Parallax Propeller

propeller_demo_boardThe 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). //

I love that the Propeller has eight “cogs”; makes me want to build a machine that implements Carroll’s Eight Magics. The Propeller demo board (shown above) seems well suited to interactive multimedia applications, with on-board support for TV, VGA, mic, stereo phones, keyboard and mouse inputs (PS/2, which can be adapted to a variety of devices), eight I/O pins with headers, and RS-232 serial communications.