Draft: Propeller 2 code authentication and protection

Parallax is in the process of designing its next gen Propeller chip. Informally dubbed the Propeller 2, the design includes a 32-bit, general purpose multi-core microcontroller with 8 identical cogs, a 160 MHz planned maximum clock speed, core voltage 1.8 VDC with I/O pin voltage of 1.8 VDC–3.3 VDC, 92 I/O pins total with each pin planned to have internal input ADC, output DAC, true or inverted input/output, differential input/output, comparator and Schmitt input.

Parallax is inviting comment specifically regarding the code authentication scheme to be used in the Propeller 2. They have published this draft document and are seeking input on the Parallax Forum from those interested.

UPDATED: Check out the Propeller 2 specs page for the complete preliminary feature list.

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  1. Still looks like a solution looking for a problem. Best case will be available next year. 160 MHz until your program gets bigger than 2K, then it’s 20 MHz, and if the program or data gets bigger than 126K it gets down to 1980s Z80 speeds.

    ARMs already sell for less than $1.

    1. If your application can easily / reasonably easily be split into a few distinct tasks, then the multi-core Propeller can give you big advantages even if your total program is longer than 2K in aggregate. I think it generally has higher-speed access to I/O pins, but I’m not 100% sure on that.

      I’ve seen plenty of examples of stuff that can be done on the Propeller – video generation while other tasks execute, for example – that would be a lot more difficult if not impossible on most any other MCU. It may not be the best solution for every problem, but it doesn’t have to be. Horses for courses and all that.

  2. I think real video on the Propeller is not very useful. What I mean by that is, if you want 1980s era block video with some sprites, yes you can do that. But even minimal VGA (640x480x16), which requires 600KB can’t be done in a Propeller if you want access to individual pixels. Any of the LPC17xx family with their built in LCD controller and internal controller for an SDRAM can easily do it, and that doesn’t even chew up any CPU cycles for the 120 MHz ARM.

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