Q: Your modules have unique shapes, but what really differentiates Hexabitz from other platforms?
A: First thing people notice is the hexagonal shape but that’s not the most unique characteristics in Hexabitz! There are lots of cool platforms out there but what really differentiates us from others is the multi-processor architecture. Almost all other prototyping platforms are built around the traditional computing concept of a smart controller or motherboard and a bunch of ‘dump’ peripherals or daughter boards. Hexabitz is a fully distributed and decentralized network of small processors we call the ‘wired-mesh’. These processors (each one in a module) mimic some characteristics of wireless mesh networks but in the wired world: They exchange and route messages to each other. They broadcast, multi-cast and discover their neighbors and perform many other cool tricks.
Other unique Hexabitz features that might be different from other platforms:
- Stand-alone: You don’t need an external MCU to use Hexabitz modules.
- Geometric: Our modules are designed with specific shapes and size ratios to enable building contiguous flat and 3-dimensional boards. This adds more fun and endless possibilities!
- Abstract: We designed the module to contain absolutely the minimum number of components. No connectors, wires or other excess material. This make our modules very lightweight, small and customizable for different applications. If you want connectors or other attachments, you can still add them there!
- Distributed Processing: An added benefit of the multi-processor system is that you have real parallel processing capabilities. If you design your system wisely, you can distribute your tasks on different modules and achieve higher performance than cramming them in a single large processor.
- Scalability: The wired-mesh concept is more scalable than any other board-level bus system. You can easily connect dozens of modules together without capacity or topology limitations.
- Front-end/Backend Separation: Hexabitz modules are split into a standardized backend responsible about communication and other background activities and a unique front-end that provides actual module functionality and changes from module to another. This clean separation makes the system very scalable and configurable. No matter the type of signals, ICs or manufacturers the frontend has, you only need to learn one system and use same backend and methodology to control all of them. This makes your Hexabitz code extremely modular and portable and makes swapping modules with totally different ones a breeze!