Propeller C

Propeller C: Parallel Processing Beyond Arduino Creates New Possibilities

Multicore is Easy with C Functions and Students may also use BlocklyProp to generate their C code

Parallax’s C Learning System for the Propeller 1 Multicore Microcontroller creates a new way of thinking beyond the common sequential coding process that we now learn starting in elementary school. 

How is this useful? Here’s a chef who is trying to add spices, roll dough, taste test and check the temperature in the pan. He can only do one thing at a time and is generally frustrated. In robotics, a similar challenge could be trying to read a sensor while doing a calculation. Tasks accomplished in sequence require more time+

Imagine if the chef were able to distribute his knowledge and tasks effectively among other chefs. 

He could have parallel efforts underway and complete the project more quickly and efficiently.

Think of a drone’s control system — in order to respond quickly it needs to manage R/C receiver, motor controllers, sensors, and a control loop.

Putting these functions in their own processors makes a fast-running control loop! This is exactly how the Propeller 1 Multicore Microcontroller works. 

SimpleIDE is the Propeller C Programming Environment

SimpleIDE is Parallax’s C programming environment for the Propeller 1. It runs on Mac and Windows.

BlocklyProp and Propeller C Combination

BlocklyProp and Propeller C Combination are Inclusive and Powerful, Spanning Ages and Experience Levels

Educators are thrilled with the ability of students to hop between BlocklyProp and C. BlocklyProp is easy and powerful, yet C is extensive and expandable. Elementary school students use BlocklyProp and universities use Propeller C, so the age/skill spectrum is wider than any product we offer.

For example, her is the BlocklyProp code example for an ActivityBot 360° programmed for light following. 

Just click on the “code” button to see the C version. Students may save this C code and then open and further edit it with SimpleIDE.

FLiP Try-It and the ActivityBot 360°

FLiP Try-It and the ActivityBot 360 are Two Starting Points with Propeller C

The most common hardware starting points for Propeller C are the FLiP Try-It Kit and ActivityBot 360°. They should also be used in this sequence.

Education Resources around Propeller C

The Learn.parallax.com site has a sequential Propeller C tutorials (Simple Circuits, Functions) which may be done prior to the ActivityBot 360 and project-based tutorials which may be done independently.

Propeller C is our most advanced learning setting and is most commonly used in high school and college-level settings.

Most common Parallax sensors have direct library support in Propeller C, too. The ability to scaffold and extend the learning environment is nearly limitless.   

Propeller C Tutorial Kits and Products

Beginner-level C programming for the open source, multi-core Propeller microcontroller is supported by our Propeller C Tutorial series, featuring the Propeller Activity Board WX, ActivityBot 360° Robot, and Propeller FLiP microcontroller module.

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