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XMOS enters automotive market with multi-core MCU

06 Mar 2014  | Christophe Hammerschmidt

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XMOS wants a share of the $8 billion automotive market, and for its initial steps the chipmaker company took pains to get some of its products qualified under AEC-Q100. In a move to aid automotive electronics designers, it recently introduced a range of its xCore multi-core microcontrollers.

With its deterministic architecture and modular redundancy particularly suited for safety-critical applications, the xCore architecture should quickly find prospective designers. This feature set makes the architecture well suited to develop functions associated to automated driving and advanced driver assistance systems. In the automotive context, XMOS puts emphasis on the Ethernet AVB technology, which is emerging as the future de-facto standard for infotainment applications and beyond.

Due to its low latency and its deterministic behaviour, the xCore architecture is already used for the design of next-gen ECUs as well as in x-by-wire applications, which in most cases are time-critical and safety-relevant. It is also suited to address control tasks in power train, chassis and active safety systems, and to provide the combination of audio interfacing, DSP processing and low latency processing required to implement premium vehicle features such as active noise cancellation for car passengers.

The company plans to start its sequence of offerings to the automotive industry with the XS1-L16A-128, a 16-core device which features boasts a computing power of up to 1000Mips. Through a programming environment based on the C language, interfaces and peripheral units can be configured according to the needs of the respective application, a feature it shares with all xCore devices. For the second half of the year, XMOS plans to roll out additional offerings with six to 16 cores.

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