XMOS extends deterministic event-driven MCUs into analog - Embedded.com

XMOS extends deterministic event-driven MCUs into analog

At the ESC DESIGN West, XMOS  executives reveal plans to launch its xCORE-A series of multicore event driven MCUs to support a range of analog functions needed in industry segments such as industrial control.

According to Andy Gothard, director of corporate marketing, the xCORE-Analog or A series range covers 6, 8, 10, 12 and 16 virtual multicore processors that come in single and dual tile — physical core — versions and are optimized for industrial applications.

The analog components will include 12-bit, 1-megasample per second analog-to-digital converter, 8 channels to it, power management circuitry and a range of timers on a separate die that is linked to one of XMOS's established microcontroller die in a single package.

The xCORE A-Series devices include up to eight channels of 12-bit, 1 MSPS analog-to-digital conversion; power-on reset, brown-out protection and watchdog facilities; integrated oscillator; deep sleep memory; and integrated DC/DC converter to allow for operation from most power supplies. The devices’ power-management features enable low sleep-mode power consumption of 100-microamps.

By combining analog and digital interfacing, communications and deterministic control in a single device, said Gothard, the integrated analog functions reduce component count, save power and improve signal integrity.

The A-series chips will be available in both commercial and industrial operating temperature ranges and are expected to find applications in a broad range of industrial products including sensors and actuators that require local intelligence, PLCs, communications and motor controllers. The analog capability has been included in the xTimeComposer development kit so that microcontroller applications can be developed quickly.

The A-series introduction is a part of the XMOS effort to drive acceptance of its deterministic architecture into markets that can take advantage of capability. In the case of industrial control, Gothard said the company expects its architecture will find wide acceptances following recent announcement of other capabilities such as industrial Fieldbus capabilities, an industrial serial bus (IS-BUS) I/O card for the modular sliceKIT development system, and a collaboration with Synapticon to support smart motor control and service robotics applications.

The A-Series is supplemented by the company’s expanding xSOFTip range of soft peripherals, which includes real-time Ethernet, USB and human-machine interface (HMI) functions.

“The integration of analog functionality alongside the deterministic xCORE architecture opens up multicore microcontrollers to a whole new range of developers and application types,” he said.

The xCORE A-Series devices include up to eight channels of 12-bit, 1 MSPS analog-to-digital conversion; power-on reset, brown-out protection and watchdog facilities; integrated oscillator; deep sleep memory; and integrated DC/DC converter to allow for operation from most power supplies. The devices’ power-management features enable low sleep-mode power consumption of 100-microamps.

The xCORE A-Series devices ship in 42- and 90-pin BGA packages and will be sampling in Q2 2013, with volume production expected in 4Q13.

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