The Propeller chip makes it easy to rapidly develop embedded applications. Its eight processors (cogs) can operate simultaneously, either independently or cooperatively, sharing common resources through a central hub. The developer has full control over how and when each cog is employed; there is no compiler-driven or operating system-driven splitting of tasks among multiple cogs. A shared system clock keeps each cog on the same time reference, allowing for true deterministic timing and synchronization.

Two programming languages are available: the easy-to-learn high-level Spin, and Propeller Assembly which can execute at up to 160 MIPS (20 MIPS per cog).