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. To program the Propeller use the easy-to-learn high-level Spin, Propeller Assembly which can execute at up to 160 MIPS (20 MIPS per cog), or Propeller GCC for C/C .
Browse through the searchable Propeller Questions & Answers system for a look at some Propeller chip fundamentals. This system will be updated and expanded periodically. Email feedback and suggestions to: PropellerHelp@parallax.com. Note: Best viewed in IE; viewable in Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome!
Want to see the Q&A on a mobile device? View the mobile version.
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.
Third-Party Development Tools
We have a list of third-party development tools which use the Propeller microcontroller for many different applications. The list includes user-tools such as programming-language compilers and development systems; some tools help to create a more familiar approach as you enter spin programming, while others seek to educate.
Companies that use the Propeller
Here you will find just a few of the companies that use the Propeller microcontroller in their own products.
What do you need to get started?
To get started you need a Propeller Chip and a USB Serial connection to the chip. Some of our development boards and modules have this capability built-in while some require a Prop Plug or Prop Clip. Our affordable Propeller Starter Kit and Propeller Education Kits (40-Pin DIP Version and PropStick USB Version) are all good starting places for many interested hobbyists and students.
Where is the Propeller used?
The Propeller is used in many industries including manufacturing, process control, robotics, automotive and communications. Hobbyists and Engineers alike are finding new uses for this powerful microcontroller every day.
When might you choose to use the Propeller instead of another product?
The Propeller is a good choice over other microcontrollers when a low system part count is desirable due to its ability to provide direct video output and an easy interface to external peripherals such as keyboard, mouse and VGA monitor. Pre-written objects to support many types of hardware also make it an attractive option. All of this plus low cost and a powerful, yet easy language are hard to beat in a world where microcontrollers come in so many flavors that it’s hard to make a choice. The Propeller really is an easy choice.
Why should you use the Propeller?
The Propeller Chip can free system designers from the constraints of many modern microcontroller systems in both hardware and software. The Propeller puts the fun back into design and programming while providing the power and flexibility required in today’s microcontroller-powered applications.
Learning Propeller Programming with the
Spin Language = Easy
Programming the Propeller with Assembly
Language = Intermediate/Advanced