Hobbyists, engineers, and students may now view and modify the Propeller Verilog design files by loading them into low-cost field programmable gate array (FPGA) development boards. The design was released under the GNU General Public License v3.0.
With the chip's source code being available, any developer may discover what they need to know about the design. The open release provides a way for developers who have requested more pins, memory or other architectural improvements to make their own version to run on an FPGA. Universities who have requested access to the design files for their engineering programs will now have them.
The Propeller multicore microcontroller is used in developing technologies where multiple sensors, user interface systems, and output devices such as motors must be managed simultaneously. Some primary applications for Parallax's chip include flight controllers in unmanned aerial vehicles, 3D printing, solar monitoring systems, environmental data collection, theatrical lighting and sound control, and medical devices.
The decision to go open-source has positive implications for Parallax's next design: the Propeller 2. In recent years the community contributed the compilers, multi-platform programming tools and languages for the Propeller 1. Several of the Propeller 2 features were contributed and designed by community members running binary images of the chip in an FPGA. Though a small supplier in the semiconductor industry, the high quality of Parallax's products can be attributed, in part, to their close relationship with the development community.
For more information on Parallax's open source release of the Propeller P8X32A, visit http://www.parallax.com.
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08/prweb12077740.htm
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