Full-chip integration at On Semi

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  • JRetSapDoogJRetSapDoog Posts: 795
    edited 2018-05-07 - 21:04:50
    cgracey wrote: »
    The Apple ][ was reknowned, even though almost nobody knew what an Apple (One) was.
    Although you're preaching to the choir/faithful, I totally agree. And there would be no P2 without the P1, so it seems right to remember where one came from.

    I still think that the P1 is a fine chip in its own right with considerable life remaining where it's a good fit (for example, it's the core of my hopefully soon-to-be-released project where it fits quite well). But I'll admit that I would have been somewhat less attracted to the P1 if I didn't know that a P2 was in the works. Nevertheless, I'm glad that I bumped into the P1 and put it to use. When the P2 comes out, it's due to the existence of the P1, so we shouldn't try to lower the visibility of the P1, quite the contrary. And I'm even among those that are okay with the beanie logo, though I don't think it works on this squarish package with the prominent "P2." Heck, I'm still for calling the smart pins affectionately as "pinheads," as I think it's better to play in one's own sandbox than to try to be someone in someone else's. I feel the same way about the term "cogs" used alongside the term "cores," though I've read all the arguments to contrary. But I think it's best to stay the course, because I believe that, if the new chip fills needs in industry, it will succeed whatever it's called. And don't forget that clever names resonate in the education market, but I digress.

    At least at first glance, I like the long-form name (cores/bits/pins), i.e., P2-8C512M64P (or at least a name with the 512 appendage that jmg brought up). As for the chip logo, the simple but bold "P2" is attractive or stands out (though going to three characters starts to clutter things a bit). Also, perhaps one could retain the word "Propeller" by calling it the "Propeller P2," though that would add a line above the large "P2" block for the word "Propeller," making things busier. In other words, once could embrace the "Propeller" concept as this chip still has a shared-hub architecture, only on steroids this time around. Anyway, the name "Propeller P2" would hit the right webpages much more than just "P2" would, in lieu of using the full chip name (cores/bits/pins or just bits), but maybe that's a straw-man argument. Of course, one could argue that "Propeller" is what the 'P' stands for, but not everyone knows that. Anyway, while I love names, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet in Propeller land, as we're all excited about the progress. Forward ho! Onwards and upwards! God's speed!
  • A few points:

    1. The first Propeller is the P8X32A, so calling the second one X832 or 8X32 will not differentiate it.

    2. The first Propeller was not called the P1, so calling the second one the P2 will differentiate it.

    3. The official name of the new chip, which is now in a published paper, is the Parallax Propeller 2 microcontroller, or the P2 for short. Nothing is shorter, snappier or easier to remember than P2.

    4. Yesterday nobody knew what "X" signified so we got rid of it.

    5. Chip's idea to have a big "P2" printed on the chip is an excellent one.

    6. Peter's idea to size the RAM in megabits is another excellent one.

    7. One of the biggest improvements in the new chip is the doubling of the I/O and it's much more important to highlight 64 pins than a 32-bit CPU.

    8. If all we are arguing about is the part number, then I say get rid of C, M and P to make it shorter and call the first versions:

    P2-8464
    P2-8464E

    Formerly known as TonyB
  • jmgjmg Posts: 13,901
    TonyB_ wrote: »
    ....

    8. If all we are arguing about is the part number, then I say get rid of C, M and P to make it shorter and call the first versions:

    P2-8464
    P2-8464E
    All those steps have led to a part code that is not easily remembered, or easily searchable.

    Easy to search for, is quite important given the competition have already discovered this is a valuable sales feature. That's why they have family name prefixes.

  • jmg wrote: »
    TonyB_ wrote: »
    ....

    8. If all we are arguing about is the part number, then I say get rid of C, M and P to make it shorter and call the first versions:

    P2-8464
    P2-8464E
    All those steps have led to a part code that is not easily remembered, or easily searchable.

    Easy to search for, is quite important given the competition have already discovered this is a valuable sales feature. That's why they have family name prefixes.

    ... which is P2.
    Formerly known as TonyB
  • I was about to say "please no beanie hats on the chip".

    But, then I think I had the impression that the P1 chips without the beanie hat didn't seem to sell so well...
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  • Peter JakackiPeter Jakacki Posts: 8,640
    edited 2018-05-07 - 22:54:41
    I applaud Chip's decision to use a bold P2 logo, it is simple, clear, concise, and really stands out. Part numbers on micros are never as simple as 6502 anymore, they are mostly referred to by their prefix such as ARM, PIC, MSP, P2, XMC AT etc. Nobody really referred to the P8X32A as that, I always called it the Prop chip, or the Propeller, and only ever called it P1 on these P2 forums.

    A PLX prefix however would make some sense, as it is ParalLaX, and I would not bother with making "8" significant because eight cores are referred to as "octa-core". The part numbering system would still have a number in there but would have to allow for 16 so we would say 08 instead (but not really).

    The memory size and pins can be part of the part numbering system too, but not the family prefix, so hyphenating into two sections is standard. Many processors are 32-bits and using 32 in the part number may convey this but also not fully convey that it is 32-bits x 8 cogs so why not use 256 as part of the number. To simplify part numbers we can use single letters instead so 64 I/O might just be D, 32=C, 16=B, 8=A etc. Same goes for memory size (M=4M, J=64K) but the other feature of a part number is the clock speed as well which needs to be spelled out almost fully.

    Finally the package type is added but can also be redundant when there is only one package type. Anything like this can be added after a / separator. So the E protos would be /E.

    So I end up with a production part number PLX256-160MD

    Where:
    PLX family
    256 bits (32x8)
    160MHz
    M = 4Mbit
    D = 64 I/O

    But a simple "P2" stands out nonetheless whereas an 832 part number is too much like P8X32A. Here is my take on using PLX as the prefix for the Parallax family of multi-core real-time controllers. (How do we emphasize the real-time nature of multicore smart I/O architecture?)


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  • jmgjmg Posts: 13,901
    TonyB_ wrote: »
    ... which is P2.

    hehe, well , yes..... it is easy to type into any search bar but sadly those 229,000,000 results from google, are not actually much practical use...

    The Results: 102,358 from Digikey search bar, are also not much practical use either...

    Contrast that with a search in Digkey for EFM8 Results: 402, all of them relevent hits
    That is what Parallax need to strive to emulate.
  • jmgjmg Posts: 13,901
    edited 2018-05-07 - 23:25:28
    ... so why not use 256 as part of the number...
    Er, maybe because no part of the device data sheet resource tables will even say 256 ?

    If you need a 3 digit number, 512 makes more sense as that is a headline resource number
    A PLX prefix however would make some sense, as it is ParalLaX,

    Agreed, that is ok, and it gives Results: 1,611 at Digikey, none of which are Microcontrollers
  • Just a thought.... Isn't PLX just a redundant abbreviation of the Parallax name already on the chip? Wouldn't PROP be a more appropriate "prefix"? Or is Prop2 no longer acceptable when referring the the next propeller chip?
    Doing a search for "Prop" on Digikey's site yields only 3 results under microcontrollers... The existing Propeller in DIP, QFN, and QFP packages.
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 22,435
    edited 2018-05-07 - 23:42:55
    Wouldn't PROP be a more appropriate "prefix"?
    Prefixes are usually related to the semiconductor company, not the particular part or family of parts. So PLX makes the most sense, in that regard.

    In some cases, one company might use multiple prefixes, such as when they acquire another company. MAX/DS and PIC/MCP are but two examples among many.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Prefixes are usually related to the semiconductor company, not the particular part or family of parts. So PLX makes the most sense, in that regard
    -Phil

    Not quite true. In looking at ~300 ICs in my ERP system that are microcontrollers of some sort, there is nearly a 50/50 mix of prefixes between manufacturer related and product family related. Some examples:

    PICxxx from Microchip
    MSP430xxx from TI
    ATXMxxx from Atmel
    DS5250xxx from Maxim
    ADUC70xxx from Analog Devices
    AM3517xxx from TI

    Of the 394 TI parts in my system, only 99 start with a T. On the other hand, of the 33 Atmel parts in my system, all but one starts with AT. So it really depends on manufacturer preference and also the number of different product families they have. Some may also be inherited prefixes from a bought out manufacturer. (for example, several TI parts start with AD, remnants from when TI acquired Burr-Brown in 2000)




  • Contrast that with a search in Digkey for EFM8 Results: 402, all of them relevent hits
    That is what Parallax need to strive to emulate.

    Agreed


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  • JRetSapDoogJRetSapDoog Posts: 795
    edited 2018-05-08 - 01:13:15
    As for "PLX" being potentially redundant, redundancy can be a good thing when you have good reasons for it. In this case, the good reasons are to distinguish the chip name, associate it with a manufacturer, further establish a family, and make it easier to search on. Those reasons carry a lot of collective weight to make the case for being intentionally redundant. Looks like a lot of other chip companies see it the same way.

    Perhaps we could use PLX for the official part number (despite the added length) and retain the bold P2 as a nickname. That's having our cake and eating it, too. If done, I guess the P2 nickname could apply to the whole family of P2 chips, giving us a P2 family. But I still hope that the official part number can give the number of cores, amount of ram and number of pins. And the large size of the P2 name really works as a logo, supplanting the beanie, which is why we likely shouldn't have both on the package, not to mention the clutter factor (but I'm okay with the beanie in certain kinds of documentation).

    Wonder if Parallax gives away fidget spinners if they're out of beanies. Just musing. Ken is probably rolling his business eyes. I know, the beanie is somewhat gimmicky, but a small company like Parallax could use a gimmick to help distinguish itself. And it's really no more gimmicky than an apple (though that represented a company name) and the beanie evokes the shared hub architecture, so it's functional as well as cute. Anyway, I'm not really trying to contend for the beanie; those are just comments in passing. I'm just trying to say that I like the bold P2 "logo" for the family as well as the "PLX" prefix. --My six cents.
  • I’d love to see a nice short unique name for its main name that most people call it. PLX is not unique enough. P8X (parallel 8 core) or something like that is short enough to remember and can still be bolt looking on the package. P2 looked great on that png posted earlier but it is not unique enough for google.
  • "Prop2" gets 0 hits on DigiKey and Mouser, and 933k on Google (thank you, California Prop 2 [8^)

    Jonathan
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  • PLX256 is double the cog capacity of a PLX128 and a minimal version of a one cog is PLX32 which still looks good. The interesting thing is that while a single cog P1 would not be very useful, this is not true of the P2 with hubexec, smartpins, and interrupts. Using memory capacity as part of the main part number does not reflect upon the real capabilities.

    Looking at part numbering versions if they ever happen:
    PLX256-160MD is eight 32bit cores + 160MHz + 512kB + 64 Smart I/O
    PLX256-200MD
    PLX512-200ND has sixteen 32-bit cores + 200MHz + 1MB + 64 I/O
    PLX32-160JB has a single 32-bit core + 160MHz + 64kB + 16 I/O (Still a very nice chip)

    However, the simple P2 stands out and if you add the 8 stripes they create a logo whereas P2 by itself does not.


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  • and the PLX512-200ND needs 16 stripes.

    Is it possible to sell P2s not passing all tests under a different Logo, say memory error above something, or not all COGs working?

    How high is the usual yield on a wafer between working complete and not so good working? Can some of the waste be resurrected?

    Mike

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  • P2 with or without stripes looks nice and bold. Certainly the stripes or other graphics helps with a stylistic trademark. But what is the main goal of the abbreviated name? I would argue it should be for easy remembrance and discussion first and foremost. It should roll off the tongue. Since parallax will always be included on the package, someone will be able to search for the product and find it no matter the part name. But if people can discuss and mention the products abbreviated name and it is easily remembered then it gets better traction. In a trademark what is more important, the stylized logo of a generic P2 (with graphic ie lines) or unique product name that stands alone without a stylized graphic logo trademark.
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 22,435
    edited 2018-05-08 - 02:58:02
    ... PICxxx from Microchip ...
    Except that PIC is not from Microchip. It's from General Instruments, which Microchip acquired. Nor is DSxxx from Maxim. It's from Dallas Semiconductor, which Maxim acquired. Those part number prefixes had already been established, which was the point of my post.

    I haven't investigated the others you've mentioned, but I would bet some of the differences stem from acquisitions.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • I honestly don't care what you call it. I just want the thing asap!
  • Roy Eltham wrote:
    I honestly don't care what you call it. I just want the thing asap!
    Honestly, I shouldn't care either, since the P1 will still be my go-to for new designs.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Stripes may signify something originally but they are just stripes so 2, 4, 8, or 16 cog versions would keep the logo the same "P2".

    I had thought of yield variations but if yield is high then it is easier to just not market grades of the devices as it cost to do so and you just lose money overall because you could have sold the good product. It's when there is demand for 240MHz chips where customers pay what they need to pay to get it that you would consider having various higher grades. If yield was bad (unlikely) then this would push chip prices up for the standard device but you would also have versions which had half the memory or ran slower etc. Alternatively, if demand was very great then there would be sufficient volume and demand to warrant testing, marking, and packaging various grades.

    I would refer to these new chips simply as P2 regardless of the part numbering just as we referred to the P8X32A as "the Prop chip".

    re PIC
    I remember the original General Instruments PIC chips as I think they used them in the Intellivision video game system back in the late 70s but I didn't really start using PIC chips until the mid 90s.

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  • macca wrote: »
    kwinn wrote: »
    +1. Only make it 8X32. Makes it $0.05 - no pennies here any more.

    Beware that P1 is labeled P8X32A.

    Good point. So are many of the following posts. My other idea was "PROP" which was also suggested by WBA Consulting. Just the name and the important facts.
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  • To me, PROP seems way better prefix than PLX.
    "We suspect that ALMA will allow us to observe this rare form of CO in many other discs.
    By doing that, we can more accurately measure their mass, and determine whether
    scientists have systematically been underestimating how much matter they contain."
  • kwinn wrote: »
    macca wrote: »
    kwinn wrote: »
    +1. Only make it 8X32. Makes it $0.05 - no pennies here any more.

    Beware that P1 is labeled P8X32A.

    Good point. So are many of the following posts. My other idea was "PROP" which was also suggested by WBA Consulting. Just the name and the important facts.

    Well, that image didn't work too well. Lets try this again.

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  • koehlerkoehler Posts: 577
    edited 2018-05-08 - 07:04:13
    macca wrote: »
    kwinn wrote: »
    +1. Only make it 8X32. Makes it $0.05 - no pennies here any more.

    Beware that P1 is labeled P8X32A.

    Very good point, I was posting ad hoc forgot about the original part#.
    I still think calling it Prop-anything, or P-something is just going to end up making it look like just an incremental update to the original.
    No one else in the world is really going to care that it is an iteration of the P1, and considering the baggage associated I don't see any positive marketing benefit to tieing it to the past.

    Not sure why it has to say Prop or P at all, what does M0/M4 mean, or Risc V?
    Why not call it the Smart8 or something, and tie the rather revolutionary Smart Pins to the name?

    I agree, on the one hand one can say the name/freshness doesn't matter, once people see what it can do.
    The point is that if the first impression is that it appears just a rehash of the P1, then very few people are even going to bother giving it the time of day to see what it can do.
    So, to not look like a rehash, don't name it in anyway similar to the P1.

    Again, arguing as devil's advocate.




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  • jmgjmg Posts: 13,901
    edited 2018-05-08 - 07:33:54
    koehler wrote: »
    ...
    Not sure why it has to say Prop or P at all, what does M0/M4 mean, or Risc V?
    Why not call it the Smart8 or something, and tie the rather revolutionary Smart Pins to the name?

    Interesting idea, but that would make it the Smart64 ? 64 here being the number of smart pins.
    It's not a bad idea to focus on what makes P2 truly different, as that are increasing numbers of 32-bit cores, and more arriving every year.... a new MIPS in this month, and RISC V will soon be in viable silicon form.



  • I think there are two things to consider.

    First the part number should be formatted so it makes easy for an engineer or seller to identify the model and characteristics, especially when there is a family of products, like I believe is planned for the P2, so the part number should list the model, the ram, pin numbers, clock frequency (if planned to have different frequencies), number of cogs and package. Not necessarily all numbers, frequency can be expressed as a letter (H, M, L for High, Medium, Low for example). Everything I know of uses a scheme like that, from pin headers with type, spacing and plating to microcontrollers. We used to call them "talking codes" because they explain themselves without the need to search in a catalog.

    Then there is the brand name that can be used in advertising or search engines. Nobody will use something like PLX8-32-512MXP-Q44 in an advertising.

    Oh, by the way, if I remember correctly, P8X32A-D40 means P(ropeller), 8-cores by (X) 32-bits, model A (model B is mentioned in the documentation but never built), DIP 40 package.

    Just my opinion.
  • I see a lot of negativity going on here. State your case, let others stand so we can line them up before the judge.

    Cars have "racing stripes" but I don't think it means the same thing on a chip logo, it's not appropriated, "it's just a logo". Have a look at two variations here as I believe this creates the logo rather than just text. The P2X8C means the P2 x8 cogs but that part is separated from the speed (in full) followed by the memory and I/O size codes. These look like real chip code markings that I am familiar with and the first part of the part number is easy to remember either way.

    If you have an opinion then try it out first so you have something to back it up with.

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  • My vote is for
    P2X8C4M64P
    I like the P2 with racing stripes logo because it's eye catching.
    I like the P2X prefix because its easy to remember, and should provide a reasonable search, and prefix for other P2X style chip families.
    I like the 8C4M64P because that describes the features.
    I don't like speed because at present we have no idea. It could always be a suffix later if there are various speed versions.
    These days long part numbers are a thing. They describe the part better.
    Remember, the P1 is P8X32A-Q44 (10 chars). Guess what, P2X8C4M64P is 10 chars too! :)
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