You are here

Cypress PSoC Chip Drives Specialized Camera from Aries Industries Used in Chilean Miner Rescue | Cypress Semiconductor

Cypress PSoC Chip Drives Specialized Camera from Aries Industries Used in Chilean Miner Rescue

Last Updated: November 08, 2010

PSoC Helped Shrink Critical Circuit Board to Enable Small Form-Factor Of Aries Camera That Confirmed Miners Were Alive

SAN JOSE, Calif., November 8, 2010 – Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: CY) today announced that its PSoC® programmable system-on-chip played an important part in the riveting rescue of the 33 trapped miners in the San Jose copper and gold mine near Copiapo, Chile. Fresno, California-based Central California Video Engineering & Manufacturing (CCV), a subsidiary of Aries Industries, built the specialized camera that was dropped into the initial bore hole to deliver the first pictures that confirmed the miners were alive. A single PSoC chip replaced an entire two-inch wide circuit board, enabling the ultra-thin camera that was lowered 2,300 feet below ground to the miners. The PSoC device inside the camera provides bandpass filtering and demodulation of the control signal protocol.

The camera used in the rescue was the WC1750 Slimline Dual-View Waterwell Inspection Color Camera. It has a maximum outside diameter of only 1.75 inches, perfect for inspecting small boreholes. The camera has adjustable focus, electronic shutter (iris), adjustable lighting and rotation control, front view, side view selection and can withstand a depth of 5,000 feet. The camera uses LED lighting technology that has a 10,000-hour operating life.

“We were obviously thrilled to play an important role in this dramatic rescue,” said AriesCCV Vice President of Research and Development, Mike McGrew. “Our engineers work hard to develop cameras that perform at the highest level in grueling conditions. Their hard work, including using PSoC to shrink the design, paid enormous benefits in this case. We’re very proud of this accomplishment.”

”It’s exciting to see that PSoC enabled the small form factor of this amazing camera, and of course to see the results of those efforts,” said Norm Taffe, executive vice president of Cypress’s Consumer and Computation Division. “The ability to integrate multiple components in a single chip is only one of many benefits of the PSoC approach. PSoC also speeds time-to-market, and lets engineers make critical changes at any time in the product life cycle. That’s why PSoC is in literally thousands of systems from white goods and cell phones, to industrial controls and medical devices.”

About PSoC
PSoC’s unique architecture of programmable analog and digital resources integrated with a microcontroller delivers a number of important benefits to system designers, including time-to-market, the ability to react to change, reduced components due to integration, power savings, inventory reduction, and supplier consolidation. All of these benefits are important factors in PSoC’s growth story. The PSoC architecture is also at the core of other Cypress offerings, such as the TrueTouch™ touchscreen solution, CapSense™ touch-sensing and PowerPSoC™ controllers for LED lighting.

Cypress recently introduced the PSoC 3 and PSoC 5 families, which deliver unparalleled integration and flexibility across 8-, 16-, and 32-bit applications. These new products dramatically expand the served available market for PSoC products to applications such as industrial products, automotive, medical and more. More information about PSoC is available at and free online training is at

About Cypress
Cypress delivers high-performance, mixed-signal, programmable solutions that provide customers with rapid time-to-market and exceptional system value. Cypress offerings include the flagship PSoC® programmable system-on-chip families and derivatives such as PowerPSoC® solutions for high-voltage and LED lighting applications, CapSense® touch sensing and TrueTouch™ solutions for touchscreens. Cypress is the world leader in USB controllers, including the high-performance West Bridge® solution that enhances connectivity and performance in multimedia handsets. Cypress is also a leader in high-performance memories and programmable timing devices. Cypress serves numerous markets including consumer, mobile handsets, computation, data communications, automotive, industrial and military. Cypress trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol CY. Visit Cypress online at

# # #

Cypress, the Cypress logo, PSoC, CapSense, West Bridge and EZ-USB are registered trademarks, and CapSense Plus and CyFi are trademarks of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. All other trademarks are property of their owners.