For FPGAs, there are many small and cheap boards containing the FPGA, some memory, a mechanism for downloading the bitmap (often via JTAG), a voltage regulator chip, and connectors/headers for the i/o pins. The latter are connected to my application-specific i/o on a separate board. I haven't spotted any similar "daughterboards" / "carrierboards" / "mezzanine boards" for xCORE devices.
What startKIT features do I need:
- USB connectivity to a host process
- at least 8 cores dedicated to my application
- for development, tight integration with the IDE including program download and debugging (preferably via USB)
- similar number of uncommitted general purpose i/o lines, accessed via one or two general purpose connectors/headers (probably 0.1" pitch including a sufficient number of grounds!)
- voltage regulator, to convert the USB's 5V to 3.3V
- small and cheap
- compatibility with startKIT's connectors
- analogue i/o; that's part of my application specific i/o on my board
- LEDs and switches, for the same reason
- input protection, except for the USB connection
If not, are there any pointers to what I would have to develop? Assume I can design PCBs, but do not have XMOS-specific knowledge of how to integrate xCORE chips with USB with the IDE.