Gluten-Free Virtual Prototyping

Selling what isn’t there is sometimes more effective than what is.


When marketing products, should you emphasize what is included in the product or what is not? These days it seems that for so many foods it has become more important to highlight what is not in the food rather than what is. With sugar-free drinks, alcohol-free cocktails, gluten-free bread and dairy-free milk, one might wonder what you should continue to eat or drink. In fact, you now often see food packaging with multiple lines of advertisement to indicate what is not in the food.

Maybe we need to adopt the same strategy for virtual prototyping. Now available: hardware-free software development. There is something to it. It actually helps customers easily identify how the product is different. If you need or want to avoid gluten you choices are limited and a big brightly colored message saying: “Gluten-free bread” avoids the need to check the contents of every bread package.


If you don’t have hardware available yet, you want to find that one alternative to help you develop software in the absence of a target hardware platform. So if you are working on a complex multi-core electronics design and can’t start software development until you have hardware available, don’t look any further. Virtual prototyping is the product for you. It has a nice colorful message saying: “Hardware-free software development”. Even better, you can continue to use your favorite debugger with a “hardware-free” target to start software development earlier than you could ever imagine.


Let’s embrace the marketing of products that are “missing” something. Hopefully the user will appreciate what he/she can get versus what he/she can’t get. Hardware may not be available yet, but virtual prototypes offer a nice early replacement with lots of control and debug visibility. Enjoy!