Parallax Propeller Packs Eight 32-Bit Cores In a 40-Pin MCU: Page 2 of 2

implemented in a software subroutine using the Spin or C programming language.

Spin Programming Language

Parallax's Chip Gracey designed the multicore architecture for the Propeller and uses Spin to program it. Spin code is programmed into the chip using a GUI-based software development platform. The IDE to program and debug code is called the Propeller Tool.

Code is entered via a typical text editor for debugging and documentation. Since Spin is an assembler-based programming language, the Propeller Tool's compiler converts the code into bytecodes, which is loaded into the microcontroller's memory. The Propeller Tool is used in downloading the bytecode to the microcontroller, as well. Spin executes approximately 80,000 instruction-tokens per second on each of the eight cores, giving 640,000 high-level instructions per second.

Programming in Spin code is quite easy, and Parallax provides a wealth of tutorials and educational resources to learn this programming language. I'll be exploring and discussing the Parallax Propeller's features and functions by way of hands-on evaluations in future Design News posts.

Don Wilcher is a passionate teacher of electronics technology and an electrical engineer with 26 years of industrial experience. He's worked on industrial robotics systems, automotive electronic modules/systems, and embedded wireless controls for small consumer appliances. He's also a book author, writing DIY project books on electronics and robotics technologies. His latest book, Make: Basic Arduino Projects, published by Maker Media, is on the Alabama State Department's approved Career and Technical Education (CTE) reading list. He's currently developing 21st century educational training products and curriculum focusing on Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial Physical Computing for makers, engineers, technicians, and educators. Besides being an Electrical Engineer, he's a Certified Electronics Technician with ETA International and Alabama State Certified Electronics Instructor.

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