Small Board for battery powered applications

XCore Project reviews, ideas, videos and proposals.
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 29, 2020 7:59 pm

Small Board for battery powered applications

Post by Minyiky »

Hi all,

I will preface this by saying I am probably way out of my depth here but unless I ask I will never know if this is something I can do or not. A few years ago I made a prototype spectrometer with a pair of XMOS startKIT boards and had good success with them. Coming to now I thought they would be a good place to tinker around on my current project, however I was unable to find them, and have now seen that they are out of production and so no longer a real option. In searching it looks like the main development board currently in use is the xCORE-200 exploreKIT which is much larger than I would ideally like for the project I am undertaking, along with being an order of magnitude more expensive than the startKIT was.

To this end I thought I would take this opportunity to look into PCB design as it is something I have been interested in for a while but never got around to doing, and now I have a specific idea in mind and a fair amount of time on my hands to learn it seems like an ideal opportunity. I have spent some time over the last couple of days looking over documentation for both the starKIT and explorKIT and have learned a lot but there is still much that I am not completely clear on. Making this slightly more difficult is that a lot of the discussions I have seen focus on Audio designs which is not where my project will focus.

Basic Project / Board requirements:
- Ideally be a small form factor, not larger than 60mm x 50mm
- At least 6 logical Cores (so single tile chips should be sufficient)
- Access to GPIO, ADC, and easy debugging
- Ability to spend long periods in a deep sleep mode while waking on one of multiple triggers

My basic questions are:
1) Does anyone have any good links for discussion on PCB design for XMOS based boards, I know the older XS1 generation chips have example designs in the datasheets, but the new 200 series don't appear to have this?
2) Has anyone developed any small boards that could be easily modified to fit my requirements?
3) As it looks like the xCORE-XA series is discontinued what is the easiest way for low power long term deep sleep modes, can this be done on chip or should I used a separate MCU?
4) If I put any schematics in this thread could I get some advice and critique on them?

My initial plans are to see if I can design any schematics based on both the new 200 series and XS1 series following cues from the design of the startKIT and go from there.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and I appreciate any feedback anyone may have