How to design and develop impressive wireless products

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Q. With respect to the Wireless USB solutions, how can a design engineer incorporate them in his design? How will it assist him?
A. If a design engineer wants to connect something to the PC wirelessly, all he needs to do is add short –range low power connectivity by using our wireless chips at each end. For example, consider someone who wants to transfer data from UART to PC with a wireless link. He could use one of our enCore series MCU’s to convert UART data into a SPI format (Serial Peripheral Interface) and our radio chip takes the SPI data and transmit it to the other end over a 2.4GHz link. At the other end, there is a nano-dongle with a USB MCU which provides PC connectivity. However, note that transfer at high data rates (>1 Mbps) is not feasible with this technology as it is for control signals only, communicating state information. That’s the limitation, it is not the same as Wi-Fi. The emphasis is totally on low power.

Q. With respect to Bluetooth 4.0, you mentioned that it would not require a dongle. Why is that limited to Bluetooth 4.0 and not possible in the previous versions?
A. Of course, it is possible in the previous generation too, but Bluetooth 3.0 is more power-hungry and has a higher throughput than Bluetooth 4.0 (also called BLE). The real throughput of Bluetooth 4.0 is as low as 0.3 Mbps, so it is not designed for data-heavy applications but it is designed to only transfer control signals, communicating state. The connection efficiency in BLE is maximized and very short (3ms) compared to standard bluetooth for achieving the ultra-low power. Majority of these BLE peripheral devices are envisioned to have coin-cell batteries only as they are going to be in sleep mode greater than 95% of the time.

Q. Considering Cypress is into USB controllers, what is the most exciting development happening here that would interest system designers?
A. The most exciting innovation today is USB 3.0 where the speed of transferring data is about 5 Gbps. Cypress has a USB 3.0 product called FX3, which plays in the peripheral device segment. What I mean is we don’t play in the PC with FX3, but we help adding USB 3.0 5 Gbps connectivity to any device that connects to the PC. Common devices where FX3 goes in are industrial cameras, gaming systems, document scanners, video-conferencing equipment, surveillance cameras etc. One end of FX3 connects to the PC USB 3.0 port and on the other side we connect a parallel interface. Most image sensors do have a parallel interface and FX3 can flexibly connect to this parallel interface via GPIF (general programmable interface). If you order one of our FX3 development kits and use one of our example projects, you can make the FX3 chip connect immediately to the image sensor and have data flow from image sensor to the PC in minutes, enabling seamless video streaming on the PC.

Q. What would be the major differences between USB 3.0 pipe in a video sensor compared to that of say a couple of sound sensors? Is there a difference in the hardware that you implement in these peripherals? What about video transfer with USB 3.0 ?
A. No, the hardware is the same but people do not use audio yet for USB 3.0. At this point, USB 3.0 is primarily for high-definition imaging. The USB-IF (USB Implementers’ Forum) is working on what is called AV – Audio Video with USB 3.0. There is no standard protocol yet and we are working with USB-Implementers Forum (USB-IF) to come up with that as well. Until that point, it is proprietary.

[stextbox id=”info” caption=”About Cypress India”]

Cypress has been operating in India for more than 15 years. The company has 650 employees in its Bangalore office, including half of its global design engineers. Cypress is unique among multi-national semiconductor companies in that it conducts all aspects of product development in India, including design engineering, product engineering, testing and characterization, applications engineering, software development, IT, strategic marketing, marketing support, planning, operations and finance. Cypress offers Indian professionals unparalleled opportunities to grow careers in a variety of areas, unbounded by geographical barriers

About Cypress
Cypress delivers high-performance, mixed-signal, programmable solutions that provide customers with rapid time-to-market and exceptional system value. Cypress offerings include the flagship PSoC 1, PSoC 3, PSoC 4, and PSoC 5 programmable system-on-chip families. Cypress is the world leader in capacitive user interface solutions including CapSense® touch sensing, TrueTouch® touchscreens, and trackpad solutions for notebook PCs and peripherals. Cypress is the world leader in USB controllers, which enhance connectivity and performance in a wide range of consumer and industrial products. Cypress is also the world leader in SRAM and nonvolatile RAM memories. Cypress serves numerous major markets, including consumer, mobile handsets, computation, data communications, automotive, industrial, and military. Cypress trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol CY. Visit Cypress online at www.cypress.com.

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