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Cypress PSoC® 6 BLE Pioneer Kit (CY8CKIT-062-BLE) - Review

Scoring

Product Performed to Expectations: 10
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: 60 / 60
  • RoadTest: Cypress PSoC® 6 BLE Pioneer Kit (CY8CKIT-062-BLE)
  • Buy Now
  • Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools
  • Was everything in the box required?: Yes
  • Comparable Products/Other parts you considered: NXP Hitex LPC4350 Evaluation Board
  • What were the biggest problems encountered?: The KitProg2 included on the card seems to have an older version of firmware than PSoC Creator is expecting. I will update this section when I understand it better.

  • Detailed Review:

    This PSoC 6 BLE Pioneer Kit from Cypress has an impressive array of features:

    Dual core MCU - Arm Cortex M4 plus Arm Cortex M0 CPU

    Memory - 1 MB of internal FLASH, 288 KB of SRAM

    - 512 Mb external serial FLASH

    - footprint for optional FRAM

    GPIO - 78

    Programmable analog blocks - 7

    Programmable digital blocks - 56

    Bluetooth Low Energy - BLE5

    Peripherals :                              

    - CapSense slider    

    - Capsense buttons  

    - Capsense proximity header

    - RGB LED                

    - 2 user LEDs            

               - 2.7" E-INK display with digital mic

          - PSoC5 programmer/debugger

    - 2 user switches      

    - Digilent Pmod header

       - Arduino Uno R3 connectors

    - Li-Po battery charger

    - super capacitor    

    There is a 59 page user guide located here.

    This PSoC 6 MCU has the power to run a real-time operating system and Cypress includes one in their PSoC Creator if we want to use it. I hope to explore the RTOS later in the road test.

     

    Unboxing Video

     

    Demo Software Video

     

    I have ordered parts to try and demonstrate applying this kit to a robotic arm, but not all the parts have arrived yet.

     

    To explore further in the mean time, I am installing PSoC Creator. I already use PSoC Creator, but it needed to be upgraded to handle PSoC 6.

    After installing both PSoC Creator V4.1 and the 4.2 Beta version I plugged in the Pioneer Kit.

    Both versions issued an error message:

    "KitProg2 version Expecting 1.05, but found 1.04. Please use PSoC Programmer GUI to upgrade firmware." From this wording, I wasn't sure if the KitProg2 firmware was too old or if PSoC Creator was too old.

    KitProg2 is implemented in an on-board PSoC5LP, so I downloaded and installed PSoC Programmer GUI V3.26.

    When I ran PSoC Programmer and selected KitProg2/... from the Port Selection box it indicated the KitProg2 device was out of date and needed to be updated: it also indicated "KitProg2 version Expecting 1.03, but found 1.04" and that I should navigate to the utilities tab and click the Upgrade Firmware button.

    It took 2 tries but did upgrade the KitProg2 firmware, and now (in PSoC Programmer) KitProg2 shows up as V1.03 Powered and Connected. However the Pioneer Kit still did not show up in PSoC Creator.

    Quite possibly I am missing some simple step in getting PSoC Creator to communicate with the Pioneer Kit but it seems the various software versions are not quite in synch at this point. Hopefully it will all be sorted out by the time PSoC Creator V4.2 launches in a few weeks. It might be because I have multiple versions of PSoC Creator on my computer - I will try on a fresh computer.

    I happen to have a MiniProg3, which should be able to be used for programming, and there are several auxiliary programming connectors on the card, so I am currently investigating how to connect it up. It looks like I need to install a connector and remove 2 resistors (so SWDIO and SWCLK don't conflict with the KitProg2). However I need to also investigate how to power the card in this scenario. The MiniProg3 can support different voltages, so that needs to be specified and I'm not yet sure if other power to the card is needed or acceptable. I expect to resolve all this but it may take some time.

    One of the objectives of any road test is to help identify and resolve these sorts of teething issues, I just hope there will be enough time to explore the capabilities of this promising module as well.

    It turns out I just got off on the wrong foot.

    I managed to get PSoC Programmer installed at version 3.27 by uninstalling PSoC Creator 4.2 and reinstalling it, except this time I didn't do a "Typical" install, I did a "Complete" install. The PSoC Creator installer uninstalled PSoC Programmer 2.26 and installed PSoC Programmer 3.27 as well as PSoC Creator 4.2.

    Now to try programming something... I downloaded several of the examples from Cypress' code examples web page, unzipped them and copied the resulting code directories to the firmware directory of the Cypress software directory for this kit. They now appear in PSoC Creator under this kit on the start page - like this:

    Clicking on one of these examples allows it to be loaded into the workspace. I had a little trouble with some of the examples - the path plus filename seemed to be too long. They may need to be copied into a shorter path directory and renamed with shorter filenames - I'm still trying to figure out if I messed up the path somehow. Once the project is loaded, it can be compiled into an application and uploaded onto the target kit.

    Here is a quick video of the E-Ink and Capsense demo example:

     

    Next I will try to modify an example and re-compile - this is a peek at PSoC Creator:

    I have to apologize - the audio lags the video - I need to sort out my video capture software.

     

    The results of the changes look like this - note the original text did not show display resolution:

    This next section demonstrates PSoC Creator being used to edit the E-Ink application and add servo motor control based on the CapSense slider.

     

    The SERVO graphic was converted from a bitmap image to an ASCII hex file using LCD assistant.

     

    Stay tuned for more content....

     

    Related Links:

    element14 Road Test Page: Cypress PSoC® 6 BLE Pioneer Kit (CY8CKIT-062-BLE)

    Cypress PSoC 6 BLE Pioneer Kit

    PSoC 6 BLE Pioneer Kit User Guide

    PSoC 6 MCU

    PSoC Creator IDE

    Code Examples

    Buy - CY8CKIT-062-BLE -  PSOC 6 PIONEER KIT


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