MCUs a dying Breed (eg.Arduino...
August 27, 2014
Are MCUs a dying Breed (eg.Arduino......Propeller .... Picaxe)
How would you react if I were to predict that by the end of this year our favourite microprocessors would only exist as a Ghost in the works.......
This allows you to program a FPGA chip to run as a Propeller.....
Parallax are very bold with this move ... so come on Atmel and Picaxe when does your verilog code hit the scene!!!.
Below is my working example ...... Its my Deo Nano emulating a Propeller (P1) mcu .. yes including the Video coding.
Yes it emulates 8 parallel cogs (why stop at 8 you can easily add more...only the number of gates limit )
They have so far released the verilog coding for three emulation boards
- De0 Nano
What does this mean for our favourite mcus .......
With the larger FPGA chips you could conceivably put a couple of Arduinos,Propellers and Picaxes ....all together on one chip, yes all your favorite micros on one platform... now wouldn't that be awesome.
What is a FPGA In a nutshell :-
FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array)
Imagine a box full of "floating" logic gates all separate from each other.....
Your program picks up these logic gates and connects them together to form program chains (modules).
These program modules run through the chip, each module can be separate or linked to others, also modules run in parallel with each other (ie they all run at the same time)
The chip is accessed with basic I/O pins and the ouside world is contacted. ie as an Arduino/Propeller/Picaxe system.
In essence its a programmable circuit, aimed for rapid prototyping and deployment (ie make your board first and think of a product after).
Here is the Deo Nano representation of my Emulated Propeller chip :-
and here is how it actually places it on the chip :-
If I squint my eyes I can make out the 8 cogs......can you ?
So my Question is :-
What is the future for our favourite mcus and will they only survive as "Ghosts" on an FPGA.?
Update :- 20140831
FPGA Tracking my HackaDay prize Tee_Shirt
I have used OpenCV via MyRobotLab to send controls to a camera mounted on a X/Y servo gimbal.
that tracks and follows me around ...in this case the nose of the skull (if you look closely you can see the cross hair)