Contributing Guidelines


The following software is required for developing code for the SDK. Install them using your operating systems package management system.

Install development python packages:

python -m pip install --upgrade pip
pip install -r tools/install/requirements.txt -r tools/install/contribute.txt -r doc/requirements.txt

Python Virtual Environment

While not required, we recommend you setup an Anaconda virtual environment. If necessary, download and follow Anaconda’s installation instructions.

Run the following command to create a Conda environment:

conda create --prefix xcore_sdk_venv python=3.8

Run the following command to activate the Conda environment:

conda activate <path-to>/xcore_sdk_venv

Install development packages:

pip install -r tools/install/requirements.txt -r tools/install/contribute.txt

Run the following command to deactivate the Conda environment:

conda deactivate

Contribution Guidelines and Standards

Before sending your pull request, make sure your changes are consistent with these guidelines and are consistent with the coding style used in this xcore_sdk repository.

General Guidelines and Philosophy For Contribution

  • Include unit tests when you contribute new features, as they help to a) prove that your code works correctly, and b) guard against future breaking changes to lower the maintenance cost.

  • Bug fixes also generally require unit tests, because the presence of bugs usually indicates insufficient test coverage.

  • Keep API compatibility in mind when you change code.

C, C++ and ASM coding style

Changes to C, C++ or ASM should be consistent with the style of existing C, C++ and ASM code.


clang-format is a tool to format source code according to a set of rules and heuristics.

clang-format can be used to:

  • Reformat a block of code to the SDK style.

  • Help you follow the XCORE SDK coding style.

The SDK’s clang-format configuration file is .clang-format and is in the root of the xcore_sdk repository. The rules contained in .clang-format were originally derived from the Linux Kernel coding style. A few modifications have been made by the XCORE SDK authors. Not all code in the XCORE SDK follows the .clang-format rules. Some non-compliant code is intentional while some is not. Non-intentional instances should be addressed when the non-compliant code needs to be enhanced.

For more information about clang-format visit:

Python coding style

All python code should be blackened.

TODO: Add information about the black config file.

Building Examples

Some scripts are provided to build all the example applications. Run this script with:

bash tools/ci/ all
bash tools/ci/ all
bash tools/ci/ all

Running Tests

Tests for components in the SDK are located in the test folder. This includes tests for:

Adding CMake Targets

The following conventions are used when naming CMake targets:

  • Targets that match xcore_sdk_* are linkable .a files

  • Targets that match tile\d_* are intermediates for multitile builds and should not be build directly

  • Targets that match example_bare_metal_* are bare-metal examples

  • Targets that match example_freertos_* are FreeRTOS examples

  • Targets that match run_example_* are a shortcut recipe to call xrun with xscope and the associated firmware

  • Targets that match debug_example_* are a shortcut recipe to call xgdb with xscope and the associated firmware

  • Targets that match xsim_example_* are a shortcut recipe to call xsim with the associated firmware

  • Targets that match flash_example_* are a shortcut recipe to flash required data

  • Targets that match flash_fs_example_* are a shortcut recipe to flash required data for applications using a filesystem

Development Tips

At times submodule repositories will need to be updated. To update all submodules, run the following command

git submodule update --init --recursive