USB-specific starter kit for XMOS deterministic multi-core micros

September 06, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
The xCORE-USB sliceKIT provides, its makers say, an easy-to-use development path for USB multicore microcontrollers

The xCORE-USB sliceKIT is an addition to its sliceKIT family of modular development boards and software. Together with the xTIMEcomposer development suite and xSOFTip software IP blocks, this sliceKIT makes it simple to develop USB-equipped applications on the xCORE-USB range of deterministic, low latency, multicore microcontrollers.

The xCORE-USB sliceKIT starter kit is based on the most powerful member of the xCORE-USB device family, the 16-core XS1-U16-128. Equipped with an integrated High Speed USB 2.0 PHY, the device supports 480 Mbps data rates and USB Audio Class 2. The kit includes a USB sliceCARD with USB A and USB B connectors, delivering a complete embedded processing platform for USB applications.

Compatible with the broad range of existing xCORE sliceKIT products, the kit allows designers to address a range of demanding applications including high performance peripherals, audiophile and consumer audio products, sound bars, multi-channel USB audio interfaces, DJ products, USB speakers and protocol conversion and bridging.

“The xCORE-USB family of multicore microcontrollers provides the flexibility, low latency and determinacy required by designers developing USB-enabled applications,” said Paul Neil, VP Product Management, XMOS. “sliceKIT provide [the means to] tailor your solution with the exact mix of interfaces and digital processes you need, for a superior USB application.”

Development using the xCORE-USB sliceKIT takes place within the xTIMEcomposer Studio integrated design environment, and uses xSOFTip soft peripherals. This allows developers to employ a unified design flow based on C/C++, of a type that will be familiar to any microcontroller software engineer.

The complete suite of free design tools includes an Eclipse-based integrated design environment, a highly efficient LLVM compiler, debugger, the xSOFTip configuration tool xSOFTip Explorer, a cycle-accurate simulator with waveform view, static timing analyser, and the xSCOPE high speed in-circuit instrument that provides a virtual logic analyser for real-time applications.

The xCORE-USB sliceKIT core board features two digital expansion slots that can be populated with I/O extension cards (or ‘slices’), a Mixed Signal