How to connect software with hardware

When we speak about hardware, we usually connect it with building physical objects — cars, phones, refrigerators, etc. Sometimes we (at least I) forget that hardware isn’t always in the physical object — it’s also virtual. In this article, I want to share a few tips of how to connect software with hardware.

If you’re an industrial designer, developer or engineer (which can mean programming hardware, software, or both), connecting software to hardware is easy! Unfortunately, many hobbyists are stuck on this hurdle. Don’t give up hope! We’re here to help! This post is going to explain the basics of interconnecting software and hardware through virtual COM ports.

How to connect software with hardware

If you’ve ever tried to create a simple piece of software, you know that there’s a lot more to it than just writing code. In order for your software to run on a computer or other device, it needs to be able to communicate with that device in some way. This is called “connecting” or “interfacing.”

The first step of connecting software with hardware is deciding what kind of interface you’ll use. There are several different types, but we’ll focus on the most popular ones here:

Direct memory access (DMA)

Input/output (I/O)


You can learn more about each of these by reading our article on how processors work. For now, though, let’s just say that DMA interfaces are fast but limited in their memory capacity; I/O interfaces are slower but have unlimited memory capacity; and interrupts are somewhere in between.

Once you’ve decided which type of interface you want to use, you need to decide on an implementation strategy—that is, how exactly your program will communicate with the hardware device it’s connected to. There are three main strategies for implementing an interface: polling, interrupt handling, and direct memory access (DMA). If

To connect software with hardware, you need to install the appropriate drivers for your computer and the device. This is done by going into your computer’s control panel and selecting the “Device Manager” option. The Device Manager will allow you to see all of your devices, including their model numbers and which drivers are installed for each one.

You can then select the device from this list and uninstall the current driver. You will then be prompted to install a new one based on what type of device it is. If you do not know what type of driver your computer needs for a particular device, check with the manufacturer to see if they provide any information about how to connect that specific peripheral to your system.

Solution 1

It depends on what you are doing, what hardware you are trying to connect, what operating system you are trying to use, what programming language, what framework etc. Try posting some actual details of your problem. I would expect that if you are good at programming you would have at least a basic understanding of the interface between software and hardware.


Posted 11-Oct-20 3:46am

Richard MacCutchan

Solution 2

As Richard says, there are far to many variables: just think about how many different ways there are to “connect” hardware to hardware: RS232, RsS485, LAN, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB, NFC, … the list goes on. And each device which its connected needs to talk to software, and that will depend on the hardware connection, plus the software in the “remote” device.

So we can;t tell you “do this and it’ll work” – we have no idea about any of the details of your communications.

I’d start with the hardware you want your software to connect to: talk to the manufacturers and see what they has on their website: many will even have sample code which should be a starting point for you.

Good luck!


Posted 11-Oct-20 4:03am


Solution 3

A lot of hardware manufacturers have SDK’s that you sometimes can download for free from their websites, so go to the website of the manufacturer and search for “SDK”.

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