based on a solid Board Support Package, which controls the common information for these functions like initial MCU, clock, and board settings. FIT is available for all RX devices and fully integrated into the development environment.

Renesas has expanded its robust RX tool infrastructure to help engineers jump start their development work. The new Envision Kit provides an evaluation environment that allows engineers to easily benchmark MCU performance and start developing their own software. The new RX65N Renesas Starter Kit (RSK) includes a development board with MCU, display, on-chip debugger, trial Renesas C compiler and Integrated Development Environment (IDE), enabling engineers to get their evaluations and development up and running within a matter of minutes. To jumpstart their display designs, RX users can also leverage several ecosystem partner tools, including easy-to-use graphic GUI tools.

The expanded RX65N/RX651 MCUs, Renesas RX65N Starter Kit, and Envision Kit are available now

.Renesas Electronics | www.renesas.com

MCU Series Leverages New ARM Security Architecture

STMicroelectronics supports ARM’s new Platform Security Architecture (PSA) in ST’s STM32H7 high-performing microcontrollers. People and organizations are increasingly dependent on connected electronic devices to manage time, monitor health, handle social interactions, consume or deliver services, maximize productivity, and many other activities. Preventing unauthorized interactions with these devices is essential to protecting identity, personal information, physical assets, and intellectual property. As device manufacturers must always innovate to beat new and inventive hacking exploits, PSA helps them implement state-of-the-art security cost-effectively in small, resource-constrained devices.

en.STM32H7_Support_Arm_Security_T3989S_bigST’s STM32H7 MCU devices integrate hardware-based security features including a True Random-Number Generator (TRNG) and advanced cryptographic processor, which will simplify protecting embedded applications and global IoT systems against attacks like eavesdropping, spoofing, or man-in-the-middle interception. In addition, secure firmware loading facilities help OEMs ensure their products can be programmed safely and securely, even off-site at a contract manufacturer or programming house.

To enable secure loading, security keys and software services already on-board the MCU permit OEMs to provide manufacturing partners with already-encrypted firmware, making intercepting, copying, or tampering with the code impossible. This enables programming and authenticating the device to establish the root-of-trust mechanism needed for the device to be connected to the end-user’s network and remotely updated over the air (OTA) to apply security patches or feature upgrades throughout the lifetime of the device.

A member of the STM32H7 series supporting the PSA, the STM32H753 MCU with ARM’s highest-performing embedded core (Cortex-M7) delivers a record performance of 2020 CoreMark/856 DMIPS running at 400MHz, executing code from embedded Flash memory. Additional innovations and features implemented by ST further boost performance. These include the Chrom-ART Accelerator for fast and efficient graphical user-interfaces, a hardware JPEG codec that allows high-speed image manipulation, highly efficient Direct Memory Access (DMA) controllers, up to 2 MB of on-chip dual-bank Flash memory with read-while-write capability, and the L1 cache allowing full-speed interaction with off-chip memory.

Multiple power domains allow developers to minimize the energy consumed by their applications, while plentiful I/Os, communication interfaces, and audio and analog peripherals can address a wide range of entertainment, remote-monitoring and control applications. The STM32H753 is in production now, priced $8.90 for orders or 10,000 pieces.

STMicroelectronics | www.st.com

Two Controller Families Add eSPI Bus

Microchip Technology has made available its MEC17XX and MEC14XX families of embedded controllers with enhanced Serial Peripheral Interface (eSPI). The eSPI bus is the host interface supported by the latest PC computing chip sets and is required for new, upcoming computing applications. The MEC17XX family is based on an ARM Cortex-M4F core and has advanced hardware-accelerated cryptography algorithms to efficiently support the secure boot of a computer. The family offers several additional features including two UARTS and an extended industrial operating temperature range that make the family ideal for industrial computing. In addition, Microchip’s popular MIPS-based MEC14XX family has been expanded to include functionality for supporting the new eSPI Slave Attached Flash (SAF) feature, which allows the Microchip embedded controller to be 37288858386_29fa55a67f_kdirectly connected to an SPI Flash memory using an on-board master controller.

These new embedded controllers are part of an expanded family of devices that have been an integral part in the computing industry’s transition from LPC to eSPI.  The MEC17XX adds security through cryptography functionality to advance secure boot, a security feature developed to ensure a system boots only from software that is trusted by the manufacturer. Furthermore, the addition of two UARTS and support for industrial temperature is necessary for industrial computing applications.

The latest members of the MEC14XX family add a new level of design functionality for computing engineers by adding SAF, which is an optimal solution for USB Type-C power delivery. The latest MEC1428 devices are pin and register compatible with the MEC140X and MEC141X families, which allows designers to easily add eSPI and additional features and have more flexibility in their designs. Both families retain eSPI Master Attached Flash (MAF) capability. All of Microchip’s computing embedded controllers are supported by a variety of development and debug tools and evaluation boards, plus datasheets and other documentation.

The eSPI interface has numerous benefits including allowing for multiple input/output signals to be configured to support either 3.3 V or 1.8 V, which reduces the system cost by eliminating the need for external voltage translators.  These features allow for seamless migration of intellectual property (IP) across multiple x86 computing platforms including those based on Intel’s Atom processors, Intel’s iCore processors and Ryzen processors from AMD.

The four-part MEC17XX family is available in a variety of WFBGA package options, starting at $2.59 each in 10,000 unit quantities. The family features industrial-qualified parts as well as the option of additional EEPROM memory. The MEC1428 is available today in a variety of package options, starting at $2.16 each in 10,000 unit quantities.

Microchip Technology | www.microchip.com

Tools for Cypress Semi’s PSoC BLE 6 MCU

Cypress Semiconductor has announced the public release of the PSoC 6 BLE Pioneer Kit and PSoC Creator Integrated Design Environment (IDE) software version 4.2 that enable designers to begin development with the PSoC 6 microcontroller (MCU) for IoT applications. PSoC BLE 6 is the industry’s lowest power, most flexible MCU with built-in Bluetooth Low Energy wireless connectivity and integrated hardware-based security in a single device.

Early adopters are already using the flexible dual-core architecture of PSoC 6, using the ARM Cortex-M4 core as a host processor and the Cortex-M0+ core to manage peripheral functions such as capacitive sensing, Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity and sensor aggregation. Early adopter applications include wearables, personal medical devices and wireless speakers. Designers are also utilizing the built-in security features in PSoC 6 to help guard against unwanted access to data.

CY8CKIT-062-BLEThe PSoC BLE Pioneer Kit features a PSoC 63 MCU with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity. The kit enables development of modern touch and gesture-based interfaces that are robust and reliable with a linear slider, touch buttons and proximity sensors based on the latest generation of Cypress’ industry-leading CapSense capacitive-sensing technology. Designers can also use the board to add USB Power Delivery (PD) with its Cypress EZ-PD CCG3 USB-C controller. The kit also includes a 2.7-inch E-ink Display Shield add-on board (CY8CKIT-028-EPD) with thermistor, digital mic, and 9-axes motion sensor.

Offering best-in-class flexibility and ease-of-use, the PSoC 6 MCU architecture can serve as the catalyst for differentiated, visionary IoT devices. Designers can use software-defined peripherals to create custom analog front-ends (AFEs) or digital interfaces for innovative system components such as E-ink displays. The architecture is supported by Cypress’ PSoC Creator IDE and the expansive Arm ecosystem. Designers can find more information about PSoC Creator at http://www.cypressw.com/creator.

The PSoC 6 BLE Pioneer Kit (CY8CKIT-062-BLE) is available for purchase for $75 at the Cypress Online Store and through select distribution partners. PSoC 6 devices are currently sampling. Production devices are expected by the end of 2017.

Cypress Semiconductor | www.cypress.com

Microchip Adds AVR and SAM MCUs to Programming Service

Microchip Technology  has expanded its custom programming service to include AVR and SAM microcontrollers (MCUs). Users can add their custom code to MCUs from more than 30 AVR and SAM families, along with nearly all PIC MCUs and memory devices, directly from the manufacturer via microchipDIRECT.  Microchip  provides an online custom programming service to all of its clients.

Microchip’s custom programming service is available to any client regardless of their order size and can be used throughout the development process. From a7be46ac521844589d6de789549e7c153very small runs to verify that the code is working, all the way up through full-scale production runs, this cost-effective programming service offers customers the flexibility to add their code to any order size, from one device to millions. Additionally, each first verification order is complimentary and includes three free samples programmed to each client’s exact specifications.

To get started, clients choose their part number on microchipDIRECT and then add their code and other configuration settings, shown on the intuitive online form, directly into the encrypted website. The MCUs will then be programmed directly by Microchip with no need to involve a third party programming or manufacturing facility, thus eliminating the risk of code exposure during the programming process.

In addition to custom programming services, microchipDIRECT also offers value-added services such as tape and reeling, labels, ink dotting and more. With the largest inventory of Microchip products in the industry, microchipDIRECT provides a full service channel for all purchasing needs. The mobile-optimized website also offers global support in ten languages, volume pricing, live service agents, numerous payment options and order notifications for customer convenience. For more information visit www.microchipdirect.com.

Custom programming directly from Microchip is available for nearly all PIC MCUs and more than 30 AVR and SAM families with additional device support rolling out over the next year. For more information about this custom programming service, visit: www.microchipdirect.com/avr-sam-programming.html

Microchip Technology | www.microchip.com

8-bit Microcontroller Features Compact 8-Pin Package

STMicroelectronics has introduced its new 8-bit STM8S001 microcontroller (MCU) in an economical SO-8 package. The STM8S001 has I2C, UART, and SPI interfaces, giving unusually versatile connectivity options. With a generous 8KB Flash memory, 1 KB RAM, 128-byte EEPROM, and 3-channel 10-bit ADC also on-chip, it delivers key features of ST’s STM8S003 MCU in a space-saving, low-pin-count device. Additional features include five en.STM8S_MCU_8_pin_package_N3970S_bigGPIOs, one 8-bit and two 16-bit timers, and an internal RC oscillator that allows flexible clock control from 128 kHz to 16 MHz. There is also a Single-Wire Interface Module (SWIM) for programming and debugging.

Fully specified from -40°C to 125°C and featuring the modern and efficient STM8 core operating at 16 MHz, the STM8S001 is well suited for industrial devices like smart sensors and lighting controls, as well as consumer products such as toys, small appliances, personal electronics, PC peripherals, battery chargers, and many others. The STM8S001 in 8-pin SO-8 is in production now, priced from $0.20 for orders of 1,000 pieces. A Discovery kit will be available in Q4 2017.

STMicroelectronics | www.st.com

Nissan Chooses Renesas Chips for Automatic-Parking Gear

Renesas Electronics has announced that its R-Car system-on-chip (SoC) for car infotainment and advanced driving assistant systems (ADAS) as well as its RH850 automotive control microcontroller have been adopted by Nissan for the ProPILOT Park, a full-fledged automated-parking system, of its new LEAF, Nissan’s new 100 percent electric vehicle.

The R-Car SoC adopted in the ProPILOT Park of the new Nissan LEAF recognizes spaces adequate for parking, verifies that there are no obstacles in the way, and handles 20170906-soc-mcu-automated-parkingthe role of issuing control commands for acceleration, braking, steering and shifting. The R-Car SoC includes Renesas’ exclusive parallel image processor (IMP) dedicated for image processing. The IMP takes the high-resolution images from the latest automotive CMOS digital cameras and performs high-speed, low-power signal processing. The RH850 MCU accepts the chassis control commands from the R-Car SoC and transmits these commands to the various electronic control units (ECUs) used. This enables the Nissan LEAF’s ProPILOT Park to achieve safe and reliable parking operation.

Based on the newly-launched Renesas autonomy, a new advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving platform, Renesas enables a safe, secure, and convenient driving experience by providing innovative solutions for next-generation car.

Renesas Electronics | www.renesas.com

Wi-Fi MCU Platform Update Targets Smart Home

Cypress Semiconductor has announced an updated version of its turnkey development platform for the IoT that simplifies the integration of wireless connectivity into smart home applications. The Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) Studio platform now adds iCloud remote access support for Wi-Fi-based accessories that support Apple HomeKit. Developers can leverage iCloud support in the WICED software Cypress WICED IoT Development Kit_0development kit (SDK) and Cypress’ CYW43907 Wi-Fi MCU to create hub-independent platforms that connect directly to Siri voice control and the Apple Home app remotely. Developers can access the WICED Studio platform, ecosystem and community at www.cypress.com/wicedcommunity.

Using Cypress’ WICED development platform and ultra-low power CYW20719 Bluetooth/BLE MCU, developers can integrate HomeKit support into products such as smart lighting devices, leverage Siri voice control and connect to the Apple Home app seamlessly. WICED Studio provides a single development environment for multiple wireless technologies, including Cypress’ world-class Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and combo solutions, with an easy-to-use application programming interface in the world’s most integrated and interoperable wireless SDK. The kit includes broadly deployed and rigorously tested Wi-Fi and Bluetooth protocol stacks, and it offers simplified application programming interfaces that free developers from needing to learn about complex wireless technologies. The SDK also supports Cypress’ high-performance 802.11ac Wi-Fi solutions that use high-speed transmissions to enable IoT devices with faster downloads and better range, as well as lower power consumption by quickly exploiting deep sleep modes.

The Cypress CYW43907 SoC integrates dual-band IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi with a 320-MHz ARM Cortex-R4 RISC processor and 2 MB of SRAM to run applications and manage IoT protocols. The SoC’s power management unit simplifies power topologies and optimizing energy consumption. The WICED SDK provides code examples, tools and development support for the CYW43907.

 WICED Studio IoT Development Platform

The WICED platform supports a broad range of other popular cloud services and eliminates the need for developers to implement the various protocols to connect to them, reducing development time and costs. The WICED Studio SDK enables cloud connectivity in minutes with its robust libraries that uniquely integrate popular cloud services such as iCloud, Amazon Web Services, IBM Bluemix, Alibaba Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, along with services from private cloud partners and China’s Weibo social media platform.

In line with the IoT trend toward dual-mode connectivity, the kit supports Cypress’ Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combination solutions and its low-power Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) combination solutions. The SDK features a single installer package for multiple wireless technologies with an Eclipse-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that runs on multiple operating systems, including Windows, MacOS and Linux.

Cypress’ WICED Studio connectivity suite is microcontroller (MCU)-agnostic and provides ready support for a variety of third-party MCUs to address the needs of complex IoT applications. The platform also enables cost efficient solutions for simple IoT applications by integrating MCU functionality into the connectivity device. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth protocol stacks can run transparently on a host MCU or in embedded mode, allowing for flexible platform architectures with common firmware.

Cypress Semiconductor | www.cypress.com

Getting Started with PSoC MCUs (Part 3)

Data Conversion, Capacitive Sensing and More

In the previous parts of this series, Nishant laid the groundwork for getting up and running with the PSoC. Here he tackles the chip’s more complex features like Data Conversion and CapSense.

By Nishant Mittal
Systems Engineer, Cypress Semiconductor

In the previous two parts of this “Getting started with PSoC” series, I have hopefully provided you with a good base of knowledge about PSoC devices. Here, in this final part it’s time to get more in depth and discuss various data conversion protocols in PSoC and provide some design examples. I’ll also cover interfacing various peripherals with the Photo 1microcontroller. We’ll also get into how to transition from a bare silicon PSoC chip or PSoC development board to using the chip in your project.

Data conversion with PSoC

Data Conversion is an important block in any kind of instrumentation system or Internet of Things implementation. In fact, any application that uses sensors or interfaces to the external environment is an application in which Data Conversion is an integral part of the system. Although digital sensors are available today, the lower costs of analog sensors shouldn’t be overlooked.

 

PSoC Creator has a Data Conversion component that enables designers to code efficiently with less effort. The photo above shows the screenshot of the ADC (analog-to-digital conversion) component in PSoC Creator. The photo above also shows the configuration setting for ADC. First off, we need to set the Channel sampling rate (SPS). Second, we need to set the voltage reference which is necessary to do the comparison of analog signals. Here we use VDDA/2 or VDDA which is 5 V. You can select whether you For web Figure 1want a single-ended ADC or differential ADC by simply clicking the appropriate tab from the component configuration. Clock source needs to be chosen. If the source is chosen to be internal, the PLL from the internals of chip are used—otherwise you’d have to connect an external crystal to the controller using the development kit CY8CKIT-044. Other advanced settings are available for complex programs—but most of those aren’t needed in most intermediate applications.

Read the full article in the September 326 issue of Circuit Cellar

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Time-Oriented Task Manager

…for 8-bit PIC Microcontrollers

For many new embedded applications, an 8-bit MCU is just right. Pedro
shows how to build a time-oriented task manager using Microchip’s PIC
16F628A 8-bit microcontroller.

By Pedro Bertoleti

Microcontrollers are everywhere. From a simple remote control to an advanced car embedded system, microcontrollers surround us all. But while an 8-bit microcontroller is a relatively simple device, the software on them can get more sophisticated as more functionality is added to embedded systems. One of the most interesting advances in software technique is managing tasks. That involves enabling a microcontroller to execute several scheduled tasks, ensuring periodic and precise time execution. Here, we will examine how to implement a time-oriented task manager for a simple microcontroller—in this case, a Microchip 8-bit PIC microcontroller.

A graphic representation of a time-oriented task manager and its tasks

A graphic representation of a time-oriented task manager and its tasks

A good place to start is to ask: What is a task? A task is a part of a software program that’s dedicated to do something exclusively. In other words, a task is a piece of software that can be implemented and executed as an independent software program. Take, for example, an embedded system that has to blink an LED, send something through the UART interface and check an input’s state. Each one of these activities can be defined as a task. In a general way, each function of an embedded system can be defined as a task. A time-oriented task manager is a piece of software that performs these three main activities:

  • Execute tasks periodically
  • Execute tasks in the amount of time specified for them
  • Ensure time-precision measurement for the execution of tasks

In terms of coding, the time-oriented task manager and the tasks are different parts of the same software program. ….

Read the full article in the September 326 issue of Circuit Cellar

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ST Deploys Low-Layer Software for All STM32 MCUs

STMicroelectronics has completed the introduction of its free Low-Layer Application Programming Interface (LL API) software to the STM32Cube software packages for all STM32 microcontrollers. The LL APIs enable expert developers to work within the convenient and easy-to-use STMCube environment, and optimize their code down to the register level using ST-validated software for faster time to market.

en.STM32Cube_Low_Layer_APIs_HR_AIAP_n3949_big

The combination of LL APIs and Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) software in all STM32Cube packages now gives developers complete flexibility when choosing how to control device peripherals. They can leverage the HAL’s ease of use and portability or use LL APIs to optimize performance, code footprint, and power consumption. Code examples tailored to run on the associated STM32 Nucleo board provide templates that simplify porting to other STM32 MCUs.

With features such as peripheral-initialization services that are functionally equivalent to STM32 Standard Peripheral Libraries (SPLs), the LL APIs present an easy migration path from the older SPLs to the simple but powerful STM32Cube ecosystem. Using the LL APIs can deliver superior performance, comparable to that of STM32Snippets direct-register-access code examples.

The LL APIs are MISRA-C 2004 compliant except where indicated, and have been checked using Grammatech CodeSonar for optimum code quality and reliability. An automatic-update mechanism inside STM32CubeMX keeps the LL APIs up to date with the latest releases. The STM32CubeMX tool automates the generation of peripheral-initialization code with LL APIs for STM32L0, STM32F0, STM32L4, and STM32F3 MCUs. Support for the remaining STM32 series will be added in the coming months. A written guide and an automated tool for the SPL-to-LL code migration are also available.

More information on STM32CubeMX is available at www.st.com/stm32cubefw

STMicroelectronics | www.st.com

Microchip Launched Two New MCU Families

Microchip Technology has made available its new SAM D5x and SAM E5x microcontroller (MCU) families. These new 32-bit MCU families offer extensive connectivity interfaces, high performance and robust hardware-based security for a wide variety of applications. The SAM D5/E5 MCUs combine the performance of an ARM Cortex-M4 processor with a Floating Point Unit (FPU). This combination offloads the Central Processing Unit (CPU), increasing system efficiency and enabling process-intensive applications on a low-power platform.

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Running at up to 120 MHz, the D5x and E5x MCUs feature up to 1 MB of dual-panel Flash with Error Correction Code (ECC), easily enabling live updates with no interruption to the running system. Additionally, these families are available with up to 256 KB of SRAM with ECC, vital to mission-critical applications such as medical devices or server systems.

These new MCUs have multiple interfaces that provide design flexibility for even the most demanding connectivity needs. Both families include a Quad Serial Peripheral Interface (QSPI) with an Execute in Place (XIP) feature. This allows the system to use high-performance serial Flash memories, which are both small and inexpensive compared to traditional pin parallel Flash, for external memory needs.

The SAM D5/E5 devices also feature a Secure Digital Host Controller (SDHC) for data logging, a Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC) for capacitive touch capabilities and best-in-class active power performance (65 microA/MHz) for applications requiring power efficiency. Additionally, the SAM E5 family includes two CAN-FD ports and a 10/100 Mbps Ethernet Media Access Controller (MAC) with IEEE 1588 support, making it well-suited for industrial automation, connected home and other Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Both the SAM D5x and E5x families contain comprehensive cryptographic hardware and software support, enabling developers to incorporate security measures at a design’s inception. Hardware-based security features include a Public Key Cryptographic Controller (PUKCC) supporting Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) and RSA schemes as well as an Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) cipher and Secure Hash Algorithms (SHA).

The SAM E54 Xplained Pro Evaluation Kit is available to kick-start development. The kit incorporates an on-board debugger, as well as additional peripherals, to further ease the design process. All SAM D5x/E5x MCUs are supported by the Atmel Studio 7 Integrated Development Environment (IDE) as well as Atmel START, a free online tool to configure peripherals and software that accelerates development. SAM D5x and SAM E5x devices are available today in a variety of pin counts and package options in volume production quantities. Devices in the SAM D5/E5 series are available starting at $2.43 each in 10,000 unit quantities. The SAM E54 Xplained Pro Evaluation Kit is available for $84.99 each.

Microchip | www.microchip.com