ESPlot: Open source software for drawing real-time, high-speed signals of embedded systems

Facing the demand for drawing high-speed (or large amounts of data) signals (usually used in embedded system applications and real-time), Saarland University, Germany has developed its own software called ESPlot.

ESPlot Communicate with the microcontroller board through a custom serial protocol. In applications where the microcontroller is performing a real-time process, the signal can be streamed to the computer in a synchronous manner, and data can be sent to the real-time process in an asynchronous manner.

ESPlot allows to record and plot signals on the screen through time graph, FFT graph and X/Y graph.

ESPlot software for drawing real-time signal diagrams

ESPlot has been developed in Qt to support multiple platforms, and it is hardware accelerated by OpenGL.

Since it has been designed to provide high performance, a system with a multi-core CPU and 4 GB RAM and a dedicated GPU supporting OpenGL 3.2 is required.

Features of ESPlot

This is the main function of ESPlot:

  • Stream and record real-time signals
  • Time graph, XY graph, FFT graph
  • Ability to send commands to the microcontroller
  • Communication via serial interface
  • Oscilloscope functions, such as triggers, auto zoom, screenshots
  • External controllable recording function
  • Export data to Matlab for further processing
  • Multi-monitor support with multi-screen function
  • Fully personalizable GUI
  • OpenGL acceleration
  • Multi-thread support
  • Platform independent (library is written in C)
  • Support Windows 10 64 bit, Linux 64 bit, can compile software for ARM (such as Raspberry Pi)

Install ESPLot

Currently, ESPlot is suitable for Windows and Linux. The macOS version is under development.

For Linux, there is a tar xz file available. You can download, unzip and run executable files.

The software can actually interface with most microcontrollers, but it also provides code for classic Arduino boards.

All these things can be downloaded from its webpage:

Download ESPlot

The software is based on AGPL 3.0.You can get Source code is here.

in the end…

Since most other 3D hardware accelerated graphics are very expensive and not always customizable, if they meet their needs, ESPlot will be a good choice for people in this field.

I am not involved in this embedded system and microcontroller, so I cannot test it. But don’t let that stop you from trying it yourself.