Open source toolchain

Technical questions regarding the xTIMEcomposer, xSOFTip Explorer and Programming with XMOS.
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2022 11:10 am

Open source toolchain

Post by nh13 »


I don't know if this is the right place for this, but I was wondering about the current state of the toolchain for the XCore platform. We are a small university research group, which is focussing on creating new programming languages specifically targeting the realtime sector of embedded systems. I just ordered the XCore-200 explorerKIT to try and see, if XCore might be a potential target for our compilers.

However, I'm a bit confused about the current situation when it comes to the toolchain. From what I gathered from this forum and from the information available online it seems that there is exactly one toolchain (provided by XMOS), and not all of it is open source. I have found the source code for tools such as XGDB, XMake, and so forth, but it looks like certain parts of the toolchain are not distributed in source form, such as for example the xflash tool.

It seems like the original intention was to open source everything (e.g. from this post, but somehow that did not happen? I looked at the official LLVM git repository, and it seems that XCore is one of the available backend, but I could not figure out if it was targeting all available ISAs (i.e. are XS1, XS2, and XS3 supported?).

I know that XMOS distributes all their tools for free, but that's not exactly the same as open sourcing them right? To me it looks a bit like they are keeping just enough of the tools closed source, so that they could at any point decide to stop offering free tools and make you pay for the ones that are not open sourced, which in that case would make it impossible to work with the XCore controller without paying for the toolchain as well.

I'm aware that such a move would probably be quite bad from a marketing point of view, and is therefore also not very likely, but given that we are a very small team, and have very limited resources, we do want to make sure that the tools we produce are available to people without requiring to order any third party tools.

To state my question a bit more precisely, are there any (publicly communicated) plans on open sourcing the full toolchain? Or is that already the case and I have just missed it?

Thanks already for all your inputs :)