RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products, has signed an exclusive agreement with Red Pitaya, an important new contender in the test and measurement arena, to distribute the fledgling company’s first ground-breaking product: a single board, open instrumentation and control platform which replaces many expensive laboratory instruments at a price tag of less than $500.
Red Pitaya has seen incredible support from the wider engineering community following a Kickstarter funding campaign, where the target was achieved five-fold. The early interest in Red Pitaya can be attributed to the unique ecosystem approach, combining an Xilinx-based hardware platform with an open-source online repository of applications such as a waveform generator, oscilloscope and spectrum analyser.
The Red Pitaya Ecosystem consists of:
• A credit card-sized, reconfigurable instrument that performs signal processing on an onboard Xilinx Zynq™ system-on-chip (SoC) that combines the software programmability of a dual ARM Cortex™-A9 MPCore with the hardware programmability of an FPGA, to provide unrivalled system performance. The instrument features two RF analogue I/O, four lower-bandwidth analogue I/O, as well as 16 general-purpose digital I/O ports. It supports Ethernet and includes a Micro SD slot;
• The Bazaar cloud marketplace, a set of open-source test and measurement applications whose initial out-of-the-box instruments include an oscilloscope, a spectrum analyser, and arbitrary waveform generator, that can be accessed in most Web browsers from a tablet or personal computer;
• The Backyard – a repository of corresponding open-source code, instructions for use, and tools for further development, enabling the engineering community to share and collaborate on new applications.
Red Pitaya aims to stimulate independence and creativity, and make instrumentation open and accessible to a much wider cross-section of users spanning enthusiasts, ham radio operators, education and start-ups, in addition to established research and industry users.
The first commercial production of the Red Pitaya instrument and applications will be available exclusively from RS later this year. Red Pitaya is based on the GNU/Linux operating system and can be programmed at different levels using a variety of software interfaces, including: HDL, C/C++, scripting languages, and HTML-based web interfaces.
“Red Pitaya is a truly innovative idea that is set to transform the test and measurement space,” said Philip Dock, Global Head of Product & Supplier Management at RS Components. “It is a compact and powerful building block for T&M applications, yet with a price tag of less than $500 it will be the first instrumentation product to hit the market that is accessible to the masses. It is exciting to be involved in the inaugural product launch, as sole distributor, and we really cannot emphasise enough the impact it is going to have on the lives of anyone interested in this field, whether as a low-cost replacement for use by experienced professionals, or as a teaching tool for budding engineers.”
“Partnering with RS Components will allow Red Pitaya to focus on what it does best, developing innovative instruments and supporting ecosystem to replace many expensive laboratory instruments. We believe that this will enable a community of developers, whose unleashed creativity will result in original and better instruments,” said Borut Bari?evi?, Red Pitaya Co-founder and Product Manager.
Red Pitaya was founded, in June 2013, by four engineers with a background in robotics and high-performance diagnostics and instrumentation for particle accelerators. The start-up secured more than $255,000 of funding from the Kickstarter project last year, corroborating strong industry support for the company’s innovative approach to product development in the test and measurement sector.