A coin operated game may seem like a toy, well, it is, actually, but with so many tasks running at the same time it's the perfect socket for a multi-core processor. A coin operated game (think pinball)must process lamp effects, music, sound effects, solenoids, switches, run the game application and still fetch data from USB or other memory. We usually used an operating system to handle all of these tasks, but with the multicore propeller one core could handle the IO with one core, another core for the music, another for the sound effects, another for the lamp effects, memory, game, and even one just running debug functionality with video out. Sure, not every solution requires a multicore processor, but if you're using an operating system to juggle tasks, a multicore processor might be a good solution. Give the propeller a spin, too. Parallax has some great kid tools to get started and the processor is quite capable of handling some hefty processing.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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