When you purchase a dev board, you expect certain accommodations for the onboard MCU, such as a programmer, IO connections, and other peripherals specialized to a particular system. While these onboard accessories are often useful, at other times they can be unnecessary, taking up valuable space in your prototype. The CY8CPROTO-062-4343W PSoC 6 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth prototyping kit from Cypress Semiconductor has a different take on things, as a dev board or kit that snaps into six separate modules so that you can selectively use just the accessories that you need.
At the heart of the design, the central module houses a Cypress PSoC 6 WiFi-BT Module (CY8CMOD-062-4343W, U15) with an onboard PsoC 6 MCU (CY8C624ABZI-D44) and a CYW4343W based Murata Type 1DX Module (LBEE5KL1DX). The board also contains a programming and debug header, power selection jumpers, and a micro-USB device connector. This board section also features a wide range of IO headers outlined on page 8 of the kit’s guide available here.
Snap-off accessory modules include a KitProg3 programmer and debugger with a micro-USB connector and CY8C5868LTI-LP039, U1 chip, along with headers and a mode selection button. A second module includes a NOR flash memory module, along with an SD card slot, and the third sub-board includes a pair of PDM microphones and a thermistor. The bottom-left snap-off board includes Digilent Pmod SPI and I2S2 headers, and the final board features a pair of capacitive buttons and a capacitive slider. This gives designers a wide range of built-in options, while allowing one to be selective about what they keep.
A quick start guide for this board is available here and if you’d like more information about the PsoC 6 chip at the heart of it, a getting-started guide specifically for that chip is also available for download and outlines available development resources. Notably, this PSoC 6 chip is a dual-core design featuring both a powerful ARM Cortex-M4 processor and a more power-efficient Cortex-M0+ core so you can apply the proper resources to the task at hand. It was designed with IoT applications in mind, and with the module’s built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, it’s appropriate for everything including smart home sensors, VR applications, industrial sensor nodes, and more.
As seen in the short board unboxing and disassembly clip seen below, the device comes in a nice package, and snaps off nicely. While taking everything apart is something of a natural instinct, you may want to leave everything attached until you’re certain how you’ll use it—no need to add more glue to your prototype than necessary!
Jeremy S. Cook is a freelance tech journalist and engineering consultant with over 10 years of factory automation experience. An avid maker and experimenter, you can follow him on Twitter, or see his electromechanical exploits on the Jeremy S. Cook YouTube Channel!