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Cypress has PSoCs which can operate at 0.5V power supply. I was wondering how you interface these. 0.5V is too low for FETs and bipolar transistors, LEDs and even common diodes. So what ways are here to connect the PSoC to its peripherals? Low-power is also an issue here: it doesn't help that the PSoC is low-power at 0.5V if the interfacing needs 10 times more power.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you were to have, indeed, a very low voltage uC, then the interface with other TTL compatible (for example) would be done through (high-)speed comparators, according to the needs. The reference would be set up to half the output voltage. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vlad
    Sep 20, 2012 at 12:25

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The PSoC CPU does not actually run from 0.5v. Its minimum running voltage is 1.8v. However, the chip also contains a high efficiency boost regulator which works down to 0.5v and can boost that voltage up to the 1.8v that the PSoC requires. The boost converter can supply upto 50mA current, which can be used by the rest of the circuit.

PSoC boost converter

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    \$\begingroup\$ While a useful reference, this answer still doesn't seem to answer the question. The boot converter isn't very useful if the PSoC can't interface with anything else. How much power, if any, can we expect the PSoC's boost converter to provide to the rest of the circuit? For example, if the PSoC's converter is used to power the chip for some timekeeping task while the rest of the device is powered down, how could we power it back up? \$\endgroup\$
    – AndrejaKo
    Sep 20, 2012 at 10:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rocketmagnet: Thanks, that explains it. I just had read "Wide operating voltage range: 0.5 V to 5.5 V" in the datasheet. Seems a bit misleading, if it doesn't operate at the 0.5V... \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2012 at 10:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AndrejaKo - According to Federico it does. But I have added that to my answer anyway. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2012 at 11:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Rocketmagnet This looks a bit better. +1 \$\endgroup\$
    – AndrejaKo
    Sep 20, 2012 at 11:32

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