MATLAB and Simulink updated - Embedded.com

MATLAB and Simulink updated

Release 13 of the MathWorks family of software brings togetherMATLAB 6.5 and Simulink 5. The latest version of MATLAB includes JITAcceleration, which provides faster execution, making it analternative to manual coding in C for technical computingapplications. Simulink 5 provides support for multi-domain modellingand simulation coupled with embedded target support, creating anenvironment for the end-to-end process of embedded system design.

Release 13 includes 10 new products and upgrades of more than 33other products.

MATLAB provides an environment for exploring technical ideas anddeveloping algorithms that solve complex problems. TheJIT-Accelerator technology, enables programs to run faster, in somecases, hundreds of times faster than before.

It enables a single environment throughout projects, with theoption to automatically deploy algorithms and applications as C/C++code, Excel add-ins, and COM objects.

MATLAB 6.5 also adds support for 64bit file handles which providesthe ability to work ondata files greater than 2Gbytes. There is simproved automation client (ActiveX/COM controls) interface with anew user interface provided for viewing and modifying properties withenhanced event and exception handling and new support for passingarguments by reference.

With Release 13, Simulink addresses the end-to-end developmentprocess from system-level modelling to embedded-software codegeneration.

Simulink 5 provides enhancements including multi-domain modellingfor mechanical, electrical power, and wireless systems; productioncode generation for microcontrollers; and, major improvements in DSPcode generation.

Screen showing the steps in the design of a power window for anautomotive application including the ability to show design inaction.

These enhancements address the key steps in embedded-systemdevelopment, including modelling the physical behaviours of realsystems, designing software algorithms, and generating code that isas efficient and compact as hand-written code for targetprocessors.

The MathWorks has increased its coverage of processors with anembedded target for the Texas Instruments C6000 DSP platform beingadded to that for the Motorola MPC555 (see Embedded Systems, June2002 page 26).

The TI embedded target simplifies software design and analysis byenabling efficient code to be generated directly from The MathWorksenvironment.

Blocks can be used in Simulink, DSP Blockset and CommunicationsBlockset to develop a hierarchical block diagram of a DSP algorithm,and then Real-Time Workshop can be used to create unambiguous,executable specifications of the algorithm that can be optimised byDSP software engineers. It produces documented C code in CodeComposer Studio project format.

Aerospace Blockset has been introduced in release 13 and builds onthe foundation of Simulink to provide specialised tools formodelling, integrating and simulating aircraft, space craft, missileand propulsion systems or subsystems.

SimMechanics has been enhanced to enable engineers to model andsimulate mechanical systems in the Simulink environment.

Published in Embedded Systems (Europe) September2002

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