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Global design competition to prototype innovative ideas

4th October 2016
Daisy Stapley-Bunten

Cypress Semiconductor and Hackster have announced a global design competition that gives engineers the opportunity to prototype their innovative ideas that sense the world around us for use in the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market, home appliances, and consumer and industrial applications. 

The Sensing the World Challenge will use Cypress’s easy-to-use CY8CKIT-048 PSoC Analog Coprocessor Pioneer Kit as the development hardware platform. Hackster will select a winner from three regions—the Americas, Asia Pacific and Australia, and Europe and Africa—and each will receive an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and development kit. Designers can sign up and find more information here.

“People generally associate the IoT with connectivity, but most next-gen applications start with the ability to sense real-world conditions,” said Adam Benzion, Co-Founder and CEO of Hackster. “This new design challenge unleashes the imaginations of the worldwide Hackster community. Thanks to the Cypress PSoC Analog Coprocessor, they can develop a huge range of innovative applications with its mix of sensor input combinations.”

“I can’t wait to see what the creative minds of the Hackster community will develop with the rich, flexible analog resources they have to work with in this design contest,” said John Weil, Vice President of MCU marketing at Cypress. “The PSoC Analog Coprocessor allows engineers to simply create cost-effective systems with precise, highly sensitive analogue sensors. And our intuitive PSoC Creator integrated design environment enables rapid prototyping and design iterations with hardware and software flexibility.”

Initial proposals for the Sensing the World Challenge will be accepted through 11:55pm Pacific Time on October 30th, 2016, and 100 entries will be selected to receive the PSoC Analog Coprocessor Pioneer Kit to create a prototype of their idea. Projects will be due by 11:55pm Pacific Time on January 8th, 2017 and the regional winners will be announced on January 18th.

The PSoC Analog Coprocessor integrates efficient and powerful signal processing with an ARM Cortex M0+ core and programmable analog blocks, including a new Universal Analog Block (UAB) that can be configured with GUI-based software components. This combination simplifies the design of custom analog front ends for multiple sensor interfaces by allowing engineers to update sensor features quickly with no hardware or host processor software changes, while also reducing BOM costs. For example, in home automation applications, engineers can easily configure the device to continuously monitor multiple sensors, such as temperature, humidity, ambient light, motion and sound, allowing the host to stay in a standby low-power mode. Future design changes to support new sensor types can also be easily implemented by reconfiguring the programmable analog blocks. More information on the PSoC Analog Coprocessor is available here.

The design of custom sensor interfaces is enabled by Cypress’s free PSoC Creator Integrated Design Environment (IDE), which simplifies system design by enabling concurrent hardware and firmware development using PSoC Components—free embedded ICs represented by an icon in the IDE. Engineers can easily configure the programmable analog blocks in the PSoC Analog Coprocessor by dragging and dropping components on the PSoC Creator schematic and customising them with graphical component configuration tools. The components offer fully engineered embedded initialisation, calibration and temperature correction algorithms.

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