Skid82
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Raspberry Pi Pico [and Transputers]

Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:36 pm

can anyone tell me if I can programme and stack up more than 2 RPi Pico (i.e can i have 2 or more Picos running as one).

jamesh
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico

Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:50 pm

Not in the way i think you are wanting. You could connect them together via I2C or SPI, but that is just two devices connected together acting as two devices. Making them appear as one isn't really a thing.

What is your use case?
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dthacher
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico

Fri Jun 18, 2021 2:19 am

This is possible, however it does depend on intention. Beowolf requires special uses cases, and is not likely worth it. Embedded systems approach is likely valid. A generic system may work under this model. There is an IO and resource constraint which can make this less practical. The only reason it is ever used is due to economics.

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico

Fri Jun 18, 2021 2:39 am

Use those PIO as serial link comms, they may even go faster than the original Transputer
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transputer

Make a Retro Pico Farm.
Get Occam running on it?
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dthacher
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico

Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:12 am

You could conceptually make a mesh, arbiter or ring multicore with them. I knew this was possible in theory, but never knew it had a name. Still do not see much value in it outside education due to RAM and IO limits.

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico

Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:31 am

Still do not see much value in it outside education due to RAM and IO limits
Good enough reason to do it :lol:

Pimoroni should make a motherboard for these, 4x4 array?
https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/pga2040

Stackable so they can stack 4 high, 3D Pico bramble, 128 x ARM CPUs.
Keeping the serial links short and some decent speeds could be done.

Does that Transputer code still exist?
Will it compile to Pico?
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico

Fri Jun 18, 2021 7:25 am

Gavinmc42 wrote:
Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:31 am
Still do not see much value in it outside education due to RAM and IO limits
Good enough reason to do it :lol:

Pimoroni should make a motherboard for these, 4x4 array?
https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/pga2040

Stackable so they can stack 4 high, 3D Pico bramble, 128 x ARM CPUs.
Keeping the serial links short and some decent speeds could be done.

Does that Transputer code still exist?
Will it compile to Pico?
Transputers used the Occam language, no idea if it's available on Pi.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico

Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:19 am

Gavinmc42 wrote:
Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:31 am
Stackable so they can stack 4 high
Pico, PGA2040, PicoStamp boards seem incredibly easy stack to twenty-plus high using stackable headers. It seems possible that even the 3V3 Out pins could be connected together if powered via 3V3 Out and never powered via USB or VSYS.

The danger is that all GPIO will be shorted to other GPIO but that can be mitigated if care is taken. Using PIO it would be possible to create a token ring style interface between them all.

It would make more sense to daisy-chain them non-stacked so each has access to unused GPIO pins but for a software cluster, or just to do it and prove it can be done, it seems a great idea.

One practical problem is how to access the BOOTSEL button but that could be resolved by connecting TP6 to a GPIO pin.

Stacking Pico's is something on my To Do list but I have no plans for anytime soon.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico

Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:09 pm

Stacking Pico's is something on my To Do list but I have no plans for anytime soon.
RPF/RPT do bring out things that give me many ideas to add to my now excessively long To Do List.
On the other hand things on the list that have bee there for 40 years are getting very close now.

I liked the basic idea of those Transputers but outside my budget or needs when they first came out.
Occam porting might be fun just as a learning exercise.

Now that Pico's are out in single chip availability a board 4 x 4 would not be that expensive.
Only have two Pico's at the moment so testing software would be very minimal.
Pimonri have shown us a minimal layout design.
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amenjet
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico

Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:40 pm

I'm having fun running a Transputer emulator on a Pico, with the PIOs running a link to an IMSC011:

https://youtu.be/MV_q7ltG8gY

I have also manged to get some simple code running on a real transputer

https://youtu.be/xt6rNEoy5Gs

Andrew

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aallan
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico

Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:14 am

can anyone tell me if I can programme and stack up more than 2 RPi Pico (i.e can i have 2 or more Picos running as one).

Not entirely sure what you're thinking about. But it is being done with RP2040. See this Twitter thread, https://twitter.com/VE7FIM/status/1418719030882361344.
AARPP.jpg
Asynchronous Array of Pi Picos (AARPP) board
AARPP.jpg (203.05 KiB) Viewed 730 times
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aallan
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico

Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:39 am

amenjet wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:40 pm
I'm having fun running a Transputer emulator on a Pico, with the PIOs running a link to an IMSC011:

https://youtu.be/MV_q7ltG8gY

Oh! This is impressive! I'll have to forward this to a couple of friends who worked at Inmos back in the day.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico

Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:56 am

amenjet wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:40 pm
I'm having fun running a Transputer emulator on a Pico, with the PIOs running a link to an IMSC011:

https://youtu.be/MV_q7ltG8gY

I have also manged to get some simple code running on a real transputer

https://youtu.be/xt6rNEoy5Gs

Andrew
What are you using as a compiler?
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bgolab
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico [and Transputers]

Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:59 am

Inspiring.

More details here about Asynchronous Array of Pi Picos
https://www.hackster.io/news/david-slik ... a188bbd9b0

I wish these multi-pico boards were available commercially.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico [and Transputers]

Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:16 am

What are you using as a compiler?
I guess, without a special compiler, can compile them independently and define a protocol between PICO for some architectures e.g. master + multiple of slaves units.

Still challenging from the architecture perspective. But exciting, although I have no useful application for this idea.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico [and Transputers]

Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:42 am

bgolab wrote:
Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:16 am
What are you using as a compiler?
I guess, without a special compiler, can compile them independently and define a protocol between PICO for some architectures e.g. master + multiple of slaves units.

Still challenging from the architecture perspective. But exciting, although I have no useful application for this idea.
Sorry, I meant Occam compiler.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico [and Transputers]

Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:47 am

Oh, yes.I have never touched this language. In 80-ties I was playing with Z80 assembler:(

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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico [and Transputers]

Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:58 am

bgolab wrote:
Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:47 am
Oh, yes.I have never touched this language. In 80-ties I was playing with Z80 assembler:(
Heretic!! As anyone knows, 6502 is the one true assembler!!
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico [and Transputers]

Fri Aug 06, 2021 12:07 pm

Definitely agree. At that time I used both ZX Spectrum and C64.

The funny thing is that at that time I used to code programs in assembler because I though that the BASIC is too easy;) Now I am writing BASIC interpreters (loosely related to C64) because of that nostalgia;)

When was studying electronics (beginning of the PC era) the Motorola 68k was considered best CPU among my professors, but 8088 won!

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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico [and Transputers]

Fri Aug 06, 2021 12:28 pm

Not entirely sure what you're thinking about. But it is being done with RP2040. See this Twitter thread, https://twitter.com/VE7FIM/status/1418719030882361344.
Does it stack 4 high?
Amazing and bending my head around debugging it :D
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico [and Transputers]

Fri Aug 06, 2021 12:32 pm

Uploading the code will also require dedicated hardware to speed up the process...

Anyway, the PICO really inspires people.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico [and Transputers]

Fri Aug 06, 2021 12:37 pm

bgolab wrote:
Fri Aug 06, 2021 12:07 pm
Definitely agree. At that time I used both ZX Spectrum and C64.

The funny thing is that at that time I used to code programs in assembler because I though that the BASIC is too easy;) Now I am writing BASIC interpreters (loosely related to C64) because of that nostalgia;)

When was studying electronics (beginning of the PC era) the Motorola 68k was considered best CPU among my professors, but 8088 won!
The 68k followed on from what was probably the ultimate 8-bit CPU the 6809 which was a bit late to market, I had a dabble with 6809 but I was familiar with 6502 and Z80 programming so I didn't bother getting to grips with it.

I remember the Transputer coming out and reading up on OCCAM just out of interest but it was way outside the amateur price range. I seem to remember uptake was slow because of OCCAM and no support offered for machine language - might have just been jealous stirrings from competitors.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico [and Transputers]

Fri Aug 06, 2021 1:16 pm

16 nodes, each with 4 interconnects. It must be a Tesseract (4-cube)!

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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico [and Transputers]

Fri Aug 06, 2021 6:45 pm

pidd wrote:
Fri Aug 06, 2021 12:37 pm
The 68k followed on from what was probably the ultimate 8-bit CPU the 6809 which was a bit late to market, I had a dabble with 6809 but I was familiar with 6502 and Z80 programming so I didn't bother getting to grips with it.
6803 for me which I believe was Hitachi, a Motorola 6800 with added peripherals on-board. Scored a huge win through trampling an entertainment industry leader into the ground by producing a product so much faster and better than they could for half the price. Hand-crafted, self-modifying assembler code executed in the on-chip RAM for the win ! Plus a Microchip 16C54 as an I/O pipeline. Not just hand-crafted assembler there, but a hand-crafted compiler to squeeze the last drop out of such a constrained micro.

Coming from the Motorola camp I was never impressed by the 6502 though I did do some BBC Micro assembler. I loved the look of the 6809 and Z80 but never got to use either. I more wanted a 68HC11 because that could be boot-loaded via UART serial. By the time I had enough money to buy anything for home fun the PC was well established.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Pico [and Transputers]

Fri Aug 06, 2021 6:53 pm

Many Motorola devices were ahead of their times (the 68HC11 was a great example, especially the UART bootloader feature). Also Motorola 68000. Unfortunately they sold their semiconductor business years ago.

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