MikroE launches first remote ‘hardware as a service’

MikroE launches first remote ‘hardware as a service’

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Board and development tool maker MikroElektronika has launched a remote debugging service built into its tools.

The Planet Debug service allows users to debug code on a wide range of microcontroller boards remotely.

There are 74 standard boards that are can be used for free with the Necto Studio development environment and debugger. Necto Studio contains a number of compilers and a streaming video decoder. Images of the board under development are streamed from a WiFi camera without the need for a PC so a developer can debug code on the board and watch the board in real time. This allows the service to scale, says Neb Matic, CEO of MikroE. There are currently boards in the MikroE offices in Belgrade, Serbia, as well as in the US.  

MikroE will also provide a board customised with specific peripherals and displays such as Click boards for $4 a day, and plans to have boards available in Frankfurt, Germany, California and Japan.

“Necto is our IDE that holds many compilers rather than one, plus CodeGrip which is our standard programmer and debugger that can be used over WIFI. When you add live streaming to those two things you can do it from any point on the planet,” Matic told eeNews Europe.

“From an industry point of view it’s the first hardware as a service,” he said.  “To be honest what I find when I presented the concept is that people do not believe its areal image of a real board on another continent and you do everything in real time. I strongly believe this concept will be dominate in the future.”

“There is a board and a camera and a switch in a cell,” said Matic. “We built the encoder into Studio so you can see the board and zoom in on the image. Our solution has livestreaming without a PC and the output goes to a serve that can handle thousands of boards. Everything is synchronised with CodeGrip – this is the real time WiFi debugger.”

MikroE sees this also being hosted by used by universities to train students remotely, and by companies to provide boards to engineers without having to wait for them to be delivered and set up. This could also be hosted by a semiconductor vendor with boards with early silicon to allow developers to debug code on hardware at the earliest opportunity.

“We have 74 boards right now but you can use your own board using Codegrip,” said Matic. “We put a lot of STM, PIC32, AVR, Kinetis NXP boards in there and my goal is to reach 100 by the end of the year and among those will be a lot of Microchip boards that are in standard use.”

 “I believe it is better for professional users as all the connections are done through SSL so its secure and there are no missing cables or missing drivers, no waiting for a board and customs clearance,” he said. “For $4 a day you can pay us to combine a specific combination of Click boards.” The debug boards are configured via the studio tool with the different SiBrain microcontroller modules, sensors and displays.

“I want to see these frames all over the world,” said Matic.

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