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How did P2 Code Protection end up ?

I must admit I haven't been following the P2 closely, and I don't want to start a whole discussion.
But how was the P2 Code Protection left ? I remember something about the fuses not being reliable.
If it was removed, so be it. I am not advocating any change. I just need to make plans for our future products.

Thanks,
Bean
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Esterline Research & Design
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Comments

  • 28 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • I believe it has been left out, due to the reliability of the fuses.
    Feel the need for speed between your PC's com port and Prop?
    Try the FTDI 245 and the FullDuplexParallel Object.

    Check out my spin driver for the Parallax "96 x 64 Color OLED Display Module" Product ID: 28087
  • Bean wrote: »
    I must admit I haven't been following the P2 closely, and I don't want to start a whole discussion.
    But how was the P2 Code Protection left ? I remember something about the fuses not being reliable.
    If it was removed, so be it. I am not advocating any change. I just need to make plans for our future products.

    Thanks,
    Bean
    Code protection is gone. All code for the P2 should be open source anyway. :-)
  • BeanBean Posts: 7,880
    Thanks for the info...

    Bean
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    Esterline Research & Design
    thitt@esterlineresearch.com

    We offer consulting on the following areas of expertise:
    - Parallel Frequency Measurement Equipment
    -Frequency Control Products
    -Micro-Controller/Processor Products
    -Oscillator Testing and Automation

  • All code for the P2 should be open source anyway. :-)

    I am uncertain whether you said that in jest, but just imagine how many customers Parallax could have gained with the P2, if there was code protection.


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  • idbruce wrote: »
    All code for the P2 should be open source anyway. :-)

    I am uncertain whether you said that in jest, but just imagine how many customers Parallax could have gained with the P2, if there was code protection.
    Yes, it was in jest. Notice the smiley face. On the other hand, I hope there is a lot of open source software written for the P2.

  • Yes, it was in jest. Notice the smiley face.

    Yes, I noticed the smiley face, but I was still uncertain :)
    On the other hand, I hope there is a lot of open source software written for the P2.

    Hopefully we will end up with an over abundance of open source code and examples, otherwise P2 sales may suffer.


    Novel Solutions - http://www.novelsolutionsonline.com/ - Machinery Design • - • Product Development
    "Necessity is the mother of invention." - Author unknown.

  • jmgjmg Posts: 11,659
    Bean wrote: »
    ... I remember something about the fuses not being reliable.
    If it was removed, so be it. I am not advocating any change. I just need to make plans for our future products.

    Yes, fuses are removed.
    There is a Serial boot mode, so I'd expect small MCUs to be used for some 'better security' cases.
    Those can include dongle-like token exchange that increases the hacking effort needed.

    What level of security do you need in your future products ?

  • BeanBean Posts: 7,880
    edited May 16 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Right now I'd be happy if they just couldn't simply clone the EEPROM.
    Our main concern is duplication of the product, not obfuscation of the code.

    Bean
    logo.png?91518163160380889
    Esterline Research & Design
    thitt@esterlineresearch.com

    We offer consulting on the following areas of expertise:
    - Parallel Frequency Measurement Equipment
    -Frequency Control Products
    -Micro-Controller/Processor Products
    -Oscillator Testing and Automation

  • jmgjmg Posts: 11,659
    Bean wrote: »
    Right now I'd be happy if they just couldn't simply clone the EEPROM.
    Our main concern is duplication of the product, not obfuscation of the code.
    That's a fairly common concern :)
    A small MCU could be used as a key/dongle, or you might be able to use Serial Flash with features like these ?
    Advanced Security Features (Winbond)
    – 64-Bit Unique ID for each device
    – 3X256-Bytes Security Registers
    – Volatile & Non-volatile Status Register Bits
    – Special OTP protection
    – Top/Bottom, Complement array protection
    – Individual Block/Sector array protection
    – Discoverable Parameters (SFDP) Register
    – Software and Hardware Write-Protect
    


    One example could be FM25Q08A at 16c/100

    With a 64 bit unique ID, you could recompile code with that burnt in (more secure, but more admin), or have a valid-list it checks.
    The OTP 256 byte areas also broaden your security scope, as running code can index into that, increasing the hacking effort some more...
  • BeanBean Posts: 7,880
    Oops, I didn't realize the P2 only has 8 cogs, I thought it had 16 cogs.
    I will just stay with the P1 I guess.

    Bean
    logo.png?91518163160380889
    Esterline Research & Design
    thitt@esterlineresearch.com

    We offer consulting on the following areas of expertise:
    - Parallel Frequency Measurement Equipment
    -Frequency Control Products
    -Micro-Controller/Processor Products
    -Oscillator Testing and Automation

  • jmgjmg Posts: 11,659
    Bean wrote: »
    Oops, I didn't realize the P2 only has 8 cogs, I thought it had 16 cogs.
    I will just stay with the P1 I guess.
    If the P1 can do the job, sure, stay with P1.
    Note P2 has Smart pins that simply do not exist in P1, as well as a lot more MHz & more RAM, and Interrupts and Hubexec, plus mathops.....
    So, if you have zero use for any of those, the P1 looks to be ok.

    P1 is always going to be smaller, cheaper and lower power than P2
  • BeanBean Posts: 7,880
    I thought from long ago the P2 would have 16 cogs, I must have missed the change to 8 cogs.
    Yeah, the smart pins can do a lot, but for sure a cog can much more.
    Are all 64 pins "smart pins" ? If so, I think that is over kill. I would have rather had a limited number of "smart pins" and had 16 cogs.
    But that is just me, I'm sure there was a rational decision made about RAM/COGS/SmartPin sizes. You only have so much real estate to work with.

    It is just disappointing that the two features I would have really liked (16 Cogs and code protection) didn't make the cut.

    Bean
    logo.png?91518163160380889
    Esterline Research & Design
    thitt@esterlineresearch.com

    We offer consulting on the following areas of expertise:
    - Parallel Frequency Measurement Equipment
    -Frequency Control Products
    -Micro-Controller/Processor Products
    -Oscillator Testing and Automation

  • Bean wrote: »
    I thought from long ago the P2 would have 16 cogs, I must have missed the change to 8 cogs.
    Yeah, the smart pins can do a lot, but for sure a cog can much more.
    Are all 64 pins "smart pins" ? If so, I think that is over kill. I would have rather had a limited number of "smart pins" and had 16 cogs.
    But that is just me, I'm sure there was a rational decision made about RAM/COGS/SmartPin sizes. You only have so much real estate to work with.

    It is just disappointing that the two features I would have really liked (16 Cogs and code protection) didn't make the cut.

    Bean

    Yes, Bean, some compromises were made. Sixteen cogs were going to take way too much die space and code protection was going to require some OnSemi IP that would have been difficult to integrate. Our original fuse topology, it was understood later, had a 1-in-400 failure rate, which would have necessitated some redundancy and it would still not be known if a particular chip would have sufficiently-functional fuse bits to meet requirements.

    I think you might be enthused, though, about what smart pins can do. They free cogs from bit-banging a lot of things and they can be concurrent, among themselves, if needed.
  • BeanBean Posts: 7,880
    Chip, Yeah I understand.

    I'm excited about the smart pins. It looks like they can do some amazing things. And the extra speed of the P2 will sure help.

    BTW: It would be nice to have some kind of bullet list of the P2 specs because it is really difficult to find what they are by searching.

    Bean
    logo.png?91518163160380889
    Esterline Research & Design
    thitt@esterlineresearch.com

    We offer consulting on the following areas of expertise:
    - Parallel Frequency Measurement Equipment
    -Frequency Control Products
    -Micro-Controller/Processor Products
    -Oscillator Testing and Automation

  • cgraceycgracey Posts: 9,139
    edited May 29 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Bean, look at the beginning of the documentation for a list of features:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UnelI6fpVPHFISQ9vpLzOVa8oUghxpI6UpkXVsYgBEQ/edit?usp=sharing
  • BeanBean Posts: 7,880
    Ah, Cool. Exactly what I was looking for.
    Thanks Chip.
    logo.png?91518163160380889
    Esterline Research & Design
    thitt@esterlineresearch.com

    We offer consulting on the following areas of expertise:
    - Parallel Frequency Measurement Equipment
    -Frequency Control Products
    -Micro-Controller/Processor Products
    -Oscillator Testing and Automation

  • PropGuy2PropGuy2 Posts: 169
    edited May 29 Vote Up0Vote Down
    That is an impressive Parallax Propeller 2 Documentation / Specification file, I had never seen it before.

    My impression we had better improve our coding skills (a LOT) to take advantage of all the features of the Prop 2 chip. How could we (myself included) now write some blow-a-way code examples for this new Prop 2 chip, that would "WOW" the competition when the P2 chip is released? I am pretty good at programming code, but would be hard pressed to write a demo that would come close to really showcasing all the new features of the P2 chip.


  • jmgjmg Posts: 11,659
    PropGuy2 wrote: »
    That is an impressive Parallax Propeller 2 Documentation / Specification file, I had never seen it before.

    My impression we had better improve our coding skills (a LOT) to take advantage of all the features of the Prop 2 chip. How could we (myself included) now write some blow-a-way code examples for this new Prop 2 chip, that would "WOW" the competition when the P2 chip is released? I am pretty good at programming code, but would be hard pressed to write a demo that would come close to really showcasing all the new features of the P2 chip.

    Yup, sometimes the best documentation includes working examples :)

    Others call this BSP or Board Support Package, and that has loaders/downloaders/debug/and examples/ directories.

    Good examples are of
    Smallest and simplest pin toggle (SW) and Smallest and simplest pin toggle (HW), then the limit case of Nearly_All_Pins_Toggle_HW
    Then examples of each Smart pin mode in use, again, simplest 'make it work' and make-many-work, all to the best resolution....
    These also show the usage range so demonstrate the baud Range of a UART for example.

    Then, some actually useful apps -
    The Reciprocal Frequency Counter Bean has for the P1 would port very well to the smart pins of P2.
    As a multiple example I think close to 32 Counters would fit into P2

    The smart pins are what sets P2 apart from the other 'me too' MCUs so example support for those should be a early focus.

    Testing has been thin on Smart Pins and streamer, so fingers crossed the errata list is minor...

    P2 can boot from a modest 25c+ MCU, so some security is possible that way.
  • jmg,
    Time to get yourself an FPGA board and get cracking with some of those excellent suggestions.

    Come on, show us what you can do!
  • jmgjmg Posts: 11,659
    Cluso99 wrote: »
    jmg,
    Time to get yourself an FPGA board and get cracking with some of those excellent suggestions.
    Come on, show us what you can do!

    With actual P2's close, a FPGA would be a poor investment, plus FPGAs are not actually the final silicon, so I'm patient enough to wait for real P2 modules.

  • Real silicon is 4 months away. And that will only be a few chips initially.

    So there is plenty of time to develop and test code. IIRC the BeMicroCV-A9 was only ~$120. If that is too expensive, then there is the smaller, more limited single cog De-Nano.
  • Cluso99 wrote: »
    Real silicon is 4 months away. And that will only be a few chips initially.

    So there is plenty of time to develop and test code. IIRC the BeMicroCV-A9 was only ~$120. If that is too expensive, then there is the smaller, more limited single cog De-Nano.
    It seems to me that the BeMicroCV-A9 has been out of stock for ages. Is it still possible to buy one?

  • David Betz wrote: »
    Cluso99 wrote: »
    Real silicon is 4 months away. And that will only be a few chips initially.

    So there is plenty of time to develop and test code. IIRC the BeMicroCV-A9 was only ~$120. If that is too expensive, then there is the smaller, more limited single cog De-Nano.
    It seems to me that the BeMicroCV-A9 has been out of stock for ages. Is it still possible to buy one?

    Can't seem to find any but it makes you wonder how much dust many of those Parallax 123-A9 boards are gathering since they made them up especially for P2 testing. Testers need boards, and there are none to be had.


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  • David Betz wrote: »
    Cluso99 wrote: »
    Real silicon is 4 months away. And that will only be a few chips initially.

    So there is plenty of time to develop and test code. IIRC the BeMicroCV-A9 was only ~$120. If that is too expensive, then there is the smaller, more limited single cog De-Nano.
    It seems to me that the BeMicroCV-A9 has been out of stock for ages. Is it still possible to buy one?

    Can't seem to find any but it makes you wonder how much dust many of those Parallax 123-A9 boards are gathering since they made them up especially for P2 testing. Testers need boards, and there are none to be had.
    My Prop123-A9 board may be collecting a bit of dust although I usually have the most recent FPGA image installed on it and have done a tiny amount of playing with TAQOZ.

  • I would like to jump in and get coding on this thing but I don't have an FPGA board.

    If a Prop123-A9 or a BeMicroCV-A9 suddenly becomes available I would like to know about it ;-)
    I'm not interested in the smaller boards. If I'm going to jump in I want the closest thing to the chip as I can get.

    Also, not having used FPGAs/CPLDs for over 15 years, it would be really awesome to have an outline (instructions even !?!) on how to get a Prop2 image loaded. I'm sure its been posted on the forum several times somewhere :-). (Google doc anyone?)

    Jason
  • thej wrote: »
    I would like to jump in and get coding on this thing but I don't have an FPGA board.

    If a Prop123-A9 or a BeMicroCV-A9 suddenly becomes available I would like to know about it ;-)
    I'm not interested in the smaller boards. If I'm going to jump in I want the closest thing to the chip as I can get.

    Also, not having used FPGAs/CPLDs for over 15 years, it would be really awesome to have an outline (instructions even !?!) on how to get a Prop2 image loaded. I'm sure its been posted on the forum several times somewhere :-). (Google doc anyone?)

    Jason
    Parallax may have more of the Prop123-A9 boards. Call them and ask.

  • TubularTubular Posts: 2,983
    edited May 31 Vote Up0Vote Down
    There are certainly P123-A7 boards. They should come with a bonus 32ch led tester.

    If we can get our act together, a flash and SD plugin, too
  • evanhevanh Posts: 5,102
    I can't speak for the CV boards but the Prop123 boards use a command, PX.exe, that provides FPGA image file transfer to onboard Flash. Change the program switch from RUN to PROG position and run the PX command. After it's complete flip the switch back to RUN position. Here's equivalent command of my last update: PX.exe /5 /P Prop123_A9_Prop2_8cogs_v32f.rbf

    (The /5 is for COM5. I've got Wine configured to assign COM5 to the first USB virtual comport)

    After that you can use PNut.exe for programming the virtual Prop2 (in the FPGA). Or you could use Dave Hein's tools. I use Dave's loadp2 which has a convenient terminal emulator built in. This allows simple reporting/debug.

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