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XAP Tools

XAP software and hardware toolkits help you deliver your projects on time with reduced risk

XAPs have comprehensive development and debug tools that enable you to debug your code on hardware and software targets for single and multi-processor systems.

xIDE is the integrated development environment for XAP which hosts our GNU tools, build system, instruction set simulator and source level debugger.
GNU tools for XAP include GCC, Binutils and GDB. We developed XAP's C compiler in conjunction with our instruction set architecture, leveraging the global investment in GNU compiler technology and achieving excellent code density.
SIF is our patented high-performance debug interface that connects xIDE and other tools to XAP development hardware or the final product via an intelligent SIF debug pod.
xEMU boards are FPGA-based prototyping platforms for XAP software development, emulation and verification.

Please download the xIDE and GNU tools to write programs and run them on the XAP4, XAP5 or XAP6 instruction set simulator.

xIDE software toolkits

xIDE is an integrated software development environment designed for ease of use and familiarity with the standard look and feel of IDE packages for PCs and workstations. Programmers and engineers using xIDE enjoy a seamless and consistent view of the development process from simulation and emulation through to first silicon, deployment and maintenance. System complexity is contained within xIDE so they can focus on building and proving applications thus reducing time-to-market and project risk.

The xIDE architecture has a core application that can work with any target microprocessor, multi-processor system or even networked systems. Software plug-ins are installed that contain processor-specific information, such as a simulator, an interface to an existing simulator, drivers for a hardware emulation of an ASIC or drivers for the target hardware.

Cambridge Consultants offers standard plug-ins for its XAP processor instruction set simulators, C compilers, assemblers, hardware emulators and the non-invasive embedded debugger connected via SIF serial interface pods.

xIDE is written using a platform-neutral programming tool and the same source can produce xIDE implementations to run on Windows or Linux. Developers using xIDE enjoy comprehensive functionality at a low price per seat, which enables widespread deployment throughout their organisation.

See xIDE in action at no cost now- an evaluation copy of xIDE can be downloaded from our downloads page and we will email you a 30-day license key at no charge. You can write, edit, compile, run and debug programs on one of the XAP processor simulators.

SIF debug technology

You canā€™t afford to get it wrong when re-spins cost a million dollars and you might miss your market opportunity. So we support XAP processor cores with comprehensive development and debug tools that help you get your project right first time. Our SIF debug interface is an important part of this technology and all XAP processors include a SIF debug core with a simple four-wire interface enabling powerful debugging facilities and high speed data capture.

SIF is a patented four-wire serial interface that allows non-invasive control, debugging and event logging in target hardware, such as ASIC or FPGA devices and the embedded systems in which they operate. SIF provides complete access to the memory map and processor registers without interfering with device operation or timing. SIF connects to the developer's computer using intelligent SIF pods thereby keeping the debug logic inside the chip as small as possible.

In addition to the debug logic core and the pod, the third component of SIF technology is the SIF driver software that is installed on a PC. The SIF driver presents the application interface that is used by xIDE for developing and debugging and it is also used by other applications such as SIF Explorer, which allows data to be written and read, to and from any address location in the device under test. This is a very powerful feature that, for example, allows designers to capture raw data from an on-chip ADC and stream it out into a file.

SIF technology is used at all stages in a project; first on a hardware emulator, then inside the chip for investigating and characterising first silicon, then as part of both chip and PCB production testing and finally for service and maintenance activity. SIF gives the required real-time performance to support all these activities, but it can also be adapted to run over a JTAG connection for production testing.

At Cambridge Consultants we have found SIF technology to be an invaluable tool that has increased engineering productivity, accelerated development programmes and helped us get chips to market on time and in budget. SIF technology including the software, a pod and its on-chip logic is provided with each XAP processor licence.

xEMU emulator boards

xEMU-mini is a hardware emulator intended for software development and design verification of XAP processor-based ASICs prior to tape-out.

The XAP processor and application-specific logic are synthesised and loaded into the xEMU-mini's Spartan 3 FPGA. Elsewhere on the board there are 16-bit RAM and Flash memories together with interfaces for system integration including Ethernet, RS232, GPIO and two IDC connectors to expansion boards. xEMU-mini's debug interfaces include JTAG, SIF and USB.

Working with emulator boards such as this reduces project risk and accelerates time to market. Systems with working software can be rapidly prototyped and deployed in a target application to verify that they meet the functional requirements before committing to the cost and lead time of ASIC silicon. Software programmers can develop and test applications in advance of silicon availability.

XAP processor licensees will receive an xEMU-mini pre-programmed with the XAP processor integrated into the board's memory and peripheral devices. Connected via the SIF interface to xIDE running on a computer, the board is configured ready to run and debug XAP programs developed in xIDE.