To help automotive customers streamline model-based software development, Freescale is now making available its rapid prototyping RAppID ToolBox for the its 32-bit MPC5500 automotive microcontroller (MCU) family.
According to Salim Momin, director of Freescale's Virtual Garage software and services business unit, the RAppID ToolBox is designed to help control engineers reduce development time and cost when migrating from their application modeling environment to real-world implementations on automotive MCU platforms intended for production.
It is specifically designed for the rapid prototyping of automotive applications, such as engine and transmission control, anti-lock braking systems and chassis/suspension systems. He said developers also can use the toolbox for non-automotive applications ranging from avionic systems to industrial printers to power generators.
“Control engineers often validate their control models functionally by running auto-generated C code on commercially available rapid prototyping hardware,” said Momin. “However, the prototyping hardware usually does not represent the MCU targeted for production. As a result, the engineers may not know the control algorithm's actual performance on the production MCU.
“In addition, engineers prefer to run their control algorithms on target MCUs early in the development cycle to validate their device selection. However, this can be a difficult, time-consuming task if they have to write the nitialization, device drivers and scheduler code by hand, which adds to the development cycle time.”
Using the profiling feature of the RAppID ToolBox, he said, application developers can study the performance of their control strategy on the target microcontroller early in the design cycle.
Designed for rapid prototyping on evaluation boards for MPC5500 family devices, such as the MPC5554 MCU, the toolbox incorporates optimized DSP blocks enable developers to take advantage of the single-instruction/multiple-data (SIMD) capabilities of the MPC5554.
The RAppID ToolBox leverages the powerful modeling and simulation environment provided by The MathWorks product family with an add-on blockset for MATLAB and Simulink, and an embedded target for Real-Time Workshop' and Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder. It supports Signal Processing Toolbox for optimized single instruction multiple data (SIMD) functions and Stateflow for interactive design and simulation.
The toolbox automatically generates the necessary software, from initialization to device drivers to schedulers, including support for Freescale's OSEKturbo real-time operating system (RTOS). The toolbox-generated code integrates seamlessly with commercial automatic code generation tools, such as TargetLink from dSPACE and Real-Time Workshop and Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder.
RAppID system is available for use with Microsoft Windows NT, 2000 and XP on desktops and workstations with a minimum of 512MB RAM and a 1 GHz processor.
The first RAppID ToolBox offering for the MPC5554 MCU is available now from Freescale's Virtual Garage. Software support for additional MPC5500 family devices is planned for the future.