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Propeller Multicore Concept

The Propeller family of microcontrollers are designed to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, without the need for interrupts or the dictates of an onboard operating system.

The Propeller 1 (P8x32A) has been in production since 2006,  while the Propeller 2 (P2X8C4M64P) is a 2020 release.

P1 and P2 Hub RAM Interfaces

The Propeller microcontrollers’ eight processing cogs (cores) each operate independently or cooperatively,  communicating through shared resources at-will. Each cog has direct access to its internal memory and shares equal access to all I/O pins and system resources.  This nimble design affords flexible processing power and easy adaption to numerous uses, freeing developers from task-specific ICs while reducing part counts and design-to-production time. 

Processing is swiftly performed in isolation within individual cogs.  Shared resources are accessed through a time-sharing “Hub” mechanism, conceptually demonstrated by these animations. See the table below them for a feature comparison.

Propeller Microcontroller Feature Comparisons

Feature/SpecificationPropeller 1 (P8X32A)Propeller 2 (P2X8C4M64P)
Power 3.3 V 1.8 V Core, 3.3 V I/O
Internal Oscillator ~12 MHz or ~20 kHz 20+ MHz or ~20 kHz
Nominal System Speed 80 MHz 180 MHz @105 °C
Cogs (cores)88
Internal Execution Speed0 to 160 MIPS (20 MIPS/cog) 0 to 720 MIPS (90 MIPS/cog)
Hub Access Speed 20 MB/s/cog @ 80 MHz720 MB/s/cog @ 180 MHz (using FIFO)
Main RAM32 KB512 KB
Cog RAM512 longs512 longs Cog RAM + 512 longs Lookup RAM
Inter-Cog CommunicationMain RAM or External I/OMain RAM, Lookup RAM, Attention Signal, or External I/O
I/O Pins3264
I/O Type DigitalDigital and analog with smart circuits
Assembly Instructions79358
LanguagesSpin, PASM, BASIC, C/C++, BlocklySpin2, PASM2, MicroPython, Forth, BASIC, C/C++