New tools and IP for real time microcontroller

October 17, 2012 // By Nick Flaherty
XMOS has launched a new generation of free tools and open source IP for its xCORE multicore processor in embedded applications.

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