Propeller 2

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Propeller 2 Info (preliminary)

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The Parallax Propeller 2 (P2) is the long awaited higher horsepower version of the popular Propeller (P1) multi-core MPU.

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As of 22Mar13, the first shuttle run chips should be completed in 8 weeks.  If no major problems are found, we'd expect first unit deliveries in Q4 of 2013 (or maybe sooner or later).

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Comparison with P1:

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The P2 still has 8 cogs, like P1, but will run at 2X the clock speed and execute instructions 4X faster (one clock for most instructions, instead of four).

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P2 has 128 kB of HUB RAM, P1 has 32 kB.  Both P2 and P1 have 512 longs of COG RAM, but P2 has an additional 256 longs of stack RAM in each cog.

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The P2 includes a single cycle multiply instruction, missing in P1, that will enable things like real time MP3 decoding.  There are several other new math instructions.

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P2 has 92 output pins compared to 32 on P1.  Each P2 output pin will have several features not found on P1, such as DAC, ADC, pull-up/down resistors and more.  The DAC will allow color NTSC output from a single pin and full color VGA output with 5 pins.

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P2 has several additional features such as texture mapping, FXR, multi-tasking, and quad transfer not found in P1.

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The P2 will come in just one package, QFP-128 with 0.4 mm pin spacing, where P1 came in 3 different 32-pin packages including DIP.

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Read more at the P2 user forum

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Documents

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Instruction set details from Parallax (updated 22Mar13)

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Unofficial P2 Docs (offsite)

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Preliminary Feature List from Parallax Semiconductor (old)

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Parallax proposed P2 plus SDRAM module layout

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Emulation with Altera FPGA boards

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P2 chips may not arrive until Q4 of 2013, but you can get ready now!

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Parallax has provided code for the DE-0 Nano and the DE2-115 FPGA boards that make it act like a real P2 (with limits)

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DE-0 Nano gives 1 cog and 32 kB of RAM

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DE-115 gives 5 or 6 cogs with full 128 kB of RAM

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Both boards run at 60 MHz (real P2 will be ~160 MHz). 

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Parallax has provided backplane boards for these modules to ease development.

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Here are the basic instructions to set this up (read more in the forum)   

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Download and install the standalone programmer software from Altera.

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Connect USB and then update USB device driver using driver in the programmer install folder (USB Blaster).

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Program the board with the emulation code from Chip (find in P2 forum).

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Connect Prop Plug and program with PNUT.exe and .spin examples (see forum)

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Note:  If using Parallax backplane, you may need to remove the SPI flash chip.