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Another $5.99 Entrée on the Menu | Cypress Semiconductor

Another $5.99 Entrée on the Menu

When I see TV ads with deals like $5.99 entrees, I used to share them with my friends as a new happy hour option. The key word here is “used to”, because I grew out of impulsive buying based solely on pricing. Our satisfaction is exactly what we define it to be, and it takes a lot more than just a pricing label of $5.99 to make our Happy Hour truly happy. I do not want to end up with sub-par food, and paying more to get the quality and quantity of service that I really want.

 

Similarly, in the embedded system world, it takes a lot more than just the pricing on the naked silicon to satisfy designers. Engineers care about development software that allows them to “design the way they think”, like PSoC Creator. They would also love an eco system where the design IPs, components, programs can be created and shared, like the reusable components in PSoC Creator (Apple wowed the world not just with cool gadgets, but with social and savvy applications). Electronic enthusiasts would also endorse the freedom of changing designs (digital communication interfaces, capacitive sensing tuning parameters, converter resolution, etc.) in the last minute, which is enabled by the programmable nature of PSoC.

 

There are examples of vendors announcing segmentations with micro-controllers, and the lowest end MCU is priced at 25 cents, featuring 512B flash, 128B RAM, 1x 16 bit Timer, 1 WDT. It reminds me the experience of $5.99 entrées. Can I fulfill the requirements of my design at this low price? What can I really do with the 25 cent part? Cypress reacted to the low end MCU market by rolling out a promotion program for the lowest end PSoC 1 family starting at 35 cents last year: CY8C21x23 family, featuring 4K flash, 256B RAM, 4 digital blocks, and 4 analog blocks. So by 10 cents delta in pricing, users get 8x as much flash and 2x SRAM, and the configurable hardware full duplex UART, SPI and I2C, PWMs, comparators, and ADCs ----- a system on chip. Restaurants like Chevys, Macaroni Grill do not panic over Subway’s $5 foot long campaign, because they are not really in the same market, just like CY’s programmable system-on-chip is not in the 25 cents low end MCU line.

 

Customers define their satisfaction and our value, and happy customers make for successful businesses. We just want to make sure that every penny spent by a customer is well earned :-)

 

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