Development software update for XMOS multicore MCUs

July 19, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
XMOS has issued a new release of its xTIMEcomposer Studio for developing multicore code for its mcirocontrollers; the free tools simplify development of embedded systems using xCORE multicore technology, and provide unique support for determinism and real-time applications

The latest version of xTIMEcomposer Studio development suite is an integrated development environment (IDE) that includes everything required for embedded design in a single Eclipse-based environment including an editor, LLVM compiler, debugger, XTA static timing analyser, simulator, xSCOPE real-time code instrumentation tool and flash burning tools.

Available as a free-of-charge beta version for download from the XMOS website, the new tools give every engineer familiar with C programming access to the power and flexibility of multicore technology in developing their embedded systems.

“In the past writing ANSI standard C for multicore systems was challenging,” said Nigel Toon, XMOS CEO. “But now, thanks to xTIMEcomposer, it has never been easier for users of conventional MCUs to move to multicore technology. Unlike traditional MCU makers, XMOS offers a complete professional development toolset free-of-charge. You can simply recompile your existing C code for use on xCORE.”

The new xTIMEcomposer Studio tools support simple extensions to standard C that allow developers to easily describe separate tasks and then to run these in parallel on separate logical cores within the xCORE device. Alternatively tasks can be combined on single cores for efficient use of processing resources. Advanced compiler capabilities ensure that pointers are handled safely across these separate tasks.

Customers can take existing C/C++ code and easily recompile for the multicore xCORE devices. This allows engineers to benefit from the much higher performance that is available from the xCORE multicore microcontroller products but makes it easy to develop and ensures that the design is completely safe in operation.

xTIMEcomposer Studio also allows customers to define very accurate timings for their tasks and for I/Os. The xCORE multicore microcontroller platform delivers completely deterministic performance, giving developers the capabilities of a hardware-RTOS (real time operating system) that supports nano-second timings.

As part of this new release, the capabilities of the xSCOPE real-time code instrumentation tool have been dramatically improved. Users can observe the behaviour of their code