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Timing analyzer speeds up multicore designs

Posted: 28 May 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:timer analyzer? multicore? embedded design? processor?

XMOS has released the XMOS Timing Analyzer (XTA) that accelerates the design of embedded applications using its family of XCore processor arrays.

According to David May, chief technology officer of XMOS, together with the deterministic nature of XMOS XCore processors, XTA makes it simple to develop software that meets timing deadlines C every time it executes. XTA is part of the XMOS Development Tools 10.4 release.

Based on static code analysis, he said XTA guarantees timing of real-time system functions such as control and DSP algorithms. Using XCore processors, functions traditionally implemented in hardware, such as I/O interfaces, can be implemented entirely in software and timed.

Based on the fully deterministic instruction execution of XCore processors, XTA guarantees exact timing of software execution by examining object code.

The time in which a program section must execute can be specified interactively in the GUI or as code assertions. If XTA detects that the program section cannot execute within the specified time, it provides immediate feedback that lets the developer identify the code that needs optimization.

This significantly shortens and simplifies the development process. XTA can also be used to determine the minimum processor speed needed to meet timing requirements, supporting power optimization.

"Guaranteeing correct operation of real-time software running on an embedded processor has been a significant challenge until now," said May. "In the past, dynamic testing with a test harness or test-bench had to be relied upon to exercise the timing corner cases. In complex systems, this often means waiting until the entire system is built.

XTA is provided as part of the XMOS Development Tools 10.4 release, available immediately.

- Bernard Cole

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