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PSoC® 6 WiFi-BT Pioneer Kit (CY8CKIT-062-WIFI-BT) - Review

Scoring

Product Performed to Expectations: 9
Specifications were sufficient to design with: 9
Demo Software was of good quality: 10
Product was easy to use: 8
Support materials were available: 10
The price to performance ratio was good: 9
TotalScore: 55 / 60
  • RoadTest: PSoC® 6 WiFi-BT Pioneer Kit (CY8CKIT-062-WIFI-BT)
  • Buy Now
  • Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools
  • Was everything in the box required?: Yes
  • Comparable Products/Other parts you considered: Cypress PSoC6 BLE Pioneer Kit.
  • What were the biggest problems encountered?: No major issues so far.

  • Detailed Review:

    Cypress PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer Kit - Road Test Review

    - Dixon Selvan

    Last Modified Date & Purpose - 27/12/2018 & Road Test Review Creation

    Introduction

         Cypress PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer kit (CY8CKIT-062-WiFi-BT) priced at $99* contains the PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer board (MPN nomenclature of the PSoC6 MCU - CY8C6247BZI-D54) along with

      • a TFT Display Shield (CY8CKIT-028-TFT),
      • USB Type-A to Type-C cable,
      • two Proximity sensor wires (5 inches each),
      • four Jumper wires (4 inches each) and
      • a Quick start guide.

     

         Cypress PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer kit is a low-cost, ultra-low power hardware platform for evaluating the dual-core PSoC 62 MCU (PSoC - Programmable System on Chip) specifically designed for wearable and IoT products and Murata LBEE5KL1DX module which is a certified CYW4343W WiFi and Bluetooth Combo Chip. The PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer board has these (PSoC6 MCU and WiFi-BT Combo Chip) and industry-leading CapSense 4th generation (both self CSD and mutual capacitive CSX sensing capable system) which can be evaluated using the five-segment touch slider, two touch buttons, and proximity sensor. The board has a well-cushioned stand to keep it separated from your workbench or desk and provides grip to prevent it from falling down. Arduino UNO R3 (3.3V) Shield compatible headers and Digilent Pmod compatible headers help to expand your projects easily. In Short, this is an MCU powerhouse of features built-in to meet your IoT needs. The tagline for this kit by Cypress is as below,

    Where IoT meets lowest power, most flexibility, built-in security

     

        PSoC Creator 4.2* is the latest and official IDE for developing, debugging your projects and for programming the Cypress PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer board. Additionally, you will require WICED Studio 6.2* (Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices) for the WiFi-BT programming.

     

         To get started with the Cypress PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer kit, check out the Quick Start Guide, Kit Guide, and Code Examples from Cypress to grab a quick overview of the hardware and features available in the kit. This will be my road test review of the Cypress PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer kit based on my two months experience of road testing this board. Click here if you would like to know About me. You can also check out my review of a similar kit from Cypress (priced at $75*) but without Wi-Fi, the Cypress PSoC6 BLE Pioneer Kit - Cypress PSoC® 6 BLE Pioneer Kit (CY8CKIT-062-BLE) - Review Thank you rscasny, Element14 Community and Cypress for providing me this opportunity.

     

    *Price and Software versions mentioned were taken during the period of road test review and these might change in the future.

     

    Table of Contents

    Plan

         The plan proposed in the road test application includes a 'Home Automation' project, standard review along with the comparison review with the BLE variant of this kit. The proposed schedule of the road test review is as follows,

    1. Unboxing and Out of the box demo video  - 1 week
    2. Standard and Comparison Review (compare with CY8CKIT-062-BLE) - 3 weeks
    3. Home Automation Project - 4 weeks

     

    Unboxing and Out of the Box (OOB) Experience

     

    Unboxing

         The Cypress PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer kit is securely placed inside a strong, purposefully built cardboard box which locks with the help of magnets in the flap edges. There is sponge attached to the inside of the box (at the lid and in the box in the shape of the contents) which helps to keep the contents of the kit in place and safe from damage during transport or storage (when the kit is not in use it is recommended to keep it inside the box in order to prevent ESD and avoid interference). Plus on the back, you have links for additional resources, support, QR code which lead you to Cypress websites related to the kit, contact and revision details. There is RoHS certification which becomes visible when you peel away the sticker having a precaution message about ElectroStatic Sensitive devices inside. This kit has a lifetime of 5 years and you need to contact your nearest recycler on information about discarding the kit. Above all the kit was shipped undamaged with an additional cardboard box, packaging paper, and bubble wrap. Thanks to Element14 Community team and UPS for packing and delivering the kit without any damage.

     

         Once you open the box, you literally have the feeling of unboxing one of the premium phones out in the market (not to exaggerate)! And inside you have a quick start guide, four jumper and two proximity sensor wires inside a plastic enclosure, a USB type-A to type-C cable for supplying power to the board and the main PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer board with the TFT display shield.

     

    First Impressions

         The board is designed quite well with an easily accessible placement of Capsense slider, buttons and GPIO pins (unless you have the TFT display shield mounted on top). The TFT Display shield pins are quite long to allow some level of access to the nearby GPIO pins even while it is connected to the Cypress PSoC6 Pioneer board. But some LEDs, switches and GPIO Pins do go under the TFT Display shield while connected to the board, which makes them less viewable or accessible.

     

         Below are the images of the kit and its contents.

     

    {gallery} Unboxing - Cypress PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer kit

    Cypress PSoC6 Wi-Fi BT Pioneer Kit

    Picture1: Cypress PSoC6 Wi-Fi BT Pioneer Kit

    Cypress PSoC6 Wi-Fi BT Pioneer Kit

    Picture2: Cypress PSoC6 Wi-Fi BT Pioneer Kit

    Box front view

    Picture3: Cypress PSoC6 Wi-Fi BT Pioneer Kit - Box

    Cypress PSoC6 Wi-Fi BT Pioneer Board

    Picture4: Cypress PSoC6 Wi-Fi BT Pioneer Board

    Cypress PSoC6 Wi-Fi BT Pioneer Board

    Picture5: Cypress PSoC6 Wi-Fi BT Pioneer Board - without TFT Display Shield mounted on top

    Cypress PSoC6 Wi-Fi BT Pioneer Board

    Picture6: Cypress PSoC6 Wi-Fi BT Pioneer Board - Bottom View

    TFT Display Shield

    Picture7: TFT Display Shield

     

    Out of the Box (OOB) Demo

         No joy is greater for a developer than visualizing the newly purchased kit working with almost zero efforts right out of the box. The kit comes pre-programmed with a WICED WiFi Demo (For code example - Click here). Have a look for yourself to see how the Cypress PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer kit performs out of the box. You may additionally need a browser with WiFi capable phone, tablet or PC to have a complete OOB experience.

     

    Note: Make sure the SW5 is in the middle position which is 3.3V otherwise the TFT shield might not operate and go blank.

     

         Below is the video covering the unboxing and Out of the Box experience.

     

     

     

    Specifications

         I have tried to consolidate all the specifications of the Cypress PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer Kit in the table below.

     

    Description

    Value

    Kit
    Product NameCypress PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer Kit
    Part NumberCY8CKIT-062-WiFi-BT
    PSoC6 BLE Pioneer board
    Part Number (MPN Nomenclature)CY8C6247BZI-D54
    Dual Core

    Arm Cortex M4 @150 MHz

    Arm Cortex M0+ @100 MHz

    Flash1MB
    SRAM288KB
    GPIO pins104
    Programmable Analog Blocks7
    Programmable Digital Blocks56
    Operating Voltage1.8-3.3 V
    Battery SupportLithium-Ion Polymer Battery
    Power Delivery (PD) SystemEZ-PD CCG3
    Backup330mF Super Capacitor
    Connectivity2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
    WiFi StandardIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n WLAN
    Special features

    Ultra-Low Power, Arduino Shield compatible, Capacitive Sensing with CapSense, Full Speed USB,

    Digilent Pmod Compatible.

    TFT Display shield
    Part NumberCY8CKIT-028-TFT
    Display Size & Type2.4 Inch TFT Display
    Sensors &  FeaturesAmbient light sensor, 6-axis motion sensor, PDM microphone, 32-bit audio codec
    Arduino CompatibleYes
    Cable
    CableUSB Type-A to Type-C

     

         The MPN Nomenclature of the PSoC6 provided for this road test is explained as follows:

     

               CY8C6247BZI - D54ES

      1. CY8C - Cypress Prefix
      2. 6 - PSoC6 Architecture
      3. 2 - Connectivity [Family]
      4. 4 - 150/50 MHz [Speed]
      5. 7 - 1024 KB [Flash]
      6. BZ - BGA [Package Code]
      7. I - Industrial [Temperature Range]
      8. D - Dual Core [Core]
      9. 54 - Code of the feature set in the specific family [Attributes Code 0-99]
      10. ES - Engineering Sample

     

         The PSoC6 Dual core is a shared memory unit where both the cortex can talk to anything on the board. In spite of this, they have their own advantages. Below is a list of applications for which the Arm Cortex cores can be used separately,       

     

     

         Arm Cortex M0+ - This is used in the case where applications which need to run for a longer duration in low power mode. Some examples are,

      1. BLE Stack
      2. CapSense
      3. Sensor aggregation
      4. I/O data control
      5. Sensor aggregation

         Arm Cortex M4 - This is used in the case where applications need to be capable of running powerful processes. Some examples are,

      1. RTOS
      2. Displays
      3. Sensor Analysis
      4. Audio Interface
      5. USB/ BLE HCI

     

    Software (IDEs)

     

    PSoC Creator

         PSoC® Creator™ Integrated Design Environment (IDE) is the official IDE for programming the Cypress PSoC6 BLE Pioneer Kit. The latest version is 4.2 which can be downloaded as a zip file of around 622 MB size (for windows) and takes about 2.50 GB of disk space for installation. The below screenshot shows the folder structure inside the installation directory. For PSoC Creator Quick Start guide - Click here.

         It is majorly compatible with Windows OS and can be run in Mac or Linux OS using VMWare or Virtual Box. The PSoC Creator is a medium-sized powerful development environment which helps developers easily recover from errors with suggestions. Also, some software component updates are automatically identified and updated with manual intervention, which otherwise would be a headache to find out.

     

    WICED Studio

         WICED Studio is the IDE for developing applications for WiFi and Bluetooth using the Cypress PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer kit. The latest version is 6.2 which can be downloaded a zip file of around 623 MB size (for windows) and takes about 380 MB of disk space for installation. The below screenshot shows the folder structure inside the installation directory.

     

    Comparison

     

    Display Shield:

     

    • Display Type:
      • The PSoC6 BLE Pioneer Kit has the E-ink type display. It consumes less power and retains display even when it is disconnected from power. It is not harmful to the eyes. However, it is not visible in the dark.
      • The PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer Kit has the TFT type display. This consumes more power comparatively. It can cause some extent of damage to the eyes when exposed to the display for a long period of time. It can be used in dark as well.
    • Header Pins:
      • I had quoted an incident where the E-Ink Display shield’s L shaped header pins broke apart after a fall. The screenshot from the road test review of the Cypress PSoC6 BLE Pioneer kit is below. In the WiFi-BT Pioneer kit, the TFT touchscreen display shield has header pins which are not L Shaped and are through-hole components and soldered on top. Even if something wrong happens, we can solder and de-solder it. But I may not guarantee that the TFT touchscreen will break in case of a fall!

     

    {gallery} TFT Display Shield

    TFT Display Shield

    TFT Display Shield: Top View

    TFT Display Shield

    TFT Display Shield: Bottom View

    E-Ink Display Shield: Top View

    E-Ink Display Shield: Bottom View

    E-Ink Display Shield: Broken

     

    <<In-Progress>> [Project] Home Automation

         This section will be updated soon with the project.

     

    Known Issues & Workaround

    • TFT display does not work when the SW5 is set to the 1.8V position.

              Workaround: You have to place it in the 3.3V position. It works for 2.5V or greater.

    • PSoC6 MCU resets during the wake-up event from deep sleep power mode if
      1. Deep-Sleep duration
      2. 1.1V LDO is used to power VCCD
      3. VDD is set to 1.8V

              Workaround: Set Deep Sleep longer than 30ms. Use 0.9V/1.1V SIMO buck or select VDD greater than 1.8V using SW5.

    • Issue programming kit using Windows 7 with WICED Studio.

              Workaround: Use Windows 10

     

    Conclusion/ Summary

         Cypress PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer kit is a very powerful development kit with moderately sized IDEs. WIth available tutorials and documentation from Cypress, getting started was really easy and without any hustle. Based on my journey for two months with this Cypress PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer kit, I have tried to summarize its Pros and Cons as below.

     

    Pros

    1. The board and shield are heavily labeled which helps us to know the pinout details easily without the need to refer the guide or documentation.
    2. Getting started with the kit right out of the box has been made as easy as possible.
    3. Sufficient example codes to play with and get a better understanding of the various features offered by the kit.
    4. Informative and helpful Cypress Developer Community.

     

    Cons

    1. We have to install two IDEs for programming a single board.
    2. The board's life is 5 years!
    3. Arduino Shield Compatibility is limited to only shields operating under 3.3V that means 5V shields are not compatible.
    4. Battery and power delivery capable Type C to Type C cable is not included with the kit and need to purchased separately.

     

    What may follow

    1. The Comparison review is limited to the display shield and I will try to perform a wholesome comparison review of both the kits.

     

    With this ends my road test review of the Cypress PSoC6 BLE Pioneer Kit.

     

         I have tried to summon some useful quick reference links in the table below.

     

    DescriptionLink
    My Cypress PSoC6 BLE Pioneer Kit - Road Test ReviewCypress PSoC® 6 BLE Pioneer Kit (CY8CKIT-062-BLE) - Review
    Road Test Home PagePSoC® 6 WiFi-BT Pioneer Kit (CY8CKIT-062-WIFI-BT)
    Product Page

    Cypress - http://www.cypress.com/documentation/development-kitsboards/psoc-6-wifi-bt-pioneer-kit

    Element14 - https://in.element14.com/cypress-semiconductor/cy8ckit-062-wifi-bt/pioneer-kit-psoc6-cortex-m0-cortex/dp/2857060?COM=emb…

    PSoC62http://www.cypress.com/documentation/datasheets/psoc-6-mcu-psoc-62-datasheet-programmable-system-chip-psoc
    PSoC Creatorhttp://www.cypress.com/products/psoc-creator-integrated-design-environment-ide
    WICED Studiohttp://www.cypress.com/products/wiced-software
    Code Examples

    PSoC6 WiFi-BT Pioneer kit - http://www.cypress.com/file/416491/download

    PSoC 6 MCU - http://www.cypress.com/documentation/code-examples/psoc-6-mcu-code-examples

    Guide Documentation

    Quick Start Guide - http://www.cypress.com/file/406831/download

    Kit Guide - http://www.cypress.com/file/407731/download

    PSoC 6 101 Tutorial

    YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIOkqhZiy83H81AhLcjwIKkB9w07JQZS6

    Cypress - PSoC® 101 Video Tutorial Series: How To Use the Arm® Cortex®-M4 Based PSoC 6

    WICED WiFi 101 Tutorialhttp://www.cypress.com/training/wiced-wi-fi-101-chapter-1-ecosystem-overview
    Cypress Links

    Support - http://www.cypress.com/support

    Community - https://community.cypress.com/welcome


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