New tools and IP for real time microcontroller
The new xTIMEcomposer Studio development environment and xSOFTip IP library support the XMOS real-time multicore microcontrollers in a broad range of audio, automotive, consumer and industrial applications.
The xCORE architecture developed by the Bristol-based startup provides the low latency, fast I/O response and deterministic performance required for real-time applications such as consumer, audio, industrial, and automotive. xTIMEcomposer Studio allows embedded designers to develop complex systems using xCORE multicore microcontroller devices in a familiar graphical design environment using the IP cores. It also moves from the GCC compiler to LLVM.
Unique in embedded processor development systems, the xTIMEcomposer suite uses the xCORE architecture to provide static timing analysis and cycle-accurate simulation tools, making it easy for designers to meet precise real-time requirements. The new tools enable up to 60% improvement in run-time performance, code size reduction of up to 17%, and improvements in designer productivity, with compile time reduced by up to 40%.
xSOFTip is a library of more than 40 soft peripheral IP and processing blocks that can be used to configure xCORE multicore microcontrollers. A new, free-to-download GUI-based tool called xSOFTip Explorer allows developers to easily browse available xSOFTip blocks and quickly configure xCORE devices with the interfaces and peripherals they need. The rapidly expanding xSOFTip library is made up of interfaces and IP blocks that support key standards for the consumer, audio, industrial and automotive markets inlcuding USB, I2C, MOST50, CAN, Ethernet and EtherCAT. Any peripheral can be implemented using the xCORE architecture and the appropriate physical interface.
“The embedded market represents a $76bn opportunity overall, and our xCORE multicore microcontrollers offer significant advantages over traditional MCUs. xTIMEcomposer and xSOFTip allow developers familiar with C to access deterministic multicore performance more easily than ever before,” said Nigel Toon, President and CEO of XMOS. "System designers are now looking to multicore alternatives that can meet critical I/O response times, perform multiple tasks concurrently and support new interface standards: but they want the same easy-to-use development environment. As embedded systems continue to become more complex, xCORE, supported by xTIMEcomposer and xSOFTip, meets this rapidly growing need.”
The 32-bit xCORE multicore architecture allows processing performance to be dynamically shared, allowing a single chip to support multiple concurrent, real-time tasks that are completely deterministic. xTIMEcomposer and xSOFTip allow developers to build real-time embedded applications, working within a unified design flow that is familiar to any software engineer. The designer configures the xCORE device using xSOFTip IP blocks and create application code in C or C++, with real-time extensions, via the same flow, effectively creating a custom chip and associated application code that exactly meets the needs of the target system.
xCORE MMCUs, xTIMEcomposer and xSOFTip are all available today. All documentation, tools and xSOFTip are available free of charge to registered users on Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.