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Multicore Microcontrollers for IoT and audio

XMOS has, from its base in Bristol, England, been quietly building up its business of creating a new force in the embedded market. The company has been shipping the xCore multicore microcontrollers into a wide range of companies around the world, and has built a particularly strong position in audio. Last summer it was announced that the company had raised £26.2 million from Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Huawei Technologies, and Xilinx.

Now it is announcing a new generation of  xCORE – xCORE 200, and a product specifically for the high resolution audio market – xCORE-Audio

The xCORE -200 is targeted at the Internet of Things, with Gigabit Ethernet joining USB 2.0 and high performance general IO, improved performance (2000 MIPS in the launch device), and increased memory. A new development , upgraded tool suite and improved libraries. Code written for earlier xCORE products will run on the xCORE-200. Deterministic real-time operations make the family suitable for a wide range of data acquisition, networking, HMI and other applications.

The success that XMOS has in audio provided the impetus for two  families optimised for this field. The xCORE-Audio/ Hi-Res is for consumer audio and video, including stero high resolution headphone amplifiers and the xCORE-Audio/Live addresses prosumer and professional audio, such ads DJ kits, mixing, and conferencing. They both work with a range of operating systems, support a variety of audio formats and interfaces, including USB type C.

DSP support in the xCORE-Audio/ Hi-Res is aimed at applications like surround sound and karaoke while that in the xCORE-Audio/Live is aimed at audio mixing and post-processing pipelines. And the company points out that pricing starts at less than $2.00 in high volume.

An in-depth report on this will follow.

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