Parallax has a really neat 8 core 32 bit CPU called the ‘Propeller’.Â It’s been out for a few years but it is gaining popularity.Â There is no security with the device as it boots insecurely via a UART or I2C EEPROM.Â None the less, we thought it was interesting to see an 8 core CPU decapsulated!
The image above is the Propeller optically imaged 50x magnification. Â One can clearly see 8 columns that appear almost symmetric (except in the middle region). Â The upper 8 squares are each ‘cogs’ 512 * 32 SRAMs as described in the manual. Â The middle left 4 and right 4 squares are the ROM’s Parallax describes. Â The 8 rectangular objects are the 32KB SRAM as described. Â The 8 cores are basically the 8 columns above the middle ROM’s to include the 512 * 32 SRAMs because they describe each cog as having it’s own 512 * 32 SRAM .
After removing the top metal (consisted mainly of routing tracks), we can see the 8 cores a little more clearly. Â The metal over the 4 left ROMs has begun to remove as well in the image.
Above is a single COG rotated 90 degrees clockwise. Â There are 8 of these objects in the upper half of the die.
Last but not least is the logo by Parallax. Â Nice job Parallax on this beast! Â We have one favor- Â implement some flash on the next generation with a security bit .