If you’re old enough to remember the Commodore Amiga, you might be aware of the AmigaOne X1000 initiative – to release an updated version of the Amiga using 2010 hardware.
One of the most interesting aspects is the inclusion of an XMOS chip – this is a programmable piece of hardware that can take on the role of some of the custom chips found in the original Amiga. Way back then it was popular to design custom hardware to handle things like graphics or music to give the computer an edge in the market. The Amiga had several custom chips, and so it seemed logical to include something similar in the new updated X1000.
The key difference is that the XMOS can be configured through software to be any kind of custom chip you need. Check out the dev tools here…
This got me interested in the XMOS architecture in general. You can think of an XMOS development system as a very high powered, multi-threaded version of the Arduino. The L1-64 is one such development system.
- Event driven processing at 400MIPS
- 64 kBytes of SRAM
- 8 threads
- 36 user I/O pins
- 8 kBytes of OTP memory for application boot code and security keys
- A typical power consumption of 450µW/MHz
The board is reasonable priced at $42 – however you will need a USB to XTAG ($50) to program it. As soon as I can clear my own project backlog I’ll be ordering one of these and seeing what I can cook up…