Why Hexabitz is Unique?

Hexabitz’s nature-inspired form-factor emphasizes horizontal integration, which is the default construction for PCBAs and electronics. This design feature ensures Hexabitz prototypes fit wherever a custom PCBA is used. We have plans to offer the capability to construct complex geometries with mixed horizontal and vertical modes in the near future.

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We wanted to escape from the wire jungle! Hexabitz modules use a novel edge-soldering technique that eliminates the overhead of connectors and wires while providing more rigid, clean, and reliable prototypes. Save time and free yourself from the hassle of debugging wire connections. Instead, build a rigid prototype that can leave your bench and return unharmed!

Worried about being in a harsh environment or not in love with the soldering iron? Hexabitz’s abstract design can be customized for specific applications.  Customize the abstract design with add-ons or attachment mechanisms you need for your project. Module add-ons are not within the scope of this campaign, but we will work together with the community to develop user-driven solutions in the future.

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Embedded systems have been traditionally architectured around a single controller connected to dumb peripheral/daughter boards. This concept is decades old and based on an era when computing was expensive and bulky. Today’s inexpensive, micro-sized computing can be embedded in each PCB. Other than simple power sources, all Hexabitz modules feature a small, low-power ARM Cortex-M0 MCUs for customization and connectivity. These smart PCBs can be configured to fit your needs.

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Hexabitz features a novel, wired-mesh, decentralized network concept based on wireless networking. This makes Hexabitz-based systems ultra-modular and super configurable, as well as much more scalable than other platforms (while still maintaining a small footprint).

Simply add or remove any module to or from your board, regardless of type or location. Our unique array exploration algorithm lets connected modules automatically discover their neighbors and configure the topology and routing table of their network, saving you time and preventing configuration errors.

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Hexabitz is a truly parallel and distributed system, enabling you to run multiple algorithms in parallel and distribute tasks on separate modules. Instead of cramming all your code into a single MCU and then struggling over resource allocation, you can let each module process locally and then share the results with other modules as needed. Our Remote Read/Write API gives you remote access to any Flash or SRAM memory location in any module in the array using the Hexabitz messaging protocol.

Unlike many other prototyping platforms, Hexabitz has a real-time operating system at its core, based on FreeRTOS. This means you can run multi-threading and time-critical applications and enjoy the performance of high-end control systems without being an RTOS expert or sacrificing the prototyping nature of the platform. Learn more about Hexabitz software architecture here.

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Hexabitz modules have their own MCUs and thus can be used without an external controller. You can control them using external signals and buttons/switches or you can program them with C-based APIs. Modules can be controlled remotely using an intuitive Command Line Interface (CLI) or a more sophisticated messaging and communication protocol.

Hexabitz modules can natively interface to any external hardware via array ports running UART communication. (They can also be configured as I2C). External hardware can mimic a CLI textual input or utilize a more efficient machine format (a serial, packet-based messaging protocol).

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We are committed to openly share the details and costs of everything that goes into our modules. The concept is called Radical Transparency and is pioneered by beloved brands such as Everlane. There has been an ongoing push toward openness and transparency in many industries, including food, fashion and cosmetics. Unfortunately, the electronics industry is lagging behind with almost zero transparency and accountability.

Each module page features a full Bill of Materials (BOM) with actual component part numbers, cost, and quantity. All costs associated with making a module are published, along with our own markup (33% if you ask!). If you hover on an individual item cost, a tooltip text tells you the quantity of components purchased at this price as shown in the screenshot above. We are committed to keeping this information up-to-date and as accurate as possible. The numbers automatically update from our internal database. If module cost goes up or down, we will pass along the cost increase or decrease to our users transparently.

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Where do I get started?

 

If you are interested in more details about Hexabitz hardware and software architecture and other basic information, checkout our Wiki articles here. If you are looking for a school- or college-level curriculum, check out the courses below from Hexabitz team and our community partners.

If you are looking for information on how to update firmware, connect to modules or do  just about anything else with Hexabitz hardware and software, check out our ever-expanding Wiki How-To articles here. Looking for more in-depth explanation and examples on our software/firmware features? Check out the Code Overview series of articles here. If you are wondering about our different firmware releases, check out our release notes here and find out in this article everything you need about how to update firmware and where to find firmware files.

Looking for source code for our firmware and software and for hardware design files? All available open-source on our Github account. You can also access respective source code and design files for a particular module from its module page >> Resources tab. Still looking for 3D design files of our fixtures and enclosures? They are available on our Thingiverse account.

You might be looking for handy datasheet-style documentation for our modules? We got that covered with our Factsheets here. They’re also available in the Resources tab in each module page. Also do not forget our awesome Quick Start Guides with graphical illustrations and handy QR codes! They are available on each module page as well.

Are you looking for project ideas to get inspired? Check out our demo projects here and visit our Hackster.io account. Also don’t forget to follow and like our Facebook page and Twitter account for latest news and ideas. Our Gallery page is also a good source of visual inspiration! If you are interested in real-life case studies for modularity-in-action, check out the business Success Stories we publish every now and then.

If you are a video guy or gal, then check out the videos below and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel

If you are finally ready to shop some modules, kits and accessories, check out our Online Shop and don’t forget our awesome t-shirts!

Looking for more information on Hexabitz and its team? Check out About Us page and read about our story and team. Any questions still lingering? Check out our FAQs here and if you can not find an answer, feel free to drop us a line on the website chat or through the online contact form here

Have fun and build awesome modular hardware!

Courses & Workshops

 

Are you looking for courses or educational curriculum about Hexabitz? Check out the following materials, available free-of-charge, from Hexabitz team and our partners in the community. Do you have educational content to share with us and the rest of the community? Please drop us a line!

  • Designing Electronic Systems with Hexabitz – Lab Lectures – University of Aleppo 2019/2020 by Aula Jazmati & Abdulkader Joukhadar (Arabic)

    • Lab 1 – Hexabitz modules types and features – Using modules with CLI | PDF
    • Lab 2 – Building Hexabitz arrays and controlling them with CLI | PDF
    • Lab 3 – AC and DC relay modules – Power modules | PDF
    • Lab 4 – Using Hexabitz APIs in Keil uVision – Micro SD card module | PDF
    • Lab 5 – Using Hexabitz Messages in Keil uVision – IR sensor module – Micro SD card module | PDF
    • Lab 6 – Using Hexabitz Messages in Keil uVision – RGB LED sensor arrays – IR sensor module | PDF

Videos

 

Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

 

Miscellaneous Videos

  • My Search for Modular Electronics by Asaad Kaadan – HDDG 25 Electronics in Chunks Meetup (English) | Video

Syriabitz Monthly Workshops

  • 12/2019 – STM32 Microcontrollers Workshop (Arabic) | Playlist
  • 1/2020 – Single-board Computers (Raspberry Pi & Beagle Bone) Workshop (Arabic) | Playlist
  • 2/2020 – Hexabitz Modules Workshop (Arabic) | Playlist
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