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© franz pfluegl dreamstime.com Components | March 04, 2013

The world’s lowest cost multicore microcontroller

XMOS claims to have unveiled the world’s lowest cost multicore microcontroller: the xCORE XS1-L4-64 integrates four 32-bit logical processor cores at a price that is comparable with competing single-core devices.
“The xCORE L4 offers 400MIPS performance at the price point of other manufacturers’ 40 or 50MIPS products,” said Ali Dixon, Director of Product Marketing and co-founder, XMOS. “Embedded designers working on high-volume applications can now add more features, including those that require real-time determinism, with software that is functionally safe. We believe it’s a real game-changer."

“The L4 breaks new ground by combining low unit cost, real-time deterministic execution, multicore performance, on-chip DSP and the industry’s fastest response times,” said Nigel Toon, President and CEO, XMOS. “At 400 MIPS it offers a price/performance ratio unbeaten in the world of C-programmable embedded devices. Just as importantly, we provide the design tools engineers need to harness this performance – making the move to multicore technology an instinctive and natural experience.”

The XS1-L4-64 comes in a 48-pin package that is pin-compatible with the existing 6-core L6-64 and the 8-core L8-64 xCORE devices, allowing designers to take a platform-based approach that permits early implementation of emerging technologies and standards, future-proofing and the addition of new features as requirements evolve. The device continues the XMOS strategy of offering a range of devices at a variety of price points; the xCORE family now includes more than 50 product variants.

Like the rest of the xCORE family, the L4 is supported with the free-to-download xTIMEcomposer development suite that includes compilers, debuggers and unique timing analysis and instrumentation capabilities. The supporting xSOFTip library of soft peripherals and processing blocks is now more extensive than ever, allowing customers to equip their xCORE device with peripherals such as high speed USB, Ethernet, CAN and LIN – all via software. Embedded design engineers can find out in the space of a few minutes how easy it is to switch to a multicore microcontroller by visiting www.xmos.com/downloads and simply downloading the xTIMEcomposer™ Suite.

Samples of the XS1-L4-64 are available today, with volume production expected in Q2 2013.

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