XDev Board

XDev is a hobby electronics board designed to address the shortcomings of the Arduino.

The Problems

  • Protocol Scarcity - Sometimes you need more of protocol XYZ or interrupts
  • Missing Protocols - Not many protocols are available.
  • Pin Collisions - Some boards try to use the same pin. Not good.
  • The Double Problem - You cant use the same shield twice.
  • Arduino IDE/GUI - It can be very hindering

The Solutions

Protocol Scarcity and Missing Protocol:

I used a unique processor on the XDev Board designed with universal function in mind: an XMOS chip. It's different in that it actually can run four concurrent threads at 100MHz each or eight threads at 50MHz. Among other things, these threads allow you to implement protocols in software and run them at the same time like they were hardware based protocols. Many protocols are already written and unlike other microcontrollers, anything missing can be created.

Pin Collisions and The Double Problem:

Each expansion board has an SMD connector on the bottom and one on the top. The expansion board uses the first pins and then "forwards" the rest to the front so that the next expansion board can use the first pins and not have a pin collision. It's difficult to explain both clearly and succinctly, so here is an illustration that may help you understand it.

Animation depicting how pins are forwarded.

If you were to stack two of these, each board would have it's own two pins, using a total of 4 pins. This means that even if you are using I2C, you can have multiples of the same expansion board. Almost all boards listed use three lines, so you can stack five without a problem.

Arduino IDE/GUI:

XDev provides an easy to use IDE that makes coding a breeze. You will be able to stack existing boards (prewritten code!) and make custom boards with all the protocols you need in place. This will generate the code you need to to get developing the rest of your XC/C/C++ code quickly!

Qt Creator is being used as the base of this IDE because it's a mature IDE and is 100% plugin driven. This makes development time much shorter because one only need to pull out what isnt needed/wanter and make a couple plugins for what is missing without having to muddle in the core of the IDE itself. Of course the IDE will come bundle with a compiler.

The IDE makes it much easier to manage all your projects.

List of projects

You can work on both small and large projects with a syntax friendly editor.

Large project

Also, interpreting rapidly updating data sent back via printf/println can be confusing so in addition to text output, I'm incorporating data visualizers. The set of visualizers includes gauges, bars and line graphs and more so that you can easily understand what that sensor is trying to tell you.

Data visualizers
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