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Programming The Propeller ICParallax, well known for its successful Basic Stamp IC, has recently introduced the Propeller: a new microcontroller with a certain difference. It packs no less than eight 32-bit processors (referred to as COGs in Propeller jargon) into a single package with only 40 pins. That design takes genuine simultaneous multiprocessing possible, and the sophisticated internal structure of the device makes it relatively easy to implement video and signal-processing applications. The Propeller can be programmed in assembly language or the high-level Spin language. The processor and the programming tools were developed entirely in-house by Parallax, with the hardware being designed from scratch starting at the transistor level.
The basic idea behind that was to avoid becoming involved in all sorts of patent disputes with other manufacturers. The result is astounding, and for software developers it certainly requires a change in mental gears. As is customary with modern microprocessors, the Propeller has a simple serial programming interface. The developer’s toolkit from Parallax has a modern USB port for that purpose, but a reasonably simple alternative (illustrated here) is also possible for anyone who prefers to work with the familiar RS232 port. Don’t forget that the Propeller works with a 3.3-V supply voltage.
Author: unknown - Copyright: Elektor Electronics