Cypress' Maker of the Month: Shahariar Hossain | Cypress Semiconductor
Cypress' Maker of the Month: Shahariar Hossain
The Maker of the Month series recognizes unique projects created by the maker community. At Cypress, we are committed to helping our customers (international OEMs and makers alike) bring their innovations to life with our easy-to-use software tools and programmable solutions. For more information about Cypress’s maker community involvement, check out the rest of our Maker of the Month series and our efforts to empower up-and-coming engineers via the Cypress University Alliance (CUA).
Read the Q&A with Cypress’s Maker of the Month, Shahariar Hossain. Shahariar is a lab executive at Eastern University and has built multiple projects with the PSoC® 4 CY8CKIT-049 4200 Prototyping Kit.
Please provide some background about yourself and your projects using Cypress technology.
I completed a Bachelor of Science in electrical and electronics engineering from American International University-Bangladesh and a Master of Science in renewable energy from the University of Dhaka. Currently, I am working as lab executive/instructor at Eastern University, where I am responsible for the electrical machine and power system protection labs and project design labs. Before my current job I worked at Wartsila Bangladesh Ltd as an assistant engineer (elec.) in the power plants O&M division.
My hobby is electronics project design and embedded systems. My goal is to run a home automation business and solar power business in the future.
I have nine projects/tutorials on Hackster.io based on the PSoC 4 CY8CKIT-049 4200 prototyping kit, thanks to my father, who visited the U.S. last year and brought me five of these kits. These projects are a documentation of my work while I explored some of the features of PSoC 4.
My first project was a Soft Only LCD Clock, which is a simple digital clock demonstrating modifications to the timer, interrupts, sleep mode, power over I/O, LCD driver, bootloader and IMO in PSoC 4. This project is very well documented for beginners and utilizes many aspects of the PSoC Creator integrated design environment (IDE).
Another fun PSoC project is the Water Cannon Wiper Bot, which is a very basic demonstration of a housekeeping robot. I wanted to demonstrate that in PSoC you can make a system only using hardware components without any C code.
A few other projects worth mentioning are the $7 Auto Ranging Ohms Meter, Ultrasonic Ranger and Capacitive Touch 5 Input Switch Module. The Auto Ranging Ohms Meter is a nice example of the use of the IDAC (Current Digital to Analog Converter) component inside PSoC. A known current is injected in an unknown external resistor and the voltage drop across it is measured with the 12-bit ADC. Ohm’s Law is used to calculate the resistance and the result is displayed on an LCD.
The Ultrasonic Ranger project shows how to measure distance using ultrasound. Here, the timer is used as an input capture to measure the pulse width, which represents the distance.
The Capacitive Touch Switch project utilizes the first half of the PSoC 4 CY8CKIT-049 4200 prototyping kit to make an input module with five touch switches that output in BCD format. This output can be used to perform any action for any embedded or pure analog based projects.
You can check out all my projects here: https://cypress.hackster.io/PSoC_Rocks/projects.
What do you like about the PSoC 4 CY8CKIT-049 4200 Prototyping Kit?
This awesome kit comes with lots of goodies for only $4. Here is a summery image -
There is an Arm core inside the CY8C4245AXI-483, which is the PSoC 4 IC, so for those who want to move from the 8-bit realm to the 32-bit realm, this kit is the ideal starting point. It’s virtual ICs are hardware pieces that allow users to use it as different analog and digital components without even writing a single line of C code. That’s just amazing! What’s even more amazing is that many signal and functions are user routable, which basically helps to reduce PCB or ProtoBoard layout complexity.
For the advanced user, there is the option to create your own components using some Verilog, because there are Universal Digital Blocks (UDBs) that allow users to create configurable components. Basically, PSoC is a remix of a microcontroller, FPGA and ASIC. Other goodies like the IDAC, touch support and opamps are very useful for making interesting projects with a wider operating voltage (1.7 V to 5.5 V). This makes it suitable for powering projects with different kinds of batteries/power sources. The PSoC Creator IDE is very intuitive, and users can also use their favorite IDEs like IAR or Keil with PSoC. All these great features are on the second half (main part) of the kit.
The first half of the kit has the CY7C65211 IC, which acts as a USB-Serial bridge allowing users to program the PSoC chip on the second half. This part also has many other features like BCD-encoded capacitive input, configurable USB to serial, I2C, SPI bridge, battery charge detection, etc. It can be configured/programmed easily without even writing a single line of code. USB-Serial function can be used along with capacitive touch input, allowing users to make really cool projects.
How did Cypress’s technology help you execute your projects, and what are the benefits you’ve seen with using these technologies.
I am really impressed with what Cypress is offering. If I compare Cypress with other semiconductor companies, Cypress is far better for its excellent documentation, unique and innovative solutions, wide range of products, state of the art development tools and satisfactory customer support.
By far, the best development tool is the PSoC Creator IDE, which is very user friendly for both beginners and pros. PSoC Creator makes initialization and configuration of PSoC devices intuitive, graphical, fast and understandable. The realm of PSoC Creator is a good starting point for Arduino people/ hobbyists to get a glimpse into the professional embedded development world.
I have used MCUs from other well-known semiconductor manufacturers, and their documentation is good, but not as excellent as what Cypress offers. Some of the other IDE’s are not very good. You will need to spend days digging in datasheets to get something, whereas with Cypress PSoC datasheets, it takes just a few hours.
PSoC has lots of datasheets for its components and there are APIs for these components. APIs are functions to be used in C Coding to get things done without even bothering about the low-level details in assembly language or register/flag settings. These APIs make a programmer’s life easier by making programming neat and short.
With PSoC and PSoC Creator, one single problem can be solved in multiple ways, such as with hardware only solutions, or with a mix of hardware and code, or just with C Code. Setting up system clock, interrupt priorities and I/O routing are a piece of cake. Makers, hackers, educators, students, professional embedded developers, whoever you are, Cypress’s PSoC is a must try. I bet you won’t regret it!
So far, in my personal experience Cypress is the best from both hardware and software perspectives.
Are you working on any other projects that use Cypress’s technology?
Currently I am working on a project using Cypress’s PSoC 4 prototyping kit to make a Solar Charge Controller. The idea is to make a device that will efficiently charge batteries from solar panels using an MPPT/Buck charge controlling method. In addition, it will also monitor battery charge level, the amount of energy stored during a day, the cumulative energy generation and some other features. I am also thinking of adding laptop/notebook charging options from solar panels.
Thanks again to Shahariar for participating in our Maker of the Month program. If you would like to be considered for our next Maker of the Month profile, please email us and share a brief description of what project(s) you have made using Cypress’s technology.