Last updated: 28 August 2014

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The Company

MicroProcessor Engineering specialises in Real-Time and Embedded systems. We design tools for the complete development cycle including hardware, software and firmware. These products operate on desktops and a wide range of embedded targets.

We have been in business since 1981.

Over the years, we have provided solutions to companies as diverse as NASA, Europay, local charities, small businesses, Ministry of Defence and major supermarket chains.

MPE was founded in 1981 as a hardware company making single board computers. The requirements of fast development, portability and real-time led us into high level languages. With our background in machinery control, telemetry and systems software, we selected Forth as our software tool of first choice.

Forth Compiler Products

Using our proven VFX compiler technology development, MPE offers Forth development systems that produce code as fast as that for any other language - but with all the benefits of an interactive development cycle and traditional Forth implementations.

Another significant development is the DocGen system that allows HTML and PDF manuals to be generated directly from project source code.

Hardware Products

Our current hardware ranges includes the PB2468 PowerBoard. Current developments tend be based around ARM/Cortex CPUs. These are supported by our Forth cross compilers, PowerNet TCP/IP stack and embedded Web server, USB stack, FAT file system and embedded GUI.


MPE consultancy services stem from both hardware and software, and keep us in tune with the requirements of users, so helping us to improve our products. Projects range from small embedded systems to supporting a Windows project with over 1,100,000 lines of Forth source code.


We use our software products every day. New users of the interactive Forth development environment often want to learn it quickly and efficiently and to understand the advantages our tools provide. Different training courses are provided - either standard or tailored to your specific needs.


Hill Lane

MicroProcessor Engineering Limited

133 Hill Lane
Southampton SO15 5AF

Tel: +44 (0)23 8063 1441, +44 (0)7803 903612
Skype: mpe_sfp
USA tel: (901) 313-4312

Our staff

MPE is a decentralised company that takes full advantage of modern communication methods. When you contact us, you will probably be referred to one of the people mentioned here as a technical contact.

Stephen Pelc

Stephen is an electronics engineer by training, but has been writing software since the days of Algol 60.
+44 (0)23 8063 1441, +44 (0)7803 903612,
Speaks English and French.

Stephen founded MPE in 1981 after a career that included running a community arts centre, printing posters, picking strawberries, writing software for glass cutting machines, designing hardware for active noise reduction and electrostatic stirrers, software for flood warning schemes, and hardware and software for a bank note sorting machine.

Stephen designed the VFX code generator used by MPE's current Forth systems and managed the European project that produced the first VFX systems.

Juergen Pintaske

Juergen is our marketing and sales person promoting MPE Forth and MPE Consultancy Services.
+44 (0)7736 707674,
Speaks German, English and French.

Juergen's electronics career started young at 12, with his first radio, 80m receiver and amplifier. Years later, after his Dipl.-Ing. in telecoms, electricity sensors were in - not the normal stuff but for up to 100kV or 500A, and the first CMOS micro. Then application engineering at RCA in Brussels, then Germany again. The first Forth activity was a custom micro running Forth in an FPGA. Finally a move to the UK, for Marketing, PR, translation, then went back into sales for 10 years.

In his spare time, Juergen writes and publishes eBooks about electronics and software topics including Forth, see links on this website from the books page.

Ian Thain

Ian's talent as an engineer started when he undid all the wing nuts on his pram so that its hood collapsed. When the microprocessor leaped on to the world stage in the 1970s, Ian's first programmable scientific calculator made him an immediate convert to software. He bought a Rockwell industrial micro which came with Forth in ROM and a pile of text books. Three years later he emerged to take up his first job in computing as system manager of an HP mini which ran the London office of a German multi-national manufacturer of electronic test equipment. Since then Ian's fund of stories includes radio, GPS, mobile messaging and Filippino anthropology.

Ian handles organisational things and marketing for us as well as product design and development.

Paul Bennett

Paul is a Systems Engineer with wide ranging knowledge and experience developing High Integrity Distributed Embedded Control Systems for Nuclear Power Station Robotics, Petrochemical Processes, Railway Signalling, Medical Instrumentation, Cryogenic Systems, Vacuum Systems and Marine Systems Industries.

It was Paul's knowledge of safety-critical systems and processes that enabled us to get US FDA approval (at the first submission) for medical equipment used in operating theatres.

Barry Culver

Barry is our UK hardware designer. The PB2468 is one of his designs. According to Barry, electronic design is the art and science of selecting components that fit together to work reliably and well. The joy of electronics is that all the time the range of components is getting wider, with an endless stream of smaller/faster/better parts to choose from!

Apart from electronics, Barry has experience in welding, painting, machining, sheet metal bashing, testing, mechanical design and the other trades of a scientific instrument manufacturer. He's an excellent Forth application programmer with a fully equipped hardware development lab.

Barry can be relied upon to find a hole in any specification.

Peter Knaggs

Peter was introduced to Forth through the Jupiter Ace in 1983 and did a PhD on "the application of software engineering concepts to embedded software development". While in academia, Peter was the editor of the Journal of Forth Applications and Research, and became the editor of the Forth200x standards document. He's now back in the commercial world.

Peter has a strong interest in things traditional, from ale to music, dance and song. He is involved a number of music festivals.

Peter is the part of the toolmaking team that tells us how to do it properly.

Barto Gillespie

Barto is our structural integrity test engineer. Although young, he has specialist knowledge of fabrics, domestic furniture, garden excavations and game birds.

Barto handles our interactions with all non-humans except cats, with whom he seems to be unable to communicate effectively.

Partial customer list

On some consultancy jobs clients have asked us to sign non-disclosure agreements covering not only the work but the client name as well. They regard Forth as a competitive advantage for their work. The following is thus just a partial list from our customer base.

Astell Scientific, AWE, BAE, British Telecom, British Gas, Brown Root Vickers, CDS Advanced Technology bv, CEGB, Cementation, CMON Systems, Construction Computer Software, Department of Transport, Disarmco, Europay International, Farnell, GEC Plessey Avionics, Intersil, ISRO, ITT, JWK International, Lucas CAV, Marconi Space and Defence, Metropolitan Police, NASA, Nuclear Electric, Philips, Rolls Royce, Rushton Diesels, Rutherford Appleton Labs, Saab, Safer Systems, Shell UK Oil, Sun Microsystems, Thorn EMI, Trafalgar House, Yorkshire TV, and many universities and research labs.

On one space shuttle flight, three out of four experiments were programmed in Forth, each team having chosen Forth individually. Forth is approved by NASA for high reliability applications.