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CY8CKIT-044 PSoC® 4 M-Series Pioneer Kit - Review

Scoring

Product Performed to Expectations: 7
Specifications were sufficient to design with: 10
Demo Software was of good quality: 10
Product was easy to use: 10
Support materials were available: 10
The price to performance ratio was good: 10
TotalScore: 57 / 60
  • RoadTest: CY8CKIT-044 PSoC® 4 M-Series Pioneer Kit
  • Buy Now
  • Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards
  • Was everything in the box required?: Yes - null
  • Comparable Products/Other parts you considered: PSoC 5LP
  • What were the biggest problems encountered?: no sigma delta ADC available in the PSoC 4M

  • Detailed Review:

    Some months ago I tested the PSoC 5LP kit (Cypress PSoC® 5LP Prototyping Kit - Review ).

    I was very enthousiast about this cheap kit since it has enough power to make a stand-alone software defined radio. Originally I had the plan to improve the project by adding Si570 control, encoders and display. I also would try to add more modes, and finally try to make a transmitter, using the softrock rxtx 6.2.

    When the PSoC 4M roadtest came available, I applied with the idea to replace the 5LP with a 4M and possibly use the CapSense Gesture Pad to control the receive frequency set by the Si570, amongst other additions.

     

    Unfortunately I hadn't read the specs carefully, so after trying to convert my software defined radio project from the 5LP to the 4M I detected that the 4M doesn't have a sigma delta ADC available. Here you see how the 4M is selected:

    Windows_7__64_bit___Snapshot_1___Running_.png

    And here you see that the ADC and DAC are not compatible with the 4M.

    Windows_7__64_bit___Snapshot_1___Running_.png

    As it should be possible to replace the DAC with a compatible device, this is not the case for the ADC. For the SDR I used it in 14bit mode (16 bit max) and I'm pretty sure that this dynamic range is needed. That maximum resolution for compatible ADC's is 12 bit, which means only 4096 different levels. This will introduce to much quantisation noise.

     

    So I gave up on this idea, and for the roadtest I will focus on some general applications which can be done with the board.

     

    With its rich features, including capsules sensors, light, temperature, colored etc. it is still a very interesting board.

    A number of demo programs are available to test all the features. Tho other roadtest reviews already mentioned some of them.


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