Summary and Info
The Official Guide for the Multicore Propeller Microcontroller
Collaborators include Shane Avery, Chip Gracey,
Vern Graner, Martin Hebel,Joshua Hintze, Andre' LeMothe,
Andy Lindsay, Jeff Martin and Hanno Sander
Reviewed by Dr. Joseph S. Maresca
The advantages of this software are considerable.
For instance, a propeller chip needs no operating system.
The code development tools are free. The propeller chip
offers shared and mutually exclusive resources.
A central hub controls access to mutually exclusive resources.
Parallax forum membership has reached to over 17,000
The book begins by showing users how to build a
propeller application out of objects which are
self-contained sets of code and data. A Propeller chip
is available in 3 packages. The processors are
cogs which are simple and uniform. The Propeller
Main has RAM/ROM. An active cog is either
executing instructions or in a rest state.
The Propeller tool software is downloaded and installed
first from [...] Propeller.
The following information comes up when the user
"Googles" the site above.
The Propeller chip makes it easy to rapidly develop
embedded applications. Its eight processors (cogs) can
operate simultaneously, either independently or cooperatively,
sharing common resources through a central hub.
The developer has full control over how and when each cog
is employed; there is no compiler-driven or
operating system-driven splitting of tasks among
multiple cogs. A shared system clock keeps each cog on the
same time reference, allowing for true deterministic
timing and synchronization. Two programming languages
are available: the easy-to-learn high-level Spin,
and Propeller Assembly which can execute at up to
160 MIPS (20 MIPS per cog).
Who uses the Propeller?
Due to its diversity, the Propeller Chip may be used
for many types of applications. Most users appreciate the
overall processing power and I/O capabilities.
Hobbyists like the powerful yet easy language while robot
builders and process control engineers appreciate the
parallel processing capabilities. Many find the on-board
video generation and easy connection to popular
PC peripherals reduces the need for additional support components.
The rules for accomplishing any task are set forth simply.
The programming conventions help to preclude
bugs. Cogs get sent to different memory locations to
exchange information . The propeller chip architecture
precludes the possibility of memory collisions for any
single element in the main memory. There are debugging
tools for the Propeller applications like the TV terminal,
Parallax Serial Terminal, ViewPort and Propeller Assembler
Language Debugger. There are a series of sensors with
microcontroller interfaces. i.e. on/off sensors
Three ways are presented to prevent overwriting data.
There is a computer vision system for the propeller.
These are ethernet and internet protocols. There is a
website which assists with the GPS tracking at
[...] . Software setup and installation is at [...].
The guide is perfect for the computer engineer or
computer science enthusiast in your household.
A main object of the presentation is simplicity for a
wide audience of multi-disciplinary users and project teams.
The acquisition is reasonably priced at under $50.00 .