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With a Pocket Full of PSoCs, of Course!


In mid-March MIT closed their campus due to COVID-19 concerns. Professors and students had only a few days of notice.  Professor Steven Leeb did not waste any time putting together a remote series of lab exercises for his 6.115 Microcomputer Project Laboratory students for a revised take-home experience. 

Students were issued a variety of PSoC 4 and 5 kits to take home and emailed kit guides and take-home lab exercises. No datasheets needed, and practically no other parts. Everything necessary was in Creator and PSoC. Professor Leeb called the PSoC his “desert island part.” According to Professor Leeb, the final project results were spectacular! Judging by these videos, I agree. I have gathered a few of the student’s comments and links to their final project demonstrations below:


“Wanted to reach out and thank you for such a great semester! I came into 6.115 with little to no hardware experience: only soldered once before, never used an oscilloscope or multimeter or power supply, never used a breadboard or microcontroller, never read a datasheet, never used C, etc. Without a doubt, this has been the best class I've taken so far at MIT; not only have I felt like I grew and learned a lot (for example, doing this final project would have been a pipe dream a few months ago), but some of the best moments of this semester for me have been in 38-600, up late at night struggling with friends.”


“Thanks for providing such inspiration to all of us in this time of crisis.”


“Thank you for an unforgettable class experience, even despite the circumstances. 6.115 is easily the best class I have taken at MIT, and it's definitely inspired me to do more awesome projects with embedded systems.”


PSoC Rocks! … and so do You!




Patrick Kane

Sorting at Second Harvest

Posted by Patrick Kane Mar 10, 2020

While everyone pitches in during the holiday season to try to make sure no one goes hungry in their community, unfortunately people go hungry year round. It was my pleasure to work with my colleagues at Cypress to sort 10,000 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables at Second Harvest Food Bank this week.


harvest 7.jpg

harvest 5.jpg



With the challenges being created by the COVID-19 outbreak, I am getting requests for online workshops. The first one will be at Purdue (virtually) on March 27. I plan on documenting this - stay tuned. Is your institution implementing online courses in the face of this situation? Stay safe and healthy!


C. U. A. round


For Those of You About to Make – We Salute You




MAKEMIT is an engineering makeathon that brings together over 250 students who are passionate about designing and building. Across 18+ hours, groups of makers work together to develop an idea and materialize it through the engineering design process. The event begins at 7 AM on Saturday Feb. 22 and ends at 12:30 PM On Sunday Feb. 23.

Cypress is sponsoring this event by donating PSoC 4 BLE and PSoC 5 development kits. We are sharing resources in the community to help attendees prepare and to engage our other community members. Participation in the event is open to all undergraduate students. Complete details are available on the MAKEMIT website .

We have created a thread on the Cypress community  “Event: MakeMIT 2020 Q and A”  ( This thread will be monitored by Cypress technical volunteers 8:30 AM to 11:59 PM Feb. 22 and 7:00 AM until 10:00 AM Feb. 23 2020 (EST). All members of the greater Cypress community who wish to ask questions or help with technical support are welcome to participate.




Saturday February 22

7:00 AM Venue opens

8:30 AM Hacking begins

11:59 AM Hacking Pauses


Sunday February 23

7:00 AM Hacking begins

10:00 AM Hacking ends

10:00 until 11:30 AM Judging

11:30 AM Top teams present

12:00 PM Winners Announced!


We will post some of the top hacks on Cypress social media and in this blog.


C. U. A. round


As the school term winds down, we wish you good luck on your finals and hope you have a very happy holiday season!

C.U.A round (next year)


Presented a PSoC BLE workshop for the Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists (SOLES) at San Jose State University. Great group of students!


                                                          Students hard at work (above). The entire group that attended the workshop (below).

C. U. A. round


I was privileged to attend the Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN) Student leadership conference sponsored by and held at Tufts University Nov. 1-3, 2019. Aided by our local Cypress Senior Field Applications Engineer Ali Atti (who did an incredible job), we presented a PSoC® 6 - BLE Workshop featuring the Cypress ModusToolboxTM IDE to 121 students! This is certainly the largest group I have had for a hands-on workshop. We got excellent feedback from the students and the HKN staff.








C. U. A. round!


Patrick Kane

Back to School!

Posted by Patrick Kane Aug 28, 2019

Well, it is that time of year again when classes begin and the career fair season gets in high gear. In the next six weeks, I will be presenting PSoC workshops and attending career fairs at Texas A&M, Purdue, Georgia Institute of Technology, MIT, and Cal Poly. If you are an electrical or computer engineering student at any of these schools, please look for the flyer, sign up for the workshop, and visit the Cypress table at the career fair!


The Cypress University Alliance

Cordially Invites You to Attend A


PSoCTM 4-BLE Workshop


I hope to C. U. A. round!


Patrick Kane

PSoC and Peat Bogs...

Posted by Patrick Kane Jul 1, 2019

Peat (commonly called turf in Ireland) has been a source of fuel for heating and cooking in Ireland and other parts of Northern Europe for centuries (if not millennia). The traditional method of peat harvesting involves cutting turf from a peat bog and then setting it out to dry.

A long-time colleague, Martin Bradley who teaches Electronic Engineering at Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) came up with an interesting method using PSoC 4 and resistive sensing to measure the moisture content of cut turf to know when it is dry enough to turn, foot or collect.

From Martin’s description of the project:

The turf was cut in Ballinlough, Drumfries, Clonmany, Co Donegal, Ireland, moss (hill) on Friday 19th April by Kevin Doherty, a neighbour of mine and I connected a PSoC4 monitoring device (in deep sleep mostly, wakes up every 10 minutes) with wireless capability (Sigfox) to it at noon on Monday 21st.  The aim is to get data that would be a good estimate for when the turf should be turned or then “footed.”

Interested parties, such as farmers could be notified by phone when action is required. It is meant to be a bit of craic (fun) but also may provide useful information. It is certainly starting loads of discussions.  e.g. how much will the turf be set back if there is a very wet day? Will it be the same value as a week previous or more?

Here is a picture of how the experiment was set up as well as a graph from MATLAB’s “thingspeak” cloud-based tool. The PSoC 4 is the red PCB in the plastic box (to protect it from the elements).



The graph drops with resistance rise. This drop should indicate turf drying. Results show that so far resistance is rising indicating dropping moisture levels in the turf although there are probably other things happening that may affect resistance of turf e.g. morning dew, temperature, chemical reactions etc. A second test is ongoing with the probes inserted in both ends. This reduced the effect that surface water (due to rain) on the turf had.

It was noticed that the running average is certainly a good indicator of the turf drying. When the value goes below a certain threshold value, free notifications are sent to mobile devices (smartphones or tablets) to inform users. This was achieved by a combination of the Sigfox network, and

A similar setup that uses Lidar is being used to measure the water level in rivers with notifications (early flood warning etc).




If you would like to see current live data click here

This experiment also raised the interest of Holger Wech (Sr. Staff Applications Engineer at Cypress Langen, Germany), who created a similar project to automatically water flowers some time ago. Here is the dialog. The questions are Holger’s, the answers are Martin’s.


HW: Have you already measured the power consumption of your system?

MB: PSoC4, TD1207R Sigfox module, 1 resistor plus 2 x AA batteries

       4.5uA for complete system in deep sleep mode

      50mA when transmitting for 5 seconds

     Wakes up every 10 minutes, measures resistance and transmits and then goes

     back to deep sleep

HW: Why did you choose SigFox?

MB: I have used Sigfox for numerous projects.  low power was one consideration

HW: Have you thought about your electrodes to prevent from any kind of oxidation?

MB: I did but the lifetime of the test will hopefully rule this out as a problem

HW:  I remember, it’s best to use AC measurement instead of just DC voltage.

MB: I used DC as it was easier to set up for low power etc.

       This system does not need to be extremely accurate.


Update: The Donegal Daily has recently published an article regarding Martin's project


I hope you enjoyed learning about Mr. Bradley’s unique project.

Until next time C. U. A. round!


We hope you all had a great school year and have a refreshing summer! Congratulations to those of you who have graduated, and good luck next year if your still on your academic journey. I invite you to continue following Cypress as we introduce new products and innovatively solve problems. We will be sharing lots of updates and ideas that will be useful in your senior designs, careers, and future projects. 

We have partnered with Electromaker to run this years BLE Mesh design contest and have already received many exciting entries from students, makers, and professionals. You can find out more here: Cypress Bluetooth 5 IoT Design Contest Launched!

If you missed the proposal phase it’s not too late! You can still enter the contest by purchasing your own kit and posting the entry per the official contest rules.



Feel free to share updates and a picture of your final design here. The team and community members would love to see your progress and results.

Subscribe to this blog to get updates on other upcoming contests, events and other cool stuff.

Until next time C. U. A. round!



Welcome to the CUA blog


   Speaking at Student Day Panel Session Embedded World 2019


Our mission is focused on partnering with academia to ensure that professors and students have access to the latest Cypress technology for use in education and research. Services include onsite [and online] training and working with existing curriculum to update to the latest MCUs and IoT technology.

As this program’s leader for over 12 years I have seen a lot of great ideas and innovative use of Cypress technology by universities and students. Everything from projects that read brain waves, to robotics, and even (for you Star Trek fans) a tricorder! Having said that, we would love to showcase your student projects that use Cypress technology. For more information on this please contact me at .

Some of the universities we partner with include MIT, TU Darmstadt (Germany), and Tsinghua University (China) among others.

We look forward to sharing our activities and events with you in this blog. Subscribe to the Cypress University Alliance Blog see current events, ask questions and share ideas with our team.

Please visit us at for more program information.

Until next time C. U. A. round!