XMOS launches new tools and IP offering for embedded applications

Bristol based XMOS has launched the xTIMEcomposer Studio development environment and xSOFTip IP library. The new IP and design flow have been designed to increase the market reach of XMOS’ xCORE multicore microcontrollers, allowing the company to address a broader range of embedded applications that demand real time performance beyond the capabilities of traditional microcontrollers (MCUs).

The xCORE multicore microcontroller architecture provides the low latency, fast I/O response and deterministic performance required for demanding real-time applications such as consumer, audio, industrial, and automotive. xTIMEcomposer and xSOFTip will allow embedded designers to harness these capabilities entirely within a software-based design flow, enhancing the company’s reach into the $15bn MCU market, with its unique multicore microcontroller (MMCU) products.

xTIMEcomposer Studio is being seen as a significant step forward in XMOS’ highly-efficient development environment for software and embedded system developers. It allows embedded designers to develop complex systems using xCORE multicore microcontroller devices in a familiar graphical design environment. Unique in embedded processor development systems, the xTIMEcomposer suite includes 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%. This makes xTIMEcomposer best in class for multicore embedded system design.

As a complement to xTIMEcomposer, xSOFTip is a comprehensive 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.

“XMOS is a young company that is growing rapidly,” commented Nigel Toon, President and CEO of XMOS. “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.”

“System designers understand the limitations of traditional 8-, 16- and 32-bit MCUs in embedded applications, but they like their ease of use and simple development environments,” Nigel continued. “They 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 from www.xmos.comm


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