Introducing the Infineon – PSoC™ 6 Microcontroller Family

The PSoC™ lineup of microcontrollers forms a crucial part of Infineon's 32-bit MCU portfolio. Based on Arm® Cortex®-M processors core and high-performance programmable and analog blocks, PSoC™ is one of the world’s programmable embedded SoCs. Figure 1 illustrates the family alongside the XMC™ and FM microcontrollers. 

Launched in 2002, PSoC™ 1 heralded a new era of microcontrollers by introducing programmable and reconfigurable analog and digital functions alongside an industry-standard microcontroller architecture. The flexible and configurable analog and digital features offered embedded system engineers the ability to incorporate multiple hardware circuit functions within a single IC. This integrated approach instantly yielded substantial savings in BOM cost, PCB space, and a fast and convenient method to accommodate last-minute changes and virtually eliminate PCB rework.

PSoC™ programmability continues today, allowing, for example, the creation of an analog front-end and signal conditioning circuit for a new sensor element, thereby avoiding additional analog ICs, increasing BOM complexity, and the need to increase the PCB area or the number of layers. The universal digital blocks (UDB) present multiple logic primitive functions capable of being configured to achieve an application-specific gating requirement or a state machine that runs independently of the PSoC™ MCU core.

Today, the PSoC™ family consists of two series - PSoC™ 4 and PSoC™ 6. They suit a broad range of consumer applications, including home automation, wearables, and personal medical appliances - see Figure 2. In this short article, we'll focus on PSoC™ 6. 

PSoC™ 6 - Purpose-built for the IoT

PSoC™ 6 utilizes Arm's ultra-low-power architecture on a 40 nm process node. It consumes only 22 µA/MHz in active power mode. The dual-core 150 MHz Arm Cortex-M4 and 100-MHz Arm Cortex-M0+ approach allows embedded developers to optimize their application with respect to the power consumption and compute processing performance. Incorporating the industry's highest level of security, the Platform Security Architecture (PSA) from Arm, PSoC™ is truly purpose-built for the IoT.

By bridging the gap between expensive, power-hungry application processors and resource-limited microcontrollers, PSoC™ meets the IoT's requirements for processing performance, wireless connectivity, and low-power credentials. Figure 3 illustrates the dual-core approach to PSoC™ 6 and highlights example use cases for each core.

The PSoC™ 6 MCU also features the latest generation of Infineon's leading CAPSENSE™ capacitive-sensing technology. With CAPSENSE™, developers can create innovative and intuitive multi-touch and gesture-based HMI interfaces that are robust and reliable.
In addition to integrated BLE support, PSoC™ 6 can pair with Infineon's companion AIROC Wi-Fi, AIROC Bluetooth, or AIROC combos radio modules.

The PSoC™ 6 SoC MCU family has a standard set of features available across the range and some series-specific ones. All are capable of low-power operation from 1.7 VDC to 3.6 VDC, with six power modes offering a fine-grained approach to power management. Deep sleep mode typically lowers the current consumption to 7 µA with 64 KB SRAM retention.

PSoC™ 6 Common feature set:

  • Two or three DMA controllers
  • Flash memory - typically up to 2048 KB; the exact amount is product-specific
  • External memory interfaces - Quad-SPI (QSPI) and Serial Memory Interface (SMIF)
  • CAPSENSE™ - uses Infineon's capacitive touch and proximity sensing sigma- delta technology to provide the best-in-class signal-to-noise ratio and uses the SmartSense automatic hardware tuning
  • Serial communication peripheral interfaces
    • Seven or nine run-time configurable serial communication blocks (SCBs), six or eight configured as SPI, I2C, or UART, and one deep sleep SCB configurable as SPI or I2C
    • A USB Full-Speed device interface
    • A SD Host/eMMC/SD controller
  • Programmable GPIO - product-specific, typically from 62 to 102, some available during MCU deep sleep, and up to two overvoltage-tolerant pins 
  • Programmable analog functions include
    • A 12-bit 2-Msps successive approximation (SAR) analog-to-digital converter (ADS) with differential and single-ended modes and a 16- channel sequencer with result averaging
    • Two low-power comparators, both available in MCU deep sleep and hibernate modes
    • An internal temperature sensor connected to the ADC
  • A range of clock options includes a main 8 MHz oscillator with +/- 2% accuracy, an ultra-power 32 kHz low-speed oscillator, and on-chip crystal oscillators. Clocks can be multiplied using an internal PLL, and the primary clock features a frequency-locked loop (FLL) for clock multiplication. Clock dividers include fractional and integer functions
  • Timers and PWM features include twelve or more configurable time, counter, and pulse-width modulators (TCPWM) usable in center-aligned, edge, and pseudo-random modes
  • LCD segment driver features up to 63 segments and 8 commons, capable of deep sleep mode operation
  • Crypto accelerator for symmetric and asymmetric cryptographic functions (DES, TDES, AES, CRC, RSA/ECC) and a true random number generator (TRNG)

PSoC™61 - entry-level - general-purpose programmable Arm Cortex-M4 microcontroller 

In addition to the above, the PSoC™ 61 programmable line offers a range of flash sizes from 256 KB to 2048 KB, SRAM from 128 KB to 1024 KB, and 62 to 102 programmable GPIO pins. Although the PSoC™ 61 line features the dual-core architecture, only the Arm Cortex-M4 core is accessible for applications; the Arm Cortex-M0+ is reserved for internal system functions. Product-specific features include an audio I2S interface (PDM/PCM), a CAN-FD serial interface, a digital-to-analog (DAC), and two opamps featuring low-power operation capabilities. Figure 5 illustrates the internal architecture of the Infineon CY8C61x4 PSoC™ 61 MCU and highlights the functionality available in different sleep modes. This part features a CAN-FD, a 12-bit DAC, and two opamps.

The PSoC™ 61 is available in BGA, TQFP, QFN, and WLCSP package formats.

PSoC™ 62 - performance line - general-purpose dual-core programmable microcontrollers

This line of PSoC™ microcontrollers provides access to both the Cortex-M4 and Cortex-M0+ cores. The core logic operation is user-selectable between either 0.9 V or 1.1 V, with the lower voltage offering excellent active current consumption operation. At 1.1 V, the Cortex-M4 typically consumes 40 µA/MHz, lowering to 22 µA/MHz at 0.9 V operation. The Corex-M0+ features 20 µA/MHz at 1.1 V, reducing to 15 µA/MHz at 0.9 V.

Audio, CAN-FD, DAC, and opamp blocks are device-dependent.

Figure 6 illustrates a CY8C62x4/CY8C62x6 microcontroller in a touch-sensing intelligent home heating controller. This part incorporates two opamps configured as an analog front end to the multiplexed 12-bit SAR-based ADC. Note that the programmable analog and digital features keep the BOM to a minimum. An Infineon Wi-Fi radio IC provides secure wireless connectivity to the internet for remote control and over-the-air (OTA) firmware update capabilities.

PSoC™ 63 - connectivity line - highly optimized, machine-learning ready microcontroller with Bluetooth low energy (BLE) transceiver for IoT applications

The PSoC™ 63 line is an IoT game-changer by balancing high-performance with low-power. Comprising the programmable and reconfigurable features of PSoC™, security, and BLE connectivity, the PSoC™ 63 has all you need to create a function-rich connected IoT device.

Figure 7 showcases the functional architecture of a PSoC™ 63 line of MCUs used for a fitness watch application.

PSoC™ 64 - security line - dual-core, high-performance, low power programmable, and reconfigurable microcontroller with a secure processing environment

The PSoC™ 64 line has it all. Combining the ultra-low-power, programmable, and optimized PSoC™ 6 architecture with a comprehensive set of security functions, the PSoC™ 64 line is the benchmark IoT MCU. Integrated security features include a hardware-based root of trust (RoT), immutable secure boot firmware, and hardware isolated keys. Figure 8 illustrates a functional block diagram of the PSoC™ 64 line architecture.

To learn more about the Infineon PSoC™ 6 product lineup, review datasheets, access application notes, and download technical reference manuals, visit here.

PSoC™ 6 - Development resources

PSoC™ 6 combines a high-performance Arm Cortex-M4 core and a low-power Arm Cortex-M0+ core with programmable and reconfigurable analog and digital functions and secure connectivity options that every IoT device needs. If you develop IoT devices, you need PSoC™ 6.

Get started developing your first PSoC™ 6 application using the Infineon ModusToolbox Software. The Eclipse-based multi-platform toolchain offers a complete set of device drivers, board support packages, connectivity stacks, and RTOS support. With hundreds of well-documented and test code examples to get you started, you'll soon achieve your first PSoC™ 6 prototype. The knowledge and expertise of the PSoC™ 6 Community are always available should you have a query or need help with an application.

A comprehensive set of evaluation and prototyping boards for the PSoC™ 6 portfolio include the PSoC™ 6 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Prototyping kit (CY8CPROTO-62-4343W) see Figure 9. It features a PSoC™ 62 performance line MCU, a CAPSENSE™ touch button and slider prototyping area, a Murata 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and BLE wireless module, and several sensors. It offers an ideal board on which to prototype an IoT design. Application Note AN228571 provides a detailed tutorial for commencing a PSoC™ 6 design using ModusToolbox on this and other PSoC™ 6 evaluation boards and prototyping kits. AN22

PSoC™ 6: Purpose-built for the IoT

PSoC™ 6 com combines a high-performance Arm Cortex-M4 core and a low-power Arm Cortex-M0+ core with programmable and reconfigurable analog and digital functions and secure connectivity options that every IoT device needs.

If you develop IoT devices, you need PSoC™ 6.