Know Everything About a Dev Board the Instant You Plug It In

January 25, 2019 Rich Nass

I’m not a cynic, but I know I come across that way sometimes. It’s more that I’m skeptical, because I continually hear, “it’s the best thing ever” or some form of that. And even when I do think something is for real, I’ll play devil’s advocate to try and poke holes in it.

That said, when I took a test drive with On Semiconductor’s Strata product, it was one of the few times when I said, “Wow.”

Strata, or more specifically, the Strata Developer Studio, is a cloud-based development platform that provides engineers with a way to instantly evaluate and design with On Semi’s products.

In a nutshell, you start up the Strata software, plug in a development board and pretty much anything you need to know about the components on that board pop up in front of you. And it works in real time, meaning that you can flip switches, change inputs and so on, and get real outputs. You also get all the datasheets, reference designs, and associated literature for everything that’s on that board.

When I got my first view of this (driven by someone at On Semi), I assumed I was viewing a canned demo. But when I got to try it out for myself, I realized that whatever board I plugged in, all the information was at my fingertips. I can’t think of a better way to evaluate products in such a short time frame.

On Semi says that any new board the company introduces will be “Strata-ready,” meaning that it’ll be automatically recognized by the Strata platform when plugged in. That’s a pretty tall order seeing as how many dev boards the company comes up with. And in some cases, they’ll go back and bring existing products into the platform, particularly the more popular ones.

This quick video shows the capabilities of the software:

The system seems to work so well I assumed there was a catch—there’s that “skepticism” thing coming out—like maybe they charge for this information going forward. You know, get ‘em hooked for free at first, then charge them later. But the On Semi folks assure me that there are no plans to do that.

All you’re on the hook for is giving up your name and contact information. In my opinion, that’s a small price to pay for the features you’re getting, especially since the company is complying with all General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standards, which I can attest to, are pretty strict.

On Semi plans to add a customer registration service so it can customize the information services that are sent to people to maintain the highest forms of accuracy, meaning that you receive information that you really care about. Users will have the ability to opt in or out of this feature.

I suggest you give it a whirl.

About the Author

Rich Nass

Richard Nass is the Executive Vice-President of OpenSystems Media. His key responsibilities include setting the direction for all aspects of OpenSystems Media’s Embedded and IoT product portfolios, including web sites, e-newsletters, print and digital magazines, and various other digital and print activities. He was instrumental in developing the company's on-line educational portal, Embedded University. Previously, Nass was the Brand Director for UBM’s award-winning Design News property. Prior to that, he led the content team for UBM Canon’s Medical Devices Group, as well all custom properties and events in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Nass has been in the engineering OEM industry for more than 25 years. In prior stints, he led the Content Team at EE Times, handling the Embedded and Custom groups and the TechOnline DesignLine network of design engineering web sites. Nass holds a BSEE degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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