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I have an older CY8CKIT-050 that won't let me program because it has the "older silicone". Is there anything different between the older and newer boards other than the newer LP silicon? Has anyone tried to hot-air reflow the LP series chip on the older kit and is that a suitable option to reuse the kit?
There is no exact drop-in replacement for PSoC5. PSoC5LP has a few different pins (around the Boost convertor) which need external circuitry and this is what disqualifies it (from my view) as a drop-in replacement. It's not clear from Cypress documentation if the Boost convertor can be left unconnected (or alternately connected) when it's not used for its intended purpose. However, based on KIT-059 schematic (different 5LP family vs PSoC5 on original KIT-050), the 5LP Boost circuitry can be de-populated and certain Boost related pins connected to ground. Cypress offered (for a limited time) to replace the original Kit-050 PSoC5 boards with the newer populated PSoC5LP boards to take advantage of the new 5LP features. Nice of Cypress to make this offer.
Yes, you can hot-air de-solder PSoC5 off Kit-050, but you might inadvertently remove a few surrounding surface mounted components. If you know what you're doing, this is not a problem. You might also need to change the value of a couple of capacitors on power rail. After all that work, you need to get a bootloader onto the 5LP chip.
I would suggest you re-install the development s/w that came with the PSoC5 kit and use it as is (unless you were lucky enough to have Cypress give you the 5LP replacement circuit board). You can develop your code and h/w on the kit and later port it to a 5LP device. Or, carefully compare the two chips pin-by-pin and compare against KIT-059 schematic to eliminate the Boost functionality. Only then, replace PSoC5 with PSoC5LP.
I still have the original PSoC5 KIT-050 and use it as is. It's great for fast proto-typing. I also have several PSoC5LP on Kit-059. I use these for faster CPU speed and as the target for my projects. For me, it's the best of both worlds.