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'[SX] Important Notice: Parallax is now the exclusi'
2005\08\26@154550 by kgraceyn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, kgracey wrote:

Dear Parallax Customers:

We announce today that Parallax is taking full control over the SX chip's production process, including packaging, test/qualification and support functions. Ubicom will no longer be a source of SX chips after November 30th. Parallax will manage the line from the purchase of processed wafers from Ubicom.


Today marks the beginning of this seamless transition. I have provided some details below.


Parallax SX Part Numbers Do Not Change

Parallax SX part numbers will stay the same:

2005\08\27@083704 by g_daubachn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, g_daubach wrote:

Ken,
IMO, this is the most important announcement ever posted in this Forum.

[orange]Congratulations!!![/orange]
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2005\08\27@083954 by beann/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, bean wrote:

Congratulations Ken, how did you pull that off !!!
Ubicom never really had much/any support for the SX and that always worried me a bit. But now I can sleep better at night knowing that Parallax is in control.
Ken, any new packages planned ? I'd love to see a 8 or 14 pin DIP.
Bean.

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2005\08\27@210133 by pljackn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, pljack wrote:

I hate to sound like a cheerleader, but Parallax never ceases to impress me.
Talk about taking the horse by the reins. Good on you.

Everyone is better off with this news.
I wish you the best with your new SX business model.

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2005\08\28@035716 by williamn/a
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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, william wrote:

Congratulations Parallax !

Please revive the SX18AC/DP, and lower the chip prices.

Will Parallax be working on designing new SX Chips soon?

William
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2005\08\28@101221 by kgraceyn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, kgracey wrote:

Hello SXers,
I'll answer your questions. First, Jack asked about what we'll actually be doing. Parallax isn't set up to do wafer cutting, grinding and packaging in our Rocklin office. We can do other tasks in Rocklin, such as focused ion beam cut/jump on the surface of a die and e-beam probing (a non-contact oscilloscope). These processes are not useful or necessary for the SX, though.

The SX silicon is mature and it is not changing. We will buy packaged wafers from Ubicom's foundry and they will be shipped to our packaging and testing company in Taiwan. From there, the wafers are ground, cut, packaged and tested and delivered to Parallax.

William, it is our goal to lower prices. Our new arrangement with Ubicom should enable this, but I really don't have the exact costs yet to make such conclusions. Bringing back the SX18AC/DP is possible, too, though it's not in our first round of plans. At the moment we're very busy arranging purchase orders, packaging, QA/QC, documentation revision, RoHS issues for the existing chip packages. Lower pin-count devices are a possibility.

But whatever we do, there will be no change to the SX silicon. The engineering on this chip is sealed for life and the fabrication process is producing high yield, reliable results.

If you have any other questions please ask them.

Sincerely,
Ken Gracey
Parallax, Inc.

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2005\08\28@135713 by KenMn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, KenM wrote:

When is Parallax going to be a publicly traded company?

[Quoting: "Ken Gracey (Parallax)"]
If you have any other questions please ask them.

Sincerely,
Ken Gracey
Parallax, Inc.


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2005\08\28@160742 by g_daubachn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, g_daubach wrote:

[Quoting: "Bean (Hitt Consulting)"]Congratulations Ken, how did you pull that off !!!
Ubicom never really had much/any support for the SX and that always worried me a bit. But now I can sleep better at night knowing that Parallax is in control.
Ken, any new packages planned ? I'd love to see a 8 or 14 pin DIP.
Bean.

Bean,
c'mon - an 8-pin DIP SX package would be very "minimalistic" :-).

These are the 5 "must be" pins:

Vdd, Vss, /MCLR, OSC1, OSC2.

Leaving either one pin for RTCC in, and two for port bits, or no RTCC in, and tree for port bits. I would vote for three RB port bits, as I never had a need for the RTCC input so far, and because port B is the most flexible one.

Well, we all should settle down a bit - Parallax can now package the SX wafers into whatever "boxes" they want - but the silicon inside will remain the same as before. So no fancy re-configurable multi-function pins available like on some PIC controllers - "just" a straight forward structure instead, like before, as we all like it (at least I do so).

Nevertheless, I agree with you, an "SX14AC" would be a fine device for small, non-SMT projects. I would prefer to see pins Vdd. Vss, OSC1, OSC2, /MCLR, RTCC, and RB7...0 on such a device.

Fine, these are all nice dreams. I agree with Ken that Parallax will be quite busy in the near future, getting all the current SX packages into the loop. IMO, this is most important: The SXes finally have found the best supplier we can think of, so they are going to have a long-lasting future with outstanding support, and this is what counts at first place.

Let's discuss all the rest when Parallax has finally "established" on this new target.

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2005\08\28@162807 by Chris Savagen/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, Chris Savage wrote:

[Quoting: "KenM"]

When is Parallax going to be a publicly traded company?

Ken,

  That question has been asked before in this thread:

http://forums.parallax.com/forums/default.aspx?f=15&m=82913&g=82920#m82920

  The general attitude from forum members was many didn't want to see that happen.  The thread kind of died off after that.

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2005\08\29@095538 by beann/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, bean wrote:

Guenther,
 I was thinking /MCLR could be tied high inside the package. That would give 4 I/O pins. But as you pointed out that would be very mimimalistic.
 What I'd really like to see is the SX48/52 die in a DIP package. The SX48/52 has twice the RAM and twice the program memory, not to mention the other features.
 Unless your connecting to a parallal RAM chip, I rarely see a need for 40 I/O pins.
Bean.

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2005\08\29@120219 by Ibsenn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, Ibsen wrote:

What does that mean for future devellopment and new features in the SX chip ???


Will we see new chip with writable flash memory at run time ?

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2005\08\29@121049 by Jon Williamsn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, Jon Williams wrote:

Refer to Ken Gracey's post above: "The SX silicon is mature and it is not changing."
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2005\08\29@121804 by Coriolisn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, Coriolis wrote:

[Quoting: "Ibsen"]

What does that mean for future devellopment and new features in the SX chip ??? besides>

Will we see new chip with writable flash memory at run time ? no


 

As Ken stated the SX die is static, meaning no more changes, not ever:


[Quoting: "Ken Gracey (Parallax)"]
But whatever we do, there will be no change to the SX silicon. The engineering on this chip is sealed for life and the fabrication process is producing high yield, reliable results.


Parallax's move is to secure the future of the SX line of microcontrollers to ensure a plentiful and continued supply of the chips. Ubicom has since moved onto other things (their IP line), rather than risking Ubicom completely abandoning the SX and place a severe crunch on SX users and Stamps using the SX processors, Parallax has assumed control of the line. Ubicom purchased Scenix, the original makers of the SX, studied the processor, then came out with a next generation chip using the SX as a starting point. Now they have no use for the SX line and there was the risk of it dissapearing, now that risk has been aleviated for as long as Parallax wants to continue using and selling them.

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2005\08\30@071146 by cbmeeksn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, cbmeeks wrote:

Congrats!

Of course, I thought you guys WERE the only supplier....

When I think of SX, I think of Parallax....*cough* cough *  free samples * cough  * cough *
lol cbmeeks
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2005\08\30@072931 by g_daubachn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, g_daubach wrote:

[Quoting: "Bean (Hitt Consulting)"]Guenther,
I was thinking /MCLR could be tied high inside the package. That would give 4 I/O pins. But as you pointed out that would be very mimimalistic.
What I'd really like to see is the SX48/52 die in a DIP package. The SX48/52 has twice the RAM and twice the program memory, not to mention the other features.
Unless your connecting to a parallal RAM chip, I rarely see a need for 40 I/O pins.

I realize this is all just "pie-in-the-sky" as it will take Parallax awhile just to get "up to speed" with the existing packages.


Bean.


Bean,
yes, you are right - /MCLR could be tied to Vdd internally, although I sometimes have needed it in systems with slow rising power supplys.

I absolutely agree with you - it would be really attractive having an "SX48/28AC", the "large" die in a DIP28 package. Same number of I/O pins but twice the RAM and twice the program memory plus two 16-bit multi-purpose counter/timers. Imagine - this would allow you to "boost-up" existing hardware by just replacing the "old" SX28AC with the new pin-compatible "Power SX28". Some of my "commercial" SX28-based applications come close to the SX28's memory limits, and customers always want more, so I'd "love" the SX28/48AC". I'll put it on my wish list I'm going to send Parallax for next Christmas :-) .

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2005\08\30@073011 by Jon Williamsn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, Jon Williams wrote:

But we already do!  When you by the SX48/52 protoboard, you get your choice of chip and we toss in a sample power supply at the same time.  :tongue:

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2005\08\30@073912 by Ibsenn/a

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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, Ibsen wrote:

I really like the idea of the 4 I/O pins version...


I like it a lot !!!

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'[SX] Important Notice: Parallax is now the exclusi'
2005\09\02@103034 by tempon/a
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In SX Microcontrollers, SX/B Compiler and SX-Key Tool, tempo wrote:

[Quoting: "Jon Williams (Parallax)"]But we already do!  When you buy the SX48/52 protoboard, you get your choice of chip and we toss in a sample power supply at the same time.  :tongue:

The SX takeover indeed explains the SX48/52 protoboard: It gets even the thick-fingered (like me) finally started with the SX52 (which probably sells less well than it deserves, due to the barrier of dealing with the package in a prototype setting), at such a lower NRE cost than a new DIP48 package that it's a better choice for Parallax even at the $10 price. Right?

-Even so, the SX28BD/DP would seem to be the obvious next step.

-Restarting the SX18/DP is probably a good idea, too (once you sell a bit more of the old stock...). I just came up with a project that would use up  SX chips 4 at a time (limited by speed, only 1 8-bit port per device is used most of the time, and for the remainder 4 pins are enough for slow communications), and probably need 2 or 3 sets of 4 to start to be useful. If I build it, the SX18AC will of course be the natural choice due to the price. If there was an SX18BD (i.e. SX52 silicon), that would be a better choice.

-You mentioned undocumented instructions being now documented - I guess there's no hope that one of them is "run code from register RAM", is there?

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