EDN, May 26, 2011

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pulse O Apple iOS-based oscilloscope has features galore but seems pricey scium's $297.99 iOS (iPhone-operat- ing-system)-based MSO (mixed-signal oscillo- scope)-104 for Apple's (www. apple.com) iOS-based hand- held devices includes one analog channel and four digital channels, touts 5-MHz ana- log bandwidth, and samples at 12M samples/sec. A dock con- nector-based adapter contains a Cypress (www.cypress.com) PSOC (programmable-sys- tem-on-chip) 3 IC, which man- ages two-way communication between the oscilloscope and any iOS device using Apple's proprietary dock connector and processes the incoming analog and digital signals. Free soft- ware, which you can down- load from the Apple store, runs in demo mode without hardware attached. It requires only Version 3.1.3 of Oscium's iMSO-104 mixed- signal oscilloscope for Apple's iOS-based handheld devices includes one analog chan- nel and four digital channels, touts 5-MHz analog band- width, and samples at 12M samples/sec. the iOS, thereby mak- ing it compatible with all hardware iterations of the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. I recently received the unit and, after testing it for a few days, passed it along to EDN Technical Editor Paul Rako. I figured that, as an "analog guy," he would likely be able to give it a more thorough evalu- ation than I could. He and his friends own both first- and second-generation iPads, so together they'd also be able to assess whether the iPad 2's more advanced CPU and GPU (graphics-processing unit) and two-times-larger system DRAM allocation would translate into a performance advantage. Paul and his friends deemed the unit handy for embedded- system projects in which you are troubleshooting a small microcontroller as well as some analog. They hooked it to an iPhone and got it working. However, the unit's almost-$300 price tag proved a deterrent. "You can get a half- decent 50-MHz lunchbox-sized scope for $400, as well as other hobby units for $68 and $89," Paul says. In short, although it has sur- prisingly many robust features, USB 3.0 controller embeds microcontroller for customized applications C ypress Semiconductor's new EZ- USB (Universal Serial Bus) FX3 for USB 3.0 applications combines a flexible peripheral controller with a USB 3.0 PHY (physical)-layer interface that provides a data pipeline as fast as 5 Gbps. Design- ers can use the 32-bit, 100-MHz parallel GPIF (general programmable interface) II to program the controller through a state machine for master or slave; synchronous or asynchronous; and 8-, 16-, 24-, or 32-bit configurations. You can customize the FX3 with an embedded 32-bit, 200-MHz ARM926EJS processor core for the needs of end mar- kets. The ARM9 core is fully accessible for use as an independent microcontroller and includes 512 kbytes of memory. You can 18 EDN | MAY 26, 2011 program the device with Cypress tools or standard ARM tools. The FX3 provides a variety of serial inter- faces, including I2 C (inter-integrated circuit) for the boot EEPROM, SPI (serial-periph- eral interface), UART (universal asynchro- nous receiver/transmitter), and I2 S (inter-IC sound). According to the company, you can configure most unused I/Os as general- purpose I/Os. The controller is now available for sam- pling. An alpha development kit, beta SDK (software-development kit), and associated programmers' manual are also available. Cypress plans to release full production quantities in September for less than $10. The company is packaging the FX3 in a 121-ball, 10×10-mm BGA package and is specifying the device for industrial-temper- ature-grade operation.—by Mike Demler ▷Cypress Semiconductor, www.cypress.com. the iMSO-104 seems expen- sive considering its specs and interface count. I'm sure that the vendor hopes that would- be users will like its portability versus the need to drag along an entire stand-alone oscillo- scope. The iPad also enables large-screen capability; price out a competitive display-real- estate-equipped stand-alone oscilloscope, and you might experience serious sticker shock, although these units also tout more features than a handheld unit can. Oscium is perhaps hoping to snag early-adopter enthusiasts now, with a subsequent price drop in parallel with the pro- duction volume ramp-up and consequent BOM (bill-of-mate- rials) cost decrease. Oscium is now shipping the hardware along with a new release of the software that includes "minor bug fixes as well as the added ability to save configurations," according to Bryan Lee, the company's president. —by Brian Dipert ▷Oscium, www.oscium.com. The EZ-USB FX3 combines a flexible peripheral controller with a USB 3.0 PHY.

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