Propeller II update - BLOG

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  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,213
    edited 2013-08-03 - 03:06:27
    Loopy,
    Check book?
    Which century are you living in?
  • BaggersBaggers Posts: 2,965
    edited 2013-08-04 - 15:53:21
    Awesome news Chip, fingers crossed :D
  • Peter JakackiPeter Jakacki Posts: 8,722
    edited 2013-08-04 - 21:45:57
    Baggers wrote: »
    Awesome news Chip, fingers crossed :D
    Ah, just what the Poms love with their fish, some nice hot chips (especially from Mr Chip himself)
    Can't wait to order mine.

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  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,537
    edited 2013-08-05 - 10:58:14
    cgracey wrote: »
    Yes. Wafers should be back from the fab in two weeks. Then, several days will be needed for transit and packaging. We'll be able to try it out once we get back packaged parts.
    Wow! That's great. I thought we wouldn't see new chips until at least September. Sounds like you may have them in hand before the end of this month! Exciting times are at hand!
  • bsnutbsnut Posts: 520
    edited 2013-08-05 - 15:54:30
    Cluso99 wrote: »
    Fingers doubly crossed this time - getting close now ;)
    I can't wait it's killing me.
    William Stefan
    The Basic Stamp Nut with some Spin
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,213
    edited 2013-08-05 - 23:06:53
    Yay, Chipmas is coming!
  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 9,813
    edited 2013-08-06 - 00:21:58
    Sweet! Got my fingers crossed over here.
    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: https://forums.parallax.com/discussion/123709/commented-graphics-demo-spin<br>
  • ColeyColey Posts: 968
    edited 2013-08-06 - 02:26:57
    This has got to be one of the most important products ever to be released by Parallax, it's surely the most eagerly awaited......

    Fingers crossed the Wafers are good this time :smile:
  • rjo__rjo__ Posts: 2,028
    edited 2013-08-06 - 18:03:30
    198,000 views... I'm thinking, the world is ready. Unfortunately, I'm not. I need another 3 months.

    Rich
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,537
    edited 2013-08-06 - 18:55:21
    rjo__ wrote: »
    198,000 views... I'm thinking, the world is ready. Unfortunately, I'm not. I need another 3 months.

    Rich

    Just in time for Christmas. Maybe a P2 board will be the must-have gift this holiday season!
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,213
    edited 2013-08-07 - 01:19:19
    OMG, hardly any time left to get all my code working on P2 !
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,537
    edited 2013-08-07 - 06:41:25
    Heater. wrote: »
    OMG, hardly any time left to get all my code working on P2 !
    Somehow I seem to have lost steam on my P2 work. I think the people at Parallax are very busy with their Propeller C Education program so I haven't worked with anyone there for a while.
  • Bill HenningBill Henning Posts: 6,445
    edited 2013-08-07 - 07:21:39
    LOL!

    I've been working on other projects, but I am eagerly awaiting P2 chips/modules.

    Ok, I do admit to playing with paper designs for some P2 boards at night :)
    Heater. wrote: »
    OMG, hardly any time left to get all my code working on P2 !
    www.mikronauts.com / E-mail: mikronauts _at_ gmail _dot_ com / @Mikronauts on Twitter
    RoboPi: The most advanced Robot controller for the Raspberry Pi (Propeller based)
  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 9,813
    edited 2013-08-07 - 08:27:53
    I got stuck troubleshooting a video driver, then work did what work does, and I just fired it up last night anyway. Tired this morning though :)

    I think a lot of us just went into a holding pattern on the tough news we heard earlier thinking there was time.
    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: https://forums.parallax.com/discussion/123709/commented-graphics-demo-spin<br>
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,537
    edited 2013-08-07 - 08:48:15
    potatohead wrote: »
    I got stuck troubleshooting a video driver, then work did what work does, and I just fired it up last night anyway. Tired this morning though :)

    I think a lot of us just went into a holding pattern on the tough news we heard earlier thinking there was time.
    I'm afraid I'm more driven by collaborative efforts and, when it started seeming like I was working in a vacuum, I lost a lot of steam. I still need to get the external memory interface working in PropGCC for P2 though so I guess I'd better get back to work!
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,213
    edited 2013-08-07 - 08:49:08
    Potatohead, David,
    I suspect you are right but:

    Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the Propeller II.
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,537
    edited 2013-08-07 - 09:46:45
    Heater. wrote: »
    Potatohead, David,
    I suspect you are right but:

    Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the Propeller II.
    Well, PropGCC is already running on P2. It would be nice to be able to use the SDRAM as external memory though. My main hesitation with that is that Parallax has shown little or no interest in the external memory solutions for P1. Understandably, they mostly want to target the bare chip not solutions that require an external memory.
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,213
    edited 2013-08-07 - 10:45:37
    David,

    Wait up a minute, On the PII update blog or somewhere it is very clear that Chip want's to make a PII module with SDRAM on board. There is a design and layout for it already.
    In fact as far as I can tell he has no interest in making a board with just a PII (and minimal support circuitry) on it.
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,537
    edited 2013-08-07 - 10:50:05
    Heater. wrote: »
    David,

    Wait up a minute, On the PII update blog or somewhere it is very clear that Chip want's to make a PII module with SDRAM on board. There is a design and layout for it already.
    In fact as far as I can tell he has no interest in making a board with just a PII (and minimal support circuitry) on it.
    Yes, this is all true. However, I'm not sure if Parallax wants customers to think they must have an SDRAM chip in their P2 designs. I imagine that the majority of P2 applications will not use external memory any more than the current P1 applications do. Maybe Parallax can make an MCM with a P2 and an SDRAM on the same chip! :-)

    Edit: Plus, I think the main reason for the P2/SRAM combo on the Parallax boards is to allow the use of the SDRAM for video buffers.
  • SRLMSRLM Posts: 5,045
    edited 2013-08-07 - 10:56:03
    David Betz wrote: »
    Well, PropGCC is already running on P2. It would be nice to be able to use the SDRAM as external memory though. My main hesitation with that is that Parallax has shown little or no interest in the external memory solutions for P1. Understandably, they mostly want to target the bare chip not solutions that require an external memory.

    I can't speak to the P2, but for the P1 I haven't had a need for external memory solutions. My app has grown to about 23KB and stayed there for the last few months. Every time I add more features I also manage to reduce the program size so that it remains about constant. My last technique was inlining, which saved about 500 bytes on the code. My app doesn't have any large data structures (just a couple of internal buffers ~900 bytes in size).

    I don't think the P2 would be much different for me: as long as I don't do graphics I don't think external memory would be that useful in my application.
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,537
    edited 2013-08-07 - 11:00:26
    SRLM wrote: »
    I can't speak to the P2, but for the P1 I haven't had a need for external memory solutions. My app has grown to about 23KB and stayed there for the last few months. Every time I add more features I also manage to reduce the program size so that it remains about constant. My last technique was inlining, which saved about 500 bytes on the code. My app doesn't have any large data structures (just a couple of internal buffers ~900 bytes in size).

    I don't think the P2 would be much different for me: as long as I don't do graphics I don't think external memory would be that useful in my application.
    I suspect this is true of most applications. This is why it may not be worth the effort to provide an external memory solution at this point. If it becomes clear that P2 (or P1 for that matter) are being used for larger applications then the external memory support can certainly be added.
  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 9,813
    edited 2013-08-07 - 11:02:45
    David, I think getting the XMM working is pretty important. We've got a very difficult caching problem to chew on at the least.

    Regarding how people will use it, who knows? I think a video buffer makes sense. However, the problem could be inverted with lots of code streaming in from the XMM, with the Hub being used in a way similar to the P1, with video being there but at modest resolutions and color depths, dynamically drawn, etc...

    Whether or not the XMM sees use beyond a video / data buffer really depends on whether or not it's easy to use it for programs, and whether or not those programs can see enough MIPS to make sense.
    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: https://forums.parallax.com/discussion/123709/commented-graphics-demo-spin<br>
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,537
    edited 2013-08-07 - 11:05:32
    potatohead wrote: »
    David, I think getting the XMM working is pretty important. We've got a very difficult caching problem to chew on at the least.
    I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "a very difficult caching problem". Is it more difficult than what we did for P1?
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,537
    edited 2013-08-07 - 11:07:38
    potatohead wrote: »
    Whether or not the XMM sees use beyond a video / data buffer really depends on whether or not it's easy to use it for programs, and whether or not those programs can see enough MIPS to make sense.
    By the way, XMM for P1 is very easy to use if you have a board with external memory. Parallax has none other than the C3. They know their customers so I assume the reason is that there is no demand for external memory on the P1. That could be different for P2 of course.
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,213
    edited 2013-08-07 - 11:43:49
    David,
    I'm not sure if Parallax wants customers to think they must have an SDRAM chip in their P2 designs.

    Sounds reasonable. Has Parallax told Chip yet:)

    From what I remember of the debate, I and others were suggesting a minimal "carrier/break out" board for the PII but Chip was not much interested in that.

    In the mean time... we have SDRAM on the FPGA boards. Is that supported by propgcc at all ?
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,537
    edited 2013-08-07 - 11:47:33
    Heater. wrote: »
    David,



    Sounds reasonable. Has Parallax told Chip yet:)

    From what I remember of the debate, I and others were suggesting a minimal "carrier/break out" board for the PII but Chip was not much interested in that.

    In the mean time... we have SDRAM on the FPGA boards. Is that supported by propgcc at all ?
    No, the SDRAM is not supported currently by PropGCC. That's what I have been working on but I'm doing it for P1 first. The problem is that to use Chip's SDRAM driver I need to rework the cache code for PropGCC to move tag handling into the kernel COG. I've done that and tested it on P1 but there is some work that needs to be done in the loader and the C startup code to make it work. That's what I lost momentum with. I guess I need to get back to it.

    However, p2load is able to load data into SDRAM.
  • RaymanRayman Posts: 9,791
    edited 2013-08-07 - 12:16:07
    I wonder if Chip is secretly working on adding SDRAM support for Spin...
    Prop Info and Apps: http://www.rayslogic.com/
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,537
    edited 2013-08-07 - 12:19:22
    Rayman wrote: »
    I wonder if Chip is secretly working on adding SDRAM support for Spin...
    That would be nice! :-)
  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 9,813
    edited 2013-08-07 - 12:24:02
    Maybe. I think at the least, SPIN 2 can use PASM snippets now.

    My guess is one can launch the SDRAM driver COG and have it idle and ready to perform. Then run a SPIN 2 program that contains an in-line PASM snippet that drives the SDRAM COG to do whatever is needed. If we got object pointers and such sorted out better, that will mean data and or code overlays moving into and out of the HUB pretty easy.

    An alternative would be to run SPIN 2 right out of the SDRAM, using extensions to the interpreter, which are now done with PASM snippets... A SPIN 2 program could load an alternative intrepeter as inline PASM that fetches from SDRAM, calling the same kinds of PASM routines in LMM as the current SPIN 2 intrepeter does now.

    We shall find out soon enough!
    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: https://forums.parallax.com/discussion/123709/commented-graphics-demo-spin<br>
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,213
    edited 2013-08-07 - 12:57:13
    Rayman,
    I wonder if Chip is secretly working on...

    Who knows what Chip gets up to in his dungeon? I just hope they remember to slide some food under the door occasionally:)
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