XScale Development Platforms

The XScale microarchitecture is based on a new processor compliant with ARM version 5TE. The microarchitecture surrounds the core with instruction and data memory management units; instruction, data, and mini-data caches; write, fill, pend, and branch target buffers; power management, performance monitoring, debug, and JTAG units; coprocessor interface; 32K caches; MMUs; BTB; MAC coprocessor; and core memory bus.

A plug computer is a tiny, low power server, intended to provide network-based services within the home. It is an always-on system, and can serve data and applications to computing devices within the home. It can also be a bridge between home computing devices and Internet-based services.

The SheevaPlug is Marvell’s first plug computer, based on a powerful 1.2GHz Sheeva processor (based on an ARMv5TE compliant core). Its main connectivity is gigabit Ethernet to the network, and USB for peripherals.

Gumstix Logo

The Verdex Pro motherboards, based on the Marvell PXA270 with XScale, and feature up to 128MB RAM, on-board flash up to 32 MB, an onboard 60-pin Hirose I/O header, a 120-pin Molex connector for connecting additional expansion cards with Infineon Bluetooth as an option.

The Cambridge-MIT Institute MDP Logo

CMI is a joint venture between Cambridge University and MIT aimed at enhancing innovation and knowledge exchange in the UK by focusing on the interface between academia and industry. The Multidisciplinary Design Project (MDP) is a CMI program that develops teaching resources to enhance undergraduate teaching.


A separate, compatible debug adapter is sometimes needed for development with ARM-based platforms. However, more ARM-based platforms are being made available with integrated, on-board debugging capabilities eliminating the need for such external hardware.

Some platforms have real-time data access and instruction trace capability for systems that that must be debugged in real-time without stopping the system and a physical trace interface will likely be needed for this purpose. 

These interfaces can be purchased directly from ARM (an ARM company), or through a variety of ARM partners and distributors.

Low-cost debug adapters are also available for purchase from third-party companies such as Olimex, as well as a variety of others. 

Be sure to check the compatibility between your boards, software tools, and debug adapter.



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