Bristol, United Kingdom
Bristol, United Kingdom

XMOS is a fabless semiconductor company that develops multi-core multi-threaded processors designed to execute several real-time tasks, DSP, and control flow all at once. Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.9.8 | Award Amount: 2.72M | Year: 2012

This project proposes an energy-aware system development approach covering hardware, software and the run-time environment. The central goal is to make energy usage transparent through the system layers, thus enabling optimizations both during code development and at run-time.\n\nThe project work packages will develop novel program analysis and energy modelling techniques. Tools incorporating these techniques will enable energy optimizations both during code development and at run-time, helping to promote energy efficiency to a first-class software design objective. The project will also develop a concept of optimality and a set of benchmarks allowing measurement of energy efficiency with respect to the minimal energy achievable by optimal utilization of existing hardware.\n\nLack of energy transparency in todays system development tools means that much of the potential energy saving available from power-efficient hardware is wasted. The project departs from the approach of todays systems and development tools because energy transparency is at odds with a basic principle in modern software engineering - the desire to abstract away machine-level details in high-level code in the interests of portability, understandability and software reuse. By contrast, energy transparency requires making visible the effects of energy-saving features of modern processors.\n\nThe project targets outcome (c) of Objective ICT-2011.9.8, namely to address software models and programming methodologies supporting the strive for the energetic limit (e.g. energy cost awareness or exploiting the trade-off between energy and performance/precision).


Patent
Xmos | Date: 2011-09-14

A method and corresponding tool, the method comprising: receiving as an input (a) a higher-level structure representing control flow through an executable program, the higher-level structure comprising one or more levels of parent nodes, each parent node representing internal structure comprising a group of one or more child nodes and one or more associated edges between nodes; and (b) an indication of at least one start and end instruction. The method further comprises probing the levels of the higher-level structure to extract a substructure representing a route through the program from the start to the end instruction, by selectively extracting nodes of different levels of parent to represent different regions along the route in dependence on a location of the start and end instructions relative to the levels of parent nodes; and based on the extracted substructure, estimating an execution time for the route through the program.


Patent
Xmos | Date: 2013-10-21

A processing apparatus comprising: a bus; a first processor connected to the bus and configured to communicate over the bus according to a bus protocol; a second, multithread processor; and an inter-thread interconnect based on a system of channels. The apparatus also comprises an interface between the bus and the inter-thread interconnect, comprising a bus side implementing the bus protocol and an interconnect side for interfacing with the system of channels. The first processor is thereby operable to communicate with a designated one of said threads via the bus and a respective channel of the inter-thread interconnect.


Patent
Xmos | Date: 2010-11-18

Each possessor node in an array of nodes has a respective local node address, and each local node address comprises a plurality of components having an order of addressing significance from most to least significant. Each node comprises: mapping means configured to map each component of the local node address onto a respective routing direction, and a switch arranged to receive a message having a destination node address identifying a destination node. The switch comprises: means for comparing the local node address to the destination node address to identify a the most significant non-matching component; and means for routing the message to another node, on the condition that the local node address does not match the destination node address, in the direction mapped to the most significant non-matching component.


Patent
Xmos | Date: 2011-09-28

A method and corresponding tool, the method comprising: generating a lower-level control flow structure representing a portion of an executable program, the lower-level control flow structure comprising a plurality of lower-level nodes representing operations occurring within the program and a plurality of directional edges representing program flow between nodes; generating a higher-level control flow structure by matching a plurality of the lower-level nodes and edges to higher-level structure nodes representing internal structure, each higher-level structure node representing a group of one or more lower-level nodes and one or more associated edges; and using the higher-level control flow structure to estimate a timing property relating to execution of the program on a processor. The higher-level structure nodes are selected exclusively from a predetermined set of structure node patterns, each pattern in the set having at most one entry point and at most one exit point.


Patent
Xmos | Date: 2010-03-12

A method and corresponding tool, the method comprising: receiving as an input (a) a higher-level structure representing control flow through an executable program, the higher-level structure comprising one or more levels of parent nodes, each parent node representing internal structure comprising a group of one or more child nodes and one or more associated edges between nodes; and (b) an indication of at least one start and end instruction. The method further comprises probing the levels of the higher-level structure to extract a substructure representing a route through the program from the start to the end instruction, by selectively extracting nodes of different levels of parent to represent different regions along the route in dependence on a location of the start and end instructions relative to the levels of parent nodes; and based on the extracted substructure, estimating an execution time for the route through the program.


Patent
Xmos | Date: 2010-03-12

A method and corresponding tool, the method comprising: generating a lower-level control flow structure representing a portion of an executable program, the lower-level control flow structure comprising a plurality of lower-level nodes representing operations occurring within the program and a plurality of directional edges representing program flow between nodes; generating a higher-level control flow structure by matching a plurality of the lower-level nodes and edges to higher-level structure nodes representing internal structure, each higher-level structure node representing a group of one or more lower-level nodes and one or more associated edges; and using the higher-level control flow structure to estimate a timing property relating to execution of the program on a processor. The higher-level structure nodes are selected exclusively from a predetermined set of structure node patterns, each pattern in the set having at most one entry point and at most one exit point.


News Article | February 13, 2013
Site: thenextweb.com

The third chime has sounded in the recent rumors of Apple developing a wristwatch computer of some sort. The rumored project was first reported by The New York Times and then the Wall Street Journal. The latest rumor comes via Bloomberg and shares a couple of interesting details. Peter Burrows and Adam Satariano report that Apple has a team of about 100 product designers working on a ‘wristwatch-like’ device that could share functions of iOS devices. It lists managers, members of the marketing group and engineers that worked on the iPhone and iPad. In what is out of character for an anonymously sourced report like this one, two distinct Apple employees are named. James Foster, a senior director of engineering who formerly worked at XMOS Semiconductor and Oxford Semiconductor, and another ‘manager’ named Achim Pantfoerder are said to be on the team. Pantfoerder is credited for several patents, including a joint one with Apple’s Tony Fadell for integrated proximity and light sensors that ended up in the iPod touch, iPad and iPhone devices, one related to Apple’s stereo headset jacks and more. The cascading nature of the rumors here are interesting. A report in one of the major publications known to have…reliable…Apple sources like the NYT is typically followed by others. Having the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg’s Apple reporters also chime in on the rumor adds some weight to it, if not any in-depth information. Obviously, Apple produces prototypes and works on device concepts on a continuous, rotating basis. For more on that you can read about its product development process here. But if there is indeed a 100 person team already working on it, this has moved beyond the dabbling phase and into something more aggressive. You can read the full report here.


News Article | August 6, 2013
Site: www.techweekeurope.co.uk

The European Union has launched a research project that aims to make greener electronics by focusing on the efficiency of firmware. The ENTRA (whole system energy transparency) project, which includes Bristol-based fabless chip designer XMOS, aims to make systems which use less energy, by concentrating on the often-ignored issue of the efficiency of the software. Its aim is to build energy-awareness into the software development process, so embedded firmware uses less energy. The ENTRA project has €2.1 million from the EU’s 7th Framework programme for research, and will spend three years working on energy-aware software development using advanced program analysis and modeling of energy consumption in computer systems. The project will allow engineers to predict energy consumption early in the software design phase, thus enabling the development of greener IT products. XMOS is the commercial partner in a consortium which also includes three academic bodies: Roskilde University in Denmark, the University of Bristol in the UK, and the IMDEA Software Institute in Madrid. “The ENTRA project is designed to analyse and predict energy usage and make these predictions available to system developers,” said Dr Henk Muller, principal technologist at XMOS, “By optimising code development it will be possible to create more energy efficient computer systems, something which is crucial when developing technologies that meet the increasing green credentials that we all demand.” XMOS, makes multicore microcontrollers for deterministic, low-latency applications such as positioning robot arms. It is a spin-off from Bristol University and part of a strong silicon heritage in Bristol. Its CTO is David May, a former head of computing at Bristol University, who was previously the designer of the transputer, a parallel computer chip which was the great hope for British computing in the 1990s. Are you a Green IT guru? Take our quiz!


News Article | July 21, 2014
Site: www.finsmes.com

With this investment, Dr. Hongquan Jiang from Robert Bosch will be joining the XMOS Board of Directors. The company intends to use the funds to expand customer support and accelerate new product development. Led by Nigel Toon, CEO, Xmos offers intelligent xCORE™ multicore microcontrollers that allow engineers to create the the exact hardware system needed for their application, in audio, automotive, consumer, industrial and robotics products, all in software. Customers can also download the xTIMEcomposer™ Studio development system from their website. The company has an additional development center in Chennai, India.

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