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3/14/2019 | By Maker.io Staff

Top Programs for Decreasing Time to Market

Getting a product to market in a timely fashion can be critical for a business’s success. While many methods require hard work by the makers, some methods can be handled within the software. In this blog post, we will look at some useful programs for getting a product to market faster!

Unified projects – GitHub

When it comes to version control and joint coding projects, GitHub can provide an invaluable service. In the past, software projects would be stored on a central server and users would have to download the files, modify, and then re-upload. This method for shared coding works for small projects, but as they become more complex, this can lead to serious drawbacks. First, such a method may not have proper version control tracking where edits made by designers are logged with all the changes recorded. A project without version control may lead to scenarios where a change in the code results in a bug or error that affects the entire project.

For example, if a portion of a program is written in assembler and a designer decides to use a specific file register for storing a variable that is being used by a critical OS thread, then the whole system can fail. Or, if copies of the project are not made frequently, then it may not be obvious what is causing the project to fail and therefore the time getting the product to market is increased.

GitHub is a software service that allows users to upload projects with version control and change tracking. Whenever a new version of the code is uploaded the changes are tracked and a new version of the project is made. If a project suddenly stops working, then previous versions can be fallen back on and the new code added line-by-line until the error is found. GitHub is also cloud-based, allowing engineers from around the world to work together on the same software project easily.

Arduino IDE & Photon IDE

When designing a product, several prototypes are needed to confirm that the product will function as expected. But even before a prototype is made, a proof-of-concept may be needed to prove that the product idea is somewhat plausible to begin with. Platforms, such as the Arduino, can be instrumental for proofs-of-concept. Not just because Arduino circuits are simple to construct, but because the Arduino IDE is incredibly flexible and easy to use. The Arduino IDE allows a user’s code to be targeted across multiple platforms with very little code changes, giving it some major advantages in situations where a processor upgrade is needed quickly.

For example, a proof-of-concept is needed for a data logger when the Uno is chosen, but halfway through the construction it’s realized that an Arduino Due is needed. This is trivial in the IDE as only the board target is changed, and code changes would be virtually non-existent. The Arduino IDE also provides easy library integration. With many hundreds of online libraries available, almost no specialized hardware code is required.

But the Arduino IDE is not the only software platform that can help with decreasing the time to market - the Photon is an excellent IoT prototyping platform. Like the Arduino IDE, the Photon IDE is easy to use and contains many libraries for interfacing with various sensors and hardware. However, the Photon IDE is in-browser and devices are programmed on the fly, meaning an engineer in one location can program and flash a photon in another location. This could result in engineers being able to remotely test projects that are internet-enabled and possess the power of an ARM core.

Design Start

The development of custom SoCs can be costly and time-consuming - which is why DesignStart was developed. DesignStart is a software solution that provides designers with a platform to design SoC from scratch, easily integrating ARM Cortex processors and various other hardware solutions, including IoT, artificial intelligence, and security.

The use of verified subsystems means that a designer does not need to design subsystems from scratch. Thanks to the success-based royalty model, companies do not need to source large amounts of money to design system-on-chip devices. DesignStart also provides online forum support and optional training, allowing designers to be more focused on the product and learn how to get it to work, instead of trying to figure out how to design SoCs from scratch.

Conclusion

Getting a product to the market as fast as possible has some major advantages, including being the market leader and reducing R&D costs. The software can play a key role in this improvement, and with talented developers all over the world having access to the internet and cloud-based services, more engineering projects are being developed around the world by harnessing the power of remote performance.