What I want for XMAS: an xCORE-200 board "xCoreXMAS" with startKIT form factor

Technical discussions related to any XMOS development kit or reference design. Eg XK-1A, sliceKIT, etc.
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What I want for XMAS: an xCORE-200 board "xCoreXMAS" with startKIT form factor

Postby aclassifier » Wed May 16, 2018 3:11 pm

Would this be feasible?

Could we dream up an "xCoreXMAS" board with a startKIT form factor? I need a new front tooth!

I love the eXplorerKIT, but it's too big and contains more than I need!

Basically all I/O connectors should be available, but the AD and touch sensors are not necessary. But it would be nice with that Ethernet connector! And more memory, of course. Modern. More specs by anybody who bites.

Below is an overview of what's (almost) on my desk now. The two newest (topmost) boards seem to use the same processor. But why does the eXplorerKIT need an xTAG (i.e. xTAG-3 these days) adaptor to download, debug and flash when the Audio Platform board's page doesn't seem to require (mention) it? In other words, why does it seem that "Integrated USB 2.0 PHY for high/full-speed host and device operation" suffices on the Audio Platform but not eXplorerKIT? The startKIT's processor has an "integrated debugger" so no xTAG is needed there.

I ask as a person who hasn't figured out all the details. I probably haven't even asked the most important questions. But that's why I started this thread.

xCORE-200 Multichannel Audio Platform
Part #: XK-AUDIO-216-MC-AB
Silicon on Board: XE216-512-TQ128
"Integrated USB 2.0 PHY for high/full-speed host and device operation"
Updated after response from akp (below): Comes with xTAG-3 debug adaptor

xCORE-200 eXplorerKIT
Part #: XK-EVK-XE216
Silicon on Board: XE216-512-TQ128
Comes with xTAG-3 debug adaptor

startKIT (obsoleted)
Part #: XK-STK-A8DEV
Silicon on Board: XS1-A8-DEV
"xCORE-Analog 8-core device with integrated debugger"

Anybody volunteering?
Last edited by aclassifier on Wed May 16, 2018 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ahenshaw » Wed May 16, 2018 3:39 pm

Hear, hear!
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Postby akp » Wed May 16, 2018 4:10 pm

xCORE-200 Multichannel Audio Platform comes with XTAG-3; that's what I've always used (or an XTAG2, which I also have) to debug / flash it.
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Postby aclassifier » Wed May 16, 2018 7:56 pm

More, more!

Thanks, summing up akp's info I now did find this about the Audio Platform:

  • On the Digi-key page I could not find anything about the XTAG in the box
  • On the Farnell page it is stated that it comes with an "xTAG Debugger XA-XTAG"
  • XA-XTAG is the name of the present xTAG-3, here
  • Could anybody point me to the place in XMOS literature where it is stated that the Audio Platform comes with the XTAG-3? I understand now that this must be so, since the eXPlorerKIT also comes with it, and it's the same silicon on board
Now, is there any other double-slice (2*8 cores) silicon that indeed has the XTAG functionality built in like the startKIT processor?
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Postby matthew1 » Thu May 17, 2018 9:25 am

The xCORE-200 Multichannel Audio kit does indeed come with an XTAG debugger in the box. The board has a standard 20-pin xSYS header for debug access, see section 13 of the hardware manual.

The kit contents are in the product brief for the kit:


We don't have any current development platforms with the XTAG debug functionality integrated like the startKit.


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Postby aclassifier » Thu May 17, 2018 7:18 pm

Thanks, Matthew!

To be "symmetric" you (XMOS) may consider adding "Includes xTAG debug adaptor" also in the Audio Platform's web page. That's what started me stumbling.

What I read from this is that any xCORE-200 startKIT form factor board would have to have an xSYS header. I guess that could be added where the touch sensors are. But then it would need to point sideways or up, making it very little compatible with an extended view of what a startKIT form factor is (=it should be possible to remove a startKIT from an existing box and just replace it (well, almost at least)). To make the XTAG-3 on board would, I guess, be better. But then there would have to be another USB socket there. I guess one could live with that: keep the power USB where the existing is and add the debug USB somewhere close, to the side I would think. But the XTAG-3 is proprietary XMOS stuff, where I assume that xSYS is open? So a customer could probably not add any XTAG-3 on his board?

Any better ideas? Or is this a dead end from day one?

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