Pictorus vs Simulink

A comprehensive comparison

Pictorus was designed from the ground up as a modern take on the digital signal processing, control software, and dynamic simulation that engineers sought in tools like Simulink by Mathworks for decades. With a specific focus on code generation for hardware targets, engineers will tend to prefer the simplicity and flexibility of Pictorus for real hardware systems to which they need to deploy production-grade software.

Pictorus also embraces more forward-looking software paradigms - open source Rust instead of black-box C, browser-based collaboration, and over-the-air deployments + telemetry - significant differentiators from legacy tools.

Reasons to choose Pictorus over Simulink

Cloud-native platform

Pictorus moved the entire development experience into the browser, allowing engineers to work from any location with an internet connection. You no longer need to hassle with system-specific installations or license keys. Simple pricing and free tier access make it easy to get started and expand your features as needed.

Real-time feedback

Pictorus compiles and updates software over the air, in real time. Additionally, every application ships with real-time telemetry streaming baked in. This enables rapid prototyping and debugging, ensuring your software performs as expected in real-world scenarios. With Pictorus, any authenticated laptop can connect and get telemetry from a remote hardware component instantly, and there's no complicated configuration.

Code safety and performance

Pictorus has adopted the Rust ecosystem for code generation, inheriting the memory safety and thread safety guaranteed by Rust. Simulink primarily relies on C-code, which is being rapidly sunset in many engineering industries in favor of the safer and easier to develop Rust language. Enterprises can enable additional aerospace or automotive safety standards, such as ISO 26262 (ASIL D) and IEC 61508 (SIL 4). Certification for DO-178C, ISO 21434, and IEC 62278 is slated for mid-2024.

Your Simulink alternative

Modernizing Software Development for Hardware

Let's dig deeper into the comparison between Pictorus and Simulink, taking a closer look at several key factors that influence software development for hardware integration.

Code compiler
Free for all users
Multiple licenses required
Source code
Included in basic subscription
Multiple licenses required
Real-time collaboration in browser + GitHub integration
Primarily through Revision Control
Deploying software
Automatic, over-the-air deployment in real-time
Manual, with dedicated hardware connected to device
Real-time, over-the-air, for all applications
Primarily local telemetry visualization
Large applications and simulations
Scalable cloud servers
Need to set up your own high-performance build and simulation system
Free for individuals. Flexible pricing for teams
Expensive, per-head desktop licenses and toolbox add-ons
Open Source
Paid users can customize core block code and can integrate open source libraries
Blocks and toolboxes mostly "black box" solutions
Utilizes Python, allowing free open source scripting
MATLAB for scripting - license is required to use Simulink
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Can IĀ use Pictorus for free?

You sure can! We've eliminated all barriers to entry, and we want you to start prototyping today. Pictorus is completely free for individuals. Smaller teams who need some of our enterprise functionality can do so with reasonably-priced subscriptions at a noticeable discount from Simulink. Large enterprise teams will appreciate the simpler pricing and license maintenance too.

What do I need to get started?

Just your laptop! You can sign up for free now and start prototyping software and simulations to your heart's content. However, Pictorus really shines when you have hardware in the loop. Single board computers, such as Jetsons, BeagleBones, and RaspberryPis (anything with a Linux OS) can be registered to your account with one command, allowing you to push software to your hardware painlessly.

Why does Pictorus generate Rust code?

The Rust Language is quickly becoming the new standard for software applications where reliability and performance are paramount. It also has a powerful Hardware Abstraction Layer for integrating with your devices. We're focusing on the future, and think you'll be amazed when your applications never crash or leak memory, and perform as well or better than C/C++.

What if my existing project is in C, C++, or Python?

Great! Pictorus apps can be configured to generate externally-callable function bindings for those languages. We also export static libaries. So your existing application can compile with and make function calls to your Pictorus apps.

How about embedded microcontrollers?

Embedded support is in early Beta testing, so teams interested in a pilot project should reach out to us. We currently support a selection of STM32 microcontrollers, with plans to add support for more in the near future.

When is Pictorus NOT the right tool?

We focus on discrete time software that needs to run on real hardware. A lot of legacy Simulink models use continuous time, which is fantastic for modeling complex physics but not practical for most software applications. So, advanced simulations that don't need to control real hardware are better modeled using Simulink.

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Experience the future of end-to-end robotics programming.

Build apps in browser
Deploy directly to devices
Export binary executables
See telemetry in real time
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