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Description: This is the FreeSoC2 Development Board, SparkFun’s take on the PSoC5LP ARM Cortex. The PSoC (Programmable System on a Chip) brings together features of the programmable devices and microcontroller-type systems on chips into one package. By placing a programmable fabric between the peripherals and the pins, the FreeSoC2 allows any function to be routed to any pin! Moreover, the on-board PSoC includes a number of programmable blocks which allow the user to define arbitrary digital and analog circuits for their specific application.
SparkFun’s FreeSoC2 board has two processors on-board: a CY8C5868LTI-LP039 and a CY8C5888AXI-LP096. The former serves as a debugger/programmer for the latter, which is the target upon which your application code will be installed. Both parts contain a Cortex-M3 processor core, 256kB of flash memory, 64kB of SRAM, and 2kB of EEPROM. The only significant difference between the two are package size and clock speed. The target is in a TQFP-100 package which provides 72 IO pins versus the debugger’s QFN-68 package and 48 IO pins, and the target can operate at 80MHz versus the debugger’s 67MHz limit. Additionally, the FreeSoC2 can support 5V and 3.3V IO voltages.
With a simple upload of new firmware, the Arduino core has been ported to the PSoC5LP, so you can write code for the board in the standard Arduino IDE. The board duplicates the functionality of an Arduino Uno R3’s various hardware peripherals on the pins, so many examples, libraries, and shields will work on this board. However, to get the most out of the device, you will need to use the PSoC Creator IDE (which is free of charge with no code limits from Cypress Semiconductor). Please keep in mind that the PSoC Creator software is Windows-only at this time.
Note: The FreeSoC2 Develpment Board is a collaboration with Jon Moeller. A portion of each sales goes back to him for product support and continued development.
Based on 7 ratings:
4 of 4 found this helpful:
When I first saw this board I was excited and nervous. Excited because I have used PSOC creator and have had the woes and the awesomes. I was first affriad because I like to have a simple board to use that is easy to program to test sensors; like the Arduino. I also like a board that can allow complex design for multiple type sensors in put and outputs. Arduino UNO people lets face we have ran out of pins a lot faster than we would have liked. The feature of be able to use the Arduino IDE takes away the pain that can be the PSOC creator and gives the simple test platform we like about Arduino. The thing I really like is that you can still go back in on the PSOC creator and create more complex designs that are some times required for projects. The UDBs (undefined data blocks) in the PSOC give it more flexible design than any other micro I have ever used. I also love that the IO voltages can be selected to Match 5v or 3p3v. This give the nice camptiblity with the 5v R3 shields along with pins that can use the 3p3v sensors. (IMU, and the like) This make it even easier to develop projects that have multiple voltage levels. If you are thinking about giving it a shot stop and get. This board would have been what many of my friends could have used on some projects that were simple robots that needed both 5v and 3p3v sensors. Thanks Sparkfun for this advancement to hobbiest. PS I am working to port the Robot Control code over to this board!
1 of 1 found this helpful:
3 of 3 found this helpful:
Once you’ve gotten your feet wet with the Arduino boards and their fixed hardware functions, this board and the awesome PSoC5LP is a great next step.
Like others here I’ve made the FreeRTOS demo app run on this board, and I’m continually amazed at just how much horsepower this chip has.
I find myself spending more time using the PSoC Creator software to create hardware designs (because that’s the part that is new to me) and I found it to be a fairly capable IDE.
I love this board. It is my current obsession.
3 of 3 found this helpful:
I had this sitting in a box for a couple of weeks before I finally decided I was willing to go through the process of trying to download, install, and license yet another FPGA related toolset. So this last weekend, I downloaded freesoc creator and installed the software.
First, I was very surprised at how easy it was to get the software. I had to do a quick registration on their website and validate my email and that was all that was required. Other competitors (Xilinx) seem to want your first born child before they’d let you get that far. Installation was a breeze.
I then thought, ok, I’ve got 10 minutes to see how far I can get with a blink led project. Much to my surprise, that really is about how long it took and I didn’t even have to write a single line of code. I connected the ilo oscillator (1 KHz) to a divider set to 1000. Connected the output of that to the LED on the board. Programmed it and it worked.
Yesterday I decided to try and see if I could intermix the FPGA stuff with some code on the core. I re-did the blink project using a timer and an interrupt service routine. The main loop counted interrupts until 1 second had passed and then it would toggle the LED. This also was very easy and the included examples/documentation were excellent.
So - I don’t often give anything 5 stars, but this product is very deserving. I have some minor concerns over the license agreements which, on a cursory glance, seem a little anti-open-hardware but that may be the result of me reading through it a little too quickly. The included documentation is probably the best I’ve seen and I don’t think you need an internet connection for it either. I’m looking forward to doing more with this board.
a high speed crystal clock would have been nice.. overall happy
I dug a Windows laptop out of the closet so that I could run PSOC Creator, and have been amazed at how much one can do with the combined software, programmable logic, and analog features of PSOC. The quantity and quality of the documentation is also great. I’m glad I invested the time.
I have been working with the FreeSoc for several months. I have 4 boards. If you want to move up the sophistication and flexibility scale from an Arduino, this board is a very good choice.
I use PSoC Creator from Cypress for development. It is very easy to install and use. I did a few simple projects to get started and have now moved on to a major robotics project using FreeRTOS on the FreeSoC2.
There are lots of example projects from Cypress. Also, if you have questions, the PSoC community on Cypress’s web site is very very responsive and friendly. Cypress support is very responsive also – I reported a problem and they actually called me a couple hours later to talk about work arounds.
In my projects, I have often run into the problem of being able to do most of what I need in software but needing just a little hardware here and there. The result was little breadboards, misc shields. etc. The FreeSoC greatly simplifies all this.
The big feature of PSoC and this board is the straightforward way in which you can add a little “hardware” to your projects – just drag and drop building blocks in PSoC creator. PSoC creator then generates everything you need – the hardware and the basic interface software to the hardware you just created. The available modules range from simple key debouncing, pretty much every communication interface, USB interfaces, analog components, …
Bottom line. More sophistication is required than Arduino – this is real C and real programming. However, if you want to do real projects and especially if you need some interesting interfacing hardware for your projects, check out the FreeSoC2.