Electronic Design

Model-Based Approach Simplifies Embedded Application Design

Model-based design for embedded applications has been made easier with MATLAB 6, the latest version of The MathWorks' modeling tool. This release improves all related components, including Simulink 4, Stateflow 4, Real-Time Workshop 4, Stateflow Coder 4, and Control System Toolbox 5.

MATLAB 6 gives developers a complete graphical environment for building a model-based environment that can be turned into an embedded application for standard computing platforms. It also supports Xilinx's FPGA. Xilinx customized the MATLAB C code generator so designers can turn models into hardware.

Engineers are turning to model-based designs to reduce development time. They're also trying to take advantage of visualization of algorithms and data. Modeling is especially effective, but it's not restricted to signal processing and data analysis applications.

MATLAB 6's graphical user interface simplifies common design tasks. It supports new instrument interfaces and support for Java. The matrix computing and signal processing engines have been enhanced. Performance analysis, array editing, and gain tuning tools have been added. HTML reports can now be generated as well.

Simulink 4 now supports simulation of large, complex models. The model browser is Simulink's centerpiece (see the figure). One addition includes a graphical difference tool for comparing two models. The test coverage tool and a profiling tool are appreciated additions. Users can incorporate legacy C, Fortran, and Ada code into models as well.

Stateflow 4 supports event-driven logic and behavior modeling simulation. The dynamic multilevel transition connectivity feature is especially useful in large, complex models. Graphical functions have made it easier to create event schedules.

Real-Time Workshop 4 has added IP protections that let designers securely use third-party components. The Stateflow Coder 4 generates embeddable code from Simulink and Stateflow models. Code is comparable to handcoded applications. It can be tuned for parti-cular processors and operating systems.

Contact The MathWorks for pricing on MATLAB 6 and its components.

The Mathworks Inc., 3 Apple Hill Dr., Natick, MA 01760-2098, (508) 647-7000; fax (508) 647-7001; Internet: www.mathworks.com.

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