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$15 Raspberry Pi dev board for xCORE multicore MCUs

Nick Flaherty -October 18, 2013

XMOS has launched a $14.99 500MIPS multicore development kit that links to the popular Raspberry Pi board and its other development boards. StartKIT is an ultra-low-cost development platform that opens up the configurable xCORE multicore microcontroller technology to the widest possible community of users. As part of the product launch XMOS is offering 2,500 startKITs free of charge to engineers who register and qualify on its website.

startKIT allows engineers to quickly evaluate xCORE multicore microcontrollers that can be software-configured with a wide variety of peripherals and interface blocks. startKIT is equipped with header connections that allow it to interface to Raspberry Pi products, making it an ideal real-time I/O solution for Raspberry Pi projects.

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

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

startKIT is supplied with a wide 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 wide variety of xCORE code via the XCore Exchange.

The on-board XS1-A8-64-DEV xCORE multicore 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 analog interfaces can also be monitored alongside the digital signals: for example users can monitor the capacitive touch sensors to see the signals in real-time.

startKIT information page
startKIT Hardware Manual

startKIT will be available in early December 2013, priced $14.99 from XMOS distributors. To register for the opportunity to win a free startKIT, visit the XMOS website www.xmos.com/startkit

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This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.

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