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XMOS unveils startKIT for xCORE microcontrollers

22 Oct 2013

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XMOS has rolled out its startKIT development platform, which is designed to make the configurable xCORE multi-core microcontroller technology accessible to a community of users. The low-cost system is used for evaluation of xCORE multiple microcontrollers and is equipped with header connections that allow it to interface to Raspberry Pi products, making it a real-time I/O solution for such products.

The company's free-to-use xTIMEcomposer design tools allow developers to program the right interface configuration, and write application code using C / C++, in a single programming environment. xTIMEcomposer provides a full graphical development environment, including compiler, debugger, a static timing analyser, and a software-based logic analysis tool.

Measuring 94 x 50mm in size, startKIT is based on the XS1-A8-64-DEV, a 500MIPS xCORE-Analog multi-core microcontroller with eight 32bit logical processing cores. In addition to the xCORE multi-core microcontroller itself, startKIT includes an array of LEDs, a push-button switch, two capacitive sense sliders, and a sliceCARD connector that is compatible with various I/O slices available from XMOS. The board is also equipped with header connections that allow it to be connected to a breadboard system.

The startKIT is supplied with a range of example code to help new users get started. These include a software-defined Ethernet interface and web server application, and basic driver software for the LEDs and push-button. Users can also access a variety of xCORE code via the XCore Exchange, a community of xCORE users.

The on-board XS1-A8-64-DEV xCORE multi-core microcontroller includes an on-chip debug capability that allows comprehensive real-time in-circuit analysis of the complete design. This allows developers to see what is happening at the device interfaces and in their code in real-time, while their system is running and without affecting the performance. The startKIT analogue interfaces can also be monitored alongside the digital signals. For instance, users can monitor the capacitive touch sensors to see the signals in real-time.

The startKIT will be available in early December at $14.99 from XMOS distributors. As part of the product launch, XMOS is offering 2,500 startKITs for free to qualified engineers who register on its website at

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