Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Xmos microcontroller speeds up IoT devices for less than $5

Steve Rogerson
April 1, 2015
 
To open up Gigabit-speed IoT applications, Bristol, UK, company Xmos has introduced a multicore microcontroller for less than $5. The Gigabit Ethernet enabled xCore-200 microcontroller integrates 16 32bit-risc-processor cores in one device.
 
The first device in the range can deliver up to 2000Mips of real-time computing power and is claimed to be the first 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet product available with programmable mac layer and internet web server support.
 
“This next generation xCore-200 product family delivers twice the performance and four times the on-chip SRAM, when compared to our first generation xCore multicore microcontrollers,” said Nigel Toon CEO of Xmos. “They add a flexible Gigabit Ethernet port alongside a high performance and programmable USB 2.0 interface, and devices will be available with up to 2Mbyte of on-chip flash memory for system-level integration and security. This combination of performance and real-time flexibility makes xCore-200 the ideal programmable platform for high performance consumer and professional audio, and emerging Gigabit-speed IoT applications.”
 
Xmos has already sampled lead customers with the device and its evaluation board.
 
“The IoT market demands new infrastructure capabilities with greater scalability, flexibility and support for high-bandwidth applications and services,” said Dimitar Vasilev, CTO at OpenBerlin, Cisco’s IoT innovation centre. “At OpenBerlin, we’re working with the Xmos xCore-200 on new applications and solutions for industrial IoT.”
 
Samples of the first member in the family are available now. It comes in a 128-pin TQFP package.
 
“Our advanced system monitoring applications need the fastest response times and full timing synchronisation and determinism in a very small package so that we can capture and process multiple critical sensing elements in real time,” said Andy Lobato, CEO of Helitune. “The xCore-200 multicore microcontroller family, which we can programme and configure entirely in software, is a perfect fit for this demanding application.”
 
The XE216-512-TQ128 will cost less than $4.75 in high volume and a complete family of devices will become available over the next few months ranging from products with eight 32bit-risc processors up to devices with 10, 12 and 16 cores. Products with 24 and 32 32bit-processor cores will be available in the second half of 2015.
 
“Xmos is the leader in high resolution audio for USB and Ethernet-AVB based equipment, both for consumers and amongst pro-audio specialists,” said Tom Knesel, president at Pivitec. “This new xCore-200 family allows us to extend our digital audio mixer and audio interface capabilities to create up to 128 high-resolution digital audio channels all on a single, low cost, deterministic and flexible, multicore platform.”