XMOS Unveils First Software-Defined Silicon

According to XMOS Semiconductor, creator of softwaredefined silicon (SDS), working silicon and beta design tools are now in the lab. Test chips were produced by TSMC on its 90nm G process.

Key to the XMOS SDS technology is a compact, event-driven, multithreaded processor called XCore. With up to 500MIPS to share across up to eight threads, the XCore engine implements a range of complex hardware functions. By using Cbased behavioural languages, designers can quickly map whiteboard functional specs into silicon.

The XCore processor is tightly coupled to the outside world through a set of event-driven input-output ports, and inter-thread communication is provided by XLink, a channel mechanism that allows threads and XCores to interact at the hardware level.

Design tools and samples of firstgeneration XMOS SDS chips will be available in the first half of 2008.

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