The Hardware Development Revolution Hasn’t Arrived (Yet)

In the world of technology, we often speak of hardware and software as two sides of the same coin. Hardware (the physical component of an electronic system) and software (the programs and applications installed on hardware) are very different, but still must work together to deliver the familiar products and services we use every day.

Since the invention of the very first computer, both hardware and software have played an integral part in technological innovation. We can’t build SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) products without powerful servers and data centers. Nor can we use our personal computers to their fullest potential without well-designed operating systems and software applications.

However, despite their symbiotic relationship, development tools for hardware and software have had very different evolutionary paths in recent years. While software development tools have become powerful, mobile, and accessible, professional hardware development tools remain largely stuck in the ’90s, with clunky GUIs, and hard-to-use interfaces.

Why is there a lack of innovation in hardware development tools, and why does that matter?

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5 Best Free Online Circuit Simulators for PCB Design

Sahara Cloud platform with circuit simulation feature

Circuit simulators are often used during the PCB design process to help verify how electrical components interact with each other.

There are several different types of softwares for designing electronic systems such as integrated circuits and printed circuit boards, and they are commonly categorized as Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools.

Digital circuits are often designed and built with software using specific programming languages. On the other hand, analog circuits needs to be designed by SPICE-type (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) simulator.

Depending on the complexity of features, EDA softwares can range from $0 to hundreds and thousands of dollars. We compiled a list of free online circuit builders that are great for developers who are looking for easy to use circuit simulators that won’t break the bank.

Continue reading “5 Best Free Online Circuit Simulators for PCB Design” Updates: Digital Scope Testing Feature

Probing data pins from an Arduino to get the Voltage Readings from The Test Window

The product team at Sahara Cloud releases regular feature updates based on feedback from our beta users. This week, we are focusing on the digital scope testing feature on our platform. Sign up to join our beta here.

Continue reading “ Updates: Digital Scope Testing Feature” Virtually prototype hardware on the cloud

Use Sahara Cloud to design, code, and test hardware systems in the cloud.

What is Sahara Cloud?

Sahara Cloud is a cloud-based hardware development platform that enables users to design, code, and test their hardware systems virtually without needing any physical components or equipment. We are currently running a private beta, join the waitlist!

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How to Develop a Hardware MVP

Hardware prototype of the Dio speaker

You have a great idea about a hardware device that can solve a problem that many people have, but you don’t have the budget or the expertise required to build the product – so where do you start?

This is a common problem that a lot of hardware startup founders have: lack of resources to test out their hypothesis. Whether it is not having enough time, money, or talent – entrepreneurs often have to be creative and learn to be scrappy with the limited resources they have to build their product.

The key to achieve product market fit as a startup is to run many lean experiments, apply the learnings, and rapidly iterate the product development cycle. However, it is harder to be lean when you are building a physical hardware product. Building hardware is a more complex process than software development, and you can’t just release a new software update to fix a hardware problem. Therefore, knowing how to build a good hardware MVP (minimum viable product) is essential to a hardware startup’s success.

We spoke with Akarsh Vinod, founder of Dio, to learn about how he developed his hardware MVP. Dio makes simple and affordable multi-room speakers that aim to make listening to audio easy and convenient.

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Why Engineers are Shifting to Building Hardware Digitally

Our CEO, Jama Mohamed, recently had a conversation with Differential Ventures about his philosophy on the future of hardware and why he started building Sahara Cloud after spending 5 years helping hardware startups build their embedded systems as a consultant.

Below is an excerpt of the interview. Read the full version here.

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Why Virtualization will Democratize Hardware

Hi everyone, my name is Jama and I am the founder of Sahara Cloud. Our mission is to democratize hardware and make it more accessible to everyone through virtual prototyping.

I first started thinking about ways to improve the hardware development process when I was helping hardware startups build their embedded systems after graduating as an Electrical Engineer from Caltech. As we all know, building hardware is hard – Hardware is more expensive, slower to build, and harder to maintain – all because of the physical nature of hardware. There is a reason why there are 10x more software startups compared to hardware startups.

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