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Why is Analog Important? | Cypress Semiconductor

Why is Analog Important?

Cypress puts a heap of emphasis on PSoC’s analog capabilities, and understandably so as this is a great means product differentiation.  We don’t want to be compared to microcontrollers, which tend to have much lower levels of analog (both in quantity and quality), yet most of our competitors are microcontroller vendors.  We like to be referred to as a mixed signal chip, which we are, but then customers tend to view us a niche product.  And naturally our PSoC is a system on a chip as well.  It’s a product that is in a unique space, and therefore has been growing into its own identity.  In reality the PSoC is a programmable mixed signal system on a chip microcontroller… but nobody here likes the name PMSSoCM.  I think it rolls off the tongue nicely… but we’ll stick with PSoC… for now.

 

What I love about PSoC is its analog capabilities.  Sure, I’m partial to the product as they keep paying me to keep my anachronistic oil painting addition going (who wouldn’t want a painting of James Joyce using an iPad?), but it really is cool that PSoC pulls in so much analog.  It’s really all about integrating components that are traditionally outside of a microcontroller allowing for smaller and more concise designs.  At a high level, sensors are traditionally an easy example to show this as an example.  Analog sensors, for the most part, need to be conditioned before being digitized.  Some times this involves an amplifier, filter and an ADC, other times it’s just a PGA before a comparator.  Regardless of which design topology is being used, PSoC can be configured by the user to handle this flow.  The components (ADC, PGA, comparator, OpAmp, filters, etc) are all able to be placed in a design and the signals can be routed in any configuration needed.  You want to route a signal to a PGA then an OpAmp then to an ADC? Done. You want to route a signal from a OpAmp to a PGA then to a comparator? Done.  You want to link together 3 comparators, a PGA and an ADC? Wait, you want to do that?  It makes no sense, but you can do it.  That’s what’s cool about the analog: the flexibility to treat it like individual components on a bread board.

 

PSoC’s analog allows the ability to come up with new means to interface and condition analog signals inside of a single chip.  Oh and its has a microcontroller.

 

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