Basic Stamp, Chip Gracey, electronics podcast, Ken Gracey, MacroFab, macrofab engineering podcast, Parrallax, Propeller
engineering podcast

MEP EP #166: Ken and Chip Gracey of Parallax Inc

Podcast Notes

Ken Gracey

  • Leader and CEO of Parallax
  • UC Davis alumni who lives and breathes Parallax products and has done so around the world
  • All about family, working smart, having fun, mountaineering, and riding his unicycle

Chip Gracey

  • Parallax founder. He had his first major introduction to programming and electronics when he was 13 years old with the Timex Sinclair computer
  • After graduating high school, he and his techy friend from the 7th grade started Parallax at their homes in 1987
  • Chip designed the first low-cost tools for the PIC microcontrollers
  • Led to the development of the first BASIC Stamp module released in 1993

The Parallax Story

  • Starting Products
    • Apple IIgs memory cards
    • EPROM emulators for microcontroller development
    • PIC Tools
    • Basic Stamp
    • SX chip
    • Propeller
  • Parallax Prop 2
    • What makes it special compared to other microcontrollers?
    • P2 VS P1?
    • Feature Set
    • Programming Languages?
  • What does it take to design semiconductors?
    • Software packages
    • Simulation
    • What document package do you send to the fabricator?
    • Process Size?
    • What is automated and what is done by hand?
  • Testing and validation
    • ESD?
    • FCC/CE
  • When can people get there hands on one?
  • Best story of the Parallax Adventure so far?


KiCon 2019 is a user conference for the popular open source CAD program KiCad. Happening April 26th and 27th 2019 in Chicago IL, this is the first and largest gathering of hardware developers using KiCad. Talks at the conference will span hardware design, revision control, scripting, manufacturing considerations, proper library management and getting  started developing the underlying tools. All announced talks have been listed on the conference site.

Visit our Public Slack Channel and join the conversation in between episodes!

Chip Gracey

Chip Gracey


Ken Gracey

Parallax Propeller P2 Eval Board

Parallax Propeller P2 Evaluation Board

Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!