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Exclusive: Is This the Next Generation FirstTouch Kit? | Cypress Semiconductor

Exclusive: Is This the Next Generation FirstTouch Kit?

Oh god. This was bound to happen, but I just didn’t think it would happen like this. I figured I would break this story before some tech blog gets wind of it and gets all the credit.
 
Cypress will from time to time allow engineers to use our pre-released kits in the wild to test it out in everyday circumstances. Well, as it turns out one of our engineers (and I’m using that term very lightly) took one the new PSoC 5 FirstTouch Kits out for a night on the town and, well… he lost it. At Gourmet Haus Staudt no less! You may recall this restaurant from some passing news story http://gizmodo.com/5520438/how-apple-lost-the-next-iphone.
 
 
As the story goes, the engineer, we’ll call him Rupert for the sake of anonymity, went out with some co-workers to the bar and things evidently got a little out of hand. 
 
Ultimately the ‘engineer’ got a little too inebriated and left the device at the bar. At which point it was discovered by a couple who tried to return it to the bar, but the bar didn’t want to be associated with another controversy… yadda, yadda, yadda, I was contacted, and I paid them for the exclusive rights to the story. NOT TO PURCHASE THE DEVICE. I think. I can’t remember. I was drinking.  
 
Naturally when you take a look at the product, it looks just like a normal PSoC 3 FirstTouch Starter kit. No biggie, right? Wrong. Cypress is smart, they packaged the PSoC 5 FirstTouch Starter kit to look just like the PSoC 3 version, but it’s just a case! When you open it up, you can actually see the difference.
 
First off, the most obvious difference is the orientation of the packaging. It is more user friendly. The order of the PSoC 3 FirstTouch Starter Kit is USB cable, board, then battery. But the PSoC 5 FirstTouch Starter Kit is ordered battery, board, then cable. It just makes more sense. That’s the order I plan on using the kit in! Now, this seems like a pre-production device so this could change when it’s actually released. Or someone could have put the foam in upside down. Either way, I’m excited.
 
But the differences don’t stop there. Oh, not even close! You’ll notice the PSoC 5 FirstTouch Starter Kit has a more masculine color scheme. Look at that subtle off-black finish. That’s called onyx. And, oh man, it’s one of my favorites. And look at that lettering. What is that, Arial Black Sans Serifs? Classic.
 
 
Looking at the ICs on it, though, the PSoC 5 version is totally more powerful. I did a little research, and this thing is powered by an ARM Cortex-M3 core. BAM! 32-bits of cool running, hard core processing. This thing’s powerful enough to run an RTOS, encode/decode JPEG images, and act as a graphics controller for QVGA screens. Ridiculous. And don’t even get me started on its deterministic timing. I get it, the PSoC 5 is a veritable power house.  And when I found out that this PSoC 5 thing has up to 4x OpAmps, 4x comparators, 4x DACs, 4x analog blocks, 2x high speed SAR ADCs, and a 20-bit Delta Sigma ADC I think my heart shed a tear.  There is no way that any other 32-bit core is even going to my attention after this thing comes out.
 

This thing is amazing. I don’t know when it will be released, but when it does I’m buying at least 2.  It better be within the next couple of weeks, because I have a sick project that this thing will be perfect for. 

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