Over the past few months the Tools team have been busy writing short HowTo Examples, to help developers find answers to their questions on how to use our tools and program xCORE devices.
The first set of 80 examples are now published, and are available within xSOFTip Explorer. You will see them inside the XMOS Examples folders.
This first set include:
The examples are delivered in the same format as our xSOFTip, so you can find them in the xSOFTip Explorer, read the documentation and import the code examples straight into the tools.
The examples will also be available on xmos.com in a few weeks time. (xSOFTip is online already, at www.xmos.com/resources/xsoftip)
The tools team are continuing to add more examples every week, including those on other areas such as Programming Flash with xFLASH.
While the Sales and Marketing guys have been showing off the latest robotics technology from Synapticon at Embedded World, back at the office we're exploring alternative ways to use XMOS technology in robotics by implanting an engineering!
XMOS gets the news out at Embedded World 2013, 25-28 Feb with stand (next to coffee bar) and launch of the low cost XS1-L4 part.
Synaticon also announced that they're using XMOS to enable their real-time robotics and are showing demo robots using the technology.
And here's Mike Furnival, VP Sales and Marketing, making sure that the AVB demonstration is ready for customers.
XMOS has moved up in the world. We are installed in our fantastic new offices in Bristol. We now have a great environment and brilliant facilities, with lots of room to grow and a fantastic view across the city from our 6th floor terrace.
You can find us at Prudential Buildings, 11-19 Wine Street, Bristol, BS1 2PH, UK, in the center of the city.
For me the best moments as an engineer at XMOS are when creativity and technology meet; it’s one of the reasons I do what I do. These moments don’t have to manifest themselves in huge, showy ways: Sometimes solving design problems in quite everyday application areas requires solutions that you have to stop and admire for their sheer gracefulness and elegance.
Sometimes, however, the world of creativity and technology meet in a more literal way, as in The Barbican’s latest interactive art installation, ‘Rain Room’, which is powered by xCORE processors, and which is playing to packed-out crowds in London’s Barbican Arts Centre.
“Rain Room” is a space where thousands of gallons of circulating water ‘rains’ from the ceiling. As audience members walk through the deluge, the rain stops immediately around them, as if by magic, keeping them completely dry.
Random International, the artistic group behind ‘Rain Room’ create this effect with CAM SR 45000 industrial-grade depth cameras controlled by xCORE multicore microcontrollers.
xCORE, which combines programmability with hardware response, has allowed the artists and technicians to quickly develop the sophisticated image analysis software required to assess the camera images and control the flow of water in the installation.
The artistic team claimed XMOS is:
…The digital equivalent to ... well, it hasn’t really got one (at least none we can think of). It’s a controlling component that drives the “real world” bit of most of our installations. It translates abstract ones and zeroes into speed, smooth flow and movement; it has an architecture, it’s reliable and incredibly versatile. Utterly useful to some! And made in Bristol! (Published in Iconeye)
‘Rain Room’ has been extremely well-received by the public, has regularly sold-out, and opened to rave reviews in the British media. You can read more about the installation on The BBC, Guardian, and Telegraph’s websites.
‘Rain Room’ will be playing until 3rd March 2013 in The Barbican’s Curve Room. Tickets are available here.
We have been very busy over the last six months working hard on our new tools. One of the big things that we have been working on is trying to make the tools much easier to use. Internally we had a project that we called “Arkanoid”, which was something that we had been playing with and working on for some time. (Like many of our project names Arkanoid was named after the classic arcade game) Arkanoid had a number of different goals but the key things was to provide an easy way for you to select different IP blocks and interfaces and try them on an xCORE multicore device.
As our library of xSOFTip components was growing fast and we were putting more and more effort into getting new xSOFTip blocks built, it became obvious that we needed to have an easy way for you to try these out.
So as we were finished off on the LLVM compiler work (full story in a later blog post) we set to work turning Arkanoid into a application that we could build into our new tools suite. The concept is pretty simple:
We also decide to bundle this up as a stand-alone tool so that first time users could try out our technology without having to write any code and we decide to call this xSOFTip Explorer.
We aim to keep working on xSOFTip Explorer and to turn this into a web-tool that you can drive directly from our website, making it even easier to try our technology out.
We are also thinking about ways in which we can make it easier for you to stitch together different xSOFTip components to build up your system. The technology behind this is actually pretty complicated so give us a little time with this.
Please give us your feedback on the xSOFTip Explorer and tell us what we can do to make improvements. We look forward to hearing from you.
So, some great news to start the week off…
Last Thursday night (15th November 2012) XMOS was awarded the prestigious National Microelectronics Institute Semi360 Award at ceremony at the Radisson Blu Portman hotel in London.
The Semi360 Award recognises overall, ‘rounded’ achievement and offering; companies that have adapted to the evolving industry dynamics and combine excellence in chip technologies, business model and software integration.
At the event Derek Boyd, CEO of UK electronics trade organisation NMI, said: “A significant proportion of the world’s semiconductor design takes place in the UK and Ireland and this category recognises how a “more than the chip” platform and product approach is yielding benefits for both customers and investors. XMOS stood out for its novel device architecture that allows up to 32 cores and addresses a broad range of markets.”
This week some of the XMOS team are out in Shenzhen, China attending the Apple Made for iPod/iPhone summit. We are showing our new multi mode smartphone dock solution.
If you get a chance take a look at the video demo: http://www.xmos.com/multimodedock
It never rains, but it pours here at XMOS!
We've been furiously busy in the last week announcing our brand-new development tools and IP offerings, as well as visiting the media in the UK and Germany to bring them the news.
As if this, and a new-look website, weren't enough, today we're announcing a complete update to our development board system, called sliceKIT.
We'll explain sliceKIT in a bit more detail over the coming weeks. In the meantime, rather than spoil the surprise, we'll simply let you go and take a look at the news release yourself. Or, if you're sold on the idea already, just click here to find the "buy now" links!
For those of you who haven’t been lucky enough to read it in the news already, we launched an all-new development suite this morning; xTIMEcomposer, and a major update to our IP library, called xSOFTip.
For those not familiar; our development tools allow for the rapid development of multicore systems on xCORE hardware using familiar C-based languages that make concurrency easy.
xTIMEcomposer has some very powerful capabilities including static timing analysis and cycle-accurate simulation tools, and is designed to make it as easy as possible to create a high-end MCU with predictable timing by allowing the development of hardwire-type multicore performance on a largely software-defined chip.
So why have we updated the tools? The same reason we’ve always incrementally improved our development suites; faster development times. Our new product compiles 32% faster, and produces binaries that run 22% faster and are 11% smaller: and these are average figures over a range of functions. Overall, run-time performance can be improved by as much as 60%. And on top of this improved performance we’ve put a very considerable amount of effort over the last twelve months into making these tools easier and intuitive to use.
The new xSOFTip IP library now covers a number of core standards for our key target markets of consumer, audio, industrial and automotive, as well as introducing a new handy GUI for browsing our IP; xSOFTip Explorer. xSOFTip blocks make it as easy as possible for developers to integrate key functions and get an MCU up-and-running.
Here at XMOS we have been working hard on these new tools and on expanding the xSOFTip library. We look forward to seeing your feedback.
In the meantime, for further details of our xTIMEcomposer tools and xSOFTip library, view the complete press release . You can also head on over to http://www.xmos.com/support for a more detailed breakdown of the product, and join in the latest discussion with the XCORE community at https://github.com/xcore.