MICROGen Hardware

MICROGen Hardware

Whenever a control system needs to be developed or integrated, engineers can be faced with the tedious task of having to continuously edit and recompile software code to deliver new functionality. This results in development taking longer and project costs rising.

To counter this, a model-based design approach can often be used to develop control software, within an industry standard tool such as MATLAB Simulink®. This facilitates the creation of graphical models without the need for coding. The model can target a controller, which executes the model in real-time hardware, earlier in the design life cycle.

MICROGen provides a compact and flexible platform to verify new control strategies and test prototype software via RCP. It is a compilation of hardware and software that can function as a virtual ECU, modelled in Simulink®, and can integrate physically within prototype vehicles.

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Available upgrades

MICROGen is highly expandable through the use of plug-in expansion boards that stack together within the unit.

This opens up a a wealth of advanced functionality which is made available to the model running inside the MICROGen.

Options are available to provide closed loop current measurement, additional on-board memory and onboard signal conditioning.

A range of external LCD touch screens are also available.

MICROGen Cloud Expansion Board For Closed Loop PWM Current ControlThe MICROGen Cloud Board is specifically designed for closed-loop mid-current control applications.

It integrates current measurement functionality, synchronising PWM with current measurement which allows engineers to utilise closed loop current controlled output.

The Cloud board is factory fitted to use the existing PWM power drivers on the MICROGen, adding the ability to independently monitor the current of each PWM channel.

Using the analogue inputs provided in the flexiTARGET productivity toolbox representing the current, in conjunction with Simulink® PID control blocks, the cloud board can be used to adjust the PWM duty cycle from zero to maximum, according to the user’s control demand.

To support debugging, testing and calibration, VISUALCONNX can be used to perform diagnostics, tuning, monitoring or data logging functions for the cloud board.

The MICROGen Rainbow Board allows engineers to enjoy up to 58 additional inputs and outputs, many of which are configurable under software control. There are many enhanced I/O types available when using the Rainbow I/O expansion board, including:

MICROGen Rainbow Expansion Board High Volume High Capability I/O For RCP Isolated ultra high current bridge drivers
■ Optically isolated analogue outputs (drive-by-wire applications)
■ Enhanced high resolution analogue inputs
■ Timer processor I/O (PWM and frequency I/O, quadrature Sensors)
■ Additional analogue inputs
■ Additional sensor reference supplies

This allows for the accommodation of more complex control models to be executed within the MICROGen.

A range of external LCD touch screens are available which are compatible with MICROGen and the external display flexiTARGET block.

VISUALCONNX, our real-time interface creation software, can be used to design screen layouts and export the relevant information ready for use in the MICROGen Simulink® model. The screens can even be tested in VISUALCONNX before deploying onto the LCD hardware.

To make the best GUIs, a combination of static and dynamic controls can be used, pre-loading each screen into the flash memory of the LCD unit and only sending real-time values to the display as required.

Benefits of using a touch screen alongside MICROGen include the ability to view more information in a clear format, a rich set of graphics to present data and fingertip touch control to interact with interfaces and calibrate components.

MICROGen Rapid Control Prototyping & Gateway Controller

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