XMOS adds new general purpose multicore microcontrollers and grows xCORE family

XMOS has announced a significant extension in L Series range of general-purpose multicore microcontrollers. The company is adding 6-, 10- and 12-core variants, plus new memory size options, to the existing 8- and 16-core products in its xCORE family, which now includes over 50 devices. With the new introductions XMOS is now capable of delivering a range of solutions that can be scaled to customers’ requirements in terms of capability, price and performance. The new products join the recently announced xCORE-USB devices, and existing members of the general purpose L series (formerly known as L1 and L2).

The L-series now consists of: the 6-core XS1-L6-64; 8-core XS1-L8-64; the 8-core, 1000MIPS XS1-L8-128 with extended memory; 10-core XS1-L10-128; 12-core XS1-L12-128 and the 16-core XS1-L16-128.

Individual products are available in a variety of package and performance options as well as commercial and industrial variants.

The new L8-128 integrates 128Kbytes of on-chip RAM and delivers enhanced performance, with each of the eight logical cores able to deliver up to 125MIPS of computing power. The introduction of 10- and 12-core options provides users with more flexibility in balancing the price and performance requirements of their products. The entire L-Series has been organised into two pin-compatible groups, allowing designers to build multiple end-product variants using a single hardware platform, and to performance-enhance or cost-optimize designs as requirements evolve.

“These new products allow you to pick the exact number of cores you need, to build with pin-compatible variants, and to choose memory size, speed grades and temperature specifications,” said Ali Dixon, Co-Founder and Director of Product Management at XMOS. “We have a unique fundamental technology that offers unbeatable predictability, parallelism, performance, and overall cost-per-MIPS. These products will bring that technology to many new applications and support our rapid expansion into sectors such as consumer, industrial and automotive.”

Devices based on the XMOS xCORE multicore architecture with Hardware Response can perform multiple simultaneous tasks, delivering a new level of performance and real-time response in a low cost easy-to-use software programmable platform. As a result, engineers can implement functions that traditionally required hardware, by writing a software program. Designers using xCORE can choose from a growing range of off-the-shelf software-based peripherals delivered as part of the company’s xSOFTip IP library, and develop their code using an easy-to-use suite of development tools.

The new L-Series multicore microcontrollers are enabled by an evolution of the fundamental xCORE technology, which is based on powerful deterministic processor ‘tiles’, each of which is optimised to support a number of logical cores. For example, the XS1-L10-128 has two tiles, each of which provides five logical cores, giving a total of 10 logical cores in the device. Each logical core has its own instruction stream and register files, and takes a share in the tile’s 64KBytes of RAM. An on-chip network connects the separate tiles and logical cores together, and the operation of the device is controlled by a hardware scheduler that ensures deterministic processing at all times.

The xCORE Hardware-Response I/O technology allows XMOS to provide ready-made and adaptable xSOFTip for a wide variety of functions, from communications protocols to motor control, and LCD drivers to audio equalization. The supporting xTIMEcomposer Studio development tools offer designers access to multicore processing using a familiar C/C++ environment. xTIMEcomposer Studio includes static timing analysis and cycle-accurate simulation tools, making it easy for designers to meet precise real-time requirements.

The XS1-L8-64 and XS1-L16-128 are available now (alternatively designated L1 and L2 respectively).



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