xCORE-XA architecture accelerates time to market

30 September 2014

XMOS releases modular development system with real-time hardware debug, industrial Ethernet and Fieldbus capabilities.

The system features a base processor board with real-time hardware debug facilities, xTIMEcomposer Studio tools (pictured) for integrated code development, and a range of application specific daughter- and mother-cards, the first of which, for Industrial Ethernet and Fieldbus systems, is available now.

Embedded designers can develop, debug and prototype products based on the range of xCORE-XA devices, which combine multiple deterministic 32bit xCORE logical cores with an ARM Cortex M3 processor in a single device. The devices can be programmed in C with the exact set of interfaces and peripherals required for any design. In the same design, engineers can re-use existing ARM code and leverage the rich ARM ecosystem, including standard code libraries that can dramatically accelerate product design time.

The industrial solution will be particularly useful for independent software vendors (ISVs) seeking a single programmable platform capable of supporting multiple Industrial Ethernet and Fieldbus protocols, according to the company. It also allows industrial automation OEMs and other customers to use the xCORE architecture while leveraging existing protocol stacks and other IP designed for the ARM architecture.

An eight-core xCORE-XA device and fully-featured real-time hardware debug facilities allowing integrated development of ARM and xCORE code. The board communicates via USB with a host PC running the company’s free-to-download xTIMEcomposer Studio development tools, with comprehensive design entry, compilation, real-time debug and software-based logic analysis for ARM and multiple xCORE processor cores via a single screen.

The I/O is routed to 0.1inch pitch header connections, with each set including power, ground and reset, allowing maximum flexibility and easy prototype configuration. Power to the debuggers can be disabled so that the module can be used as part of a target system.
The processor module can be mounted onto an application specific motherboard; or daughter boards may be plugged into it.

The industrial networking module provides two Industrial Ethernet ports and support for a range of serial Fieldbus protocols including CAN and LIN. The industrial module includes hardware support for a variety of industrial standard interfaces, including a 12Mbit/s RS485 transceiver and Profibus connector.

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