Opal-RT Launches HILBOX FX FPGA Accelerator for xPC Target

Opal-RT Technologies Inc., the leading provider of PC-based distributed real-time simulation and hardware-in-the-loop testing systems, announced HILBOX FX, an FPGA processor-based solution that integrates industrial computer systems using xPC Target from The Mathwork Inc.

xPC Target provides a high-performance, host-target prototyping environment that enables the connection of Simulink and Stateflow models to physical systems and subsequent execution in real time on PC-compatible hardware. xPC Target includes proven capabilities for rapid prototyping and hardware-in-the-loop simulation of control systems. xPC Target enables the engineer to add I/O interface blocks to models, automatically generate code with Real-Time Workshop and Stateflow Coder, and download the code to a second PC running the xPC Target real-time kernel.

HILBOX FX uses an FPGA-based interface to connect directly to DIO and fast 16-bit analog converter and signal conditioning modules. High speed FPGA-based IO can be controlled directly by SIMULINK models running between 120 and 150 microseconds on a standard PC processor. Complex models and signal processing functions can also be developed with SIMULINK and a XILINX System Generator and downloaded to an FPGA processor to execute models with time steps below 500 nanoseconds. A rich library of IO functions and power electronic drive with PMSM motor models will be available for HILBOX FX users in the first half of 2008.

“xPC Target has long been an effective and easy-to-use solution for engineers seeking to conduct hardware-in-the loop simulation of physical control systems,” said Jean Belanger, President of Opal-RT Technologies Inc. “By taking advantage of the superior performance capabilities offered by FPGA processing technology, HILBOX FX provides xPC Target users with an affordable hardware platform for conducting simulation and rapid control prototyping, both in the lab, and out in the field.”

HILBOX FX can be configured as a rapid control prototyping (RCP) system interfaced with physical hardware systems through the use of Opal-RT OP5000 series IO products to test control algorithms used in automotive, aerospace and industrial applications. An extensive array of available professional hardware and software components enables HILBOX FX to be configured as a high- performance HIL simulation system directly interfaced with pre-production electronic control units or RCP.

In addition to HILBOX FX, Opal-RT xPC-enabled HIL systems are available in a variety of chassis configurations including the rugged and robust Micro-Box from TeraSoft Inc. Providers of system integration services and hardware solutions, Taiwan-based Terasoft is also a Mathworks and Opal-RT technology partner.

Micro-Box, recently launched by TeraSoft and distributed by Opal-RT, works seamlessly with MATLAB, Simulink, and xPC Target to model physical systems and execute them in real-time under harsh environments. Micro-Box supports TCP/IP along with various PC/104-based IO solutions for A/D and D/A, Digital IO, and counters (PWM). Micro-Box can also be used for linear control, motor control, or any classical or advanced control theory such as PID, LQR, neural networks, or fuzzy system.

A number of HILBOX FX software options will be available from Opal-RT including:

  • RT-EVENTS blockset compatible with SIMULINK to generate and capture events occurring between the main model time steps and to implement dynamic models having states changing based on external events (available Q1, 2008)
  • XSGeDRIVE Library of ready-to-used IGBT converters and PMSM motor model executed on OP5130 FPGA boards with time step below 500 nanoseconds and event stamping at 10 nanoseconds. (available Q2, 2008)
  • ORCHESTRA xPC: Publish and Subscribe interface enabling the interconnection of several xPC RCP systems to complex mechanical and electrical plant models implemented with SimPowerSystems and multi-processor RT-LAB eDRIVEsim and eMEGAsim systems. (available Q2, 2008)

About Opal-RT Technologies Inc.
Founded in 1997, Opal-RT is the leading supplier of integrated software and hardware solutions for real-time simulation and hardware-in-the-loop testing of electrical and mechanical systems. Opal-RT’s unique approach integrates parallel, distributed computing with commercial-off-the-shelf technologies. Opal-RT customers perform rapid-prototyping, system integration and hardware-in-the-loop testing of mechatronics, automotive, transportation, spacecraft and aircraft systems as well as electric drives, power electronics and power distribution networks used in all products, industries including utilities. Opal-RT solutions can be found in leading International companies in the automotive, aerospace, energy and power generation industries including AISIN, BMW, Daimler Chrysler, Delphi, DENSO, EADS, Embraer, Ford, GM, Hitachi, Mitsubishi and Toyota.

RT-LAB, HILBOX FX, eDRIVEsim, eMEGASim, RT-Events, Orchestra xPC, XSGeDRIVE are trademarks of Opal-RT Technologies Inc. Micro-Box, Simulink, MATLAB, RTW, xPC Target, Real Time Workshop, and Stateflow are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.