XTAG2 firmware update?

Technical discussions related to any XMOS development kit or reference design. Eg XK-1A, sliceKIT, etc.
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trousers
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Re: XTAG2 firmware update?

Postby trousers » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:39 pm

Folknology wrote:The point here is that we don't just program them and ship, they are actually custom programmed in situ. All of the designs in the family are like this, it is a key feature and emerging market.
If all you need to do is program them from a host then a simple OTP or SPI flash based boot loader would surely be simpler, easier and cheaper. Why do you need an XTAG2 on board at deployment time?
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Postby Folknology » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:49 pm

Some of it is compiled in situ based on code we don't have.

(Actually tested and debugged insitu in many cases)
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Postby trousers » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:56 pm

Folknology wrote:Some of it is compiled in situ based on code we don't have.
Then surely you need either the compilation suite on your host (which is rather beyond what you were originally asking for), or you need your own compiler. In either case you can still use a simple boot custom boot loader. The above comment doesn't explain, at least not in language I understand, why you need an XTAG-2 in the deployed system.
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Postby Folknology » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:58 pm

How can it be debugged without xtag2?
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Postby trousers » Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:04 pm

Folknology wrote:Some of it is compiled in situ based on code we don't have.

(Actually tested and debugged insitu in many cases)
You added that after I originally replied!

An application which includes testing and debugging hard/software sounds like an unusual billion-chip opportunity. This doesn't involve mobile software agents does it?
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Postby trousers » Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:11 pm

I think we're getting messages out of sync here.
Folknology wrote:How can it be debugged without xtag2?
That depends on exactly what boundaries you place on what programs can be downloaded and run, which is to say, it depends on your application. As I don't know what you're trying to do I can only take your word that you need an xtag2 and therefore, tautalogically, you do need an xtag2.

There's been quite alot of research done on checking binaries for safeness. If you have a safe program then you can implement co-opertive debugging in the same you one might implement co-operative context-switching.
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Postby Folknology » Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:15 pm

Actually its not difficult to imagine

There is one important principle that makes this whole thing work.

We cannot know in advance the exact usage scenario in which the shipped products will operate.

This is a market based on that very opportunity, it fulfills the space of something that can't be fulfilled by pre-programmed means. All we can do is make the best product we can for those markets. here is what has been said about it:
"We are selling a creative product, not a finished product. We are selling possibilities. The participant decides what runs on it, not us. We just give them as much as we can to help them through that process."
Its not a big mystery, I have no idea how big it is, its to diverse to contemplate.


Actually for an analogy I feel like Apple or Microsoft must have felt when talking to IBM about PCs, IBM probably kept trying to re-frame the idea in terms of Mainframes.

This isn't just re-programming either, it can actually be self programming at a higher level also.

Its exciting, I don't see why Xmos aren't all over it, they and this community are in an ideal position to take the high ground with XS1..
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Postby Folknology » Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:29 pm

Anyhow I actually have to do some work today :cry:

Already spent enough time on this thread, the requirements are clear.

I look forward to Xtag2 code being open sourced like its design. :D

If that doesn't come then I will have to go with the alternative FPGA+MCU design

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Al
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Postby lilltroll » Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:37 pm

It's (at least) something I do not understand here. As I understand it, the XTAG2 or any other solution is limited to USB2.0 wince it has a USB2.0 hardware transciever. So the day USB2.0 is an too old standard the solutions we are talking about here is out of date anyway.

The XTAG2 uses a bootloader written in OTP.
What is the difference to "include XTAG2" and to include "USB bootloading" in a consumer product or any product - isn't it the same thing on the XMOS side of the USB cable ?

By the way - how do you burn the OTP in the lab, and how do you burn it in a large production ?
(Microchip offers to pre-program your chip, for a fee of course)
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Postby paul » Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:40 pm

lilltroll wrote: By the way - how do you burn the OTP in the lab, and how do you burn it in a large production ?
(Microchip offers to pre-program your chip, for a fee of course)
There is a tool called xburn (use it very carefully) to do it in the lab.

For large production XMOS have the ability to provide pre-programmed devices.
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