MICROGen MPC565 and Touchscreen
MICROGen is Simulink programmable controller hardware for use in Rapid Control Prototyping. There are two variants of MICROGen – MICROGen MPC565 and MICROGen for IoT.
MICROGen MPC565 offers 5 CAN ports, 2 LIN ports, and 56 on-board discrete I/O. MICROGen for IoT offers an expanded range of communication, including WIFI, Bluetooth and automotive Ethernet.
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.
MICROGen for IoT
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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MICROGen for IoT allows you to develop Simulink® control models, test them, and make amendments quickly in an iterative process. It has enhanced processing capability and an expanded range of communication – including WiFi, Bluetooth and automotive Ethernet – allowing for rapid prototyping of connected vehicle control algorithms.
The MICROGen Developer Kit allows Simulink® control models to be implemented including real-world re-configurable I/O. VISUALCONNX then allows these models to be transferred to the physical system, and for control GUIs to be quickly created.
MICROGen for IoT also offers a range of traditional automotive I/O including analogue in/out, digital in/out, and PWM – much of which is re-configurable in software.
So, MICROGen for IoT is a powerful, reusable tool that speeds up the embedded controls development for V2X and autonomous applications.
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.
Custom boards are available for closed-loop current measurement applications and for systems requiring I/O up to a maximum of 114.
It features 12 ‘Genix’ inputs – add2’s patented technology – offering electrical interface reconfiguration under software control. These can change between analogue and digital input, offer pull up or pull down and can alter the load impedance, the gain and filtering characteristics.
They may also be used as pulse width or frequency inputs. Real-time parameters and signals can be easily viewed or changed using VISUALCONNX – our real-time systems interface creation package- ensuring the build and download cycle is quick and easy to achieve.
The MICROGen can allow communications between incompatible networks. Communications gateways are efficient solutions for exchanging information over two or more communications buses. Typical applications are when devices using the LIN protocol need to communicate with devices using CAN.
It can gateway between different protocols, thanks to its physical layer support for High Speed CAN, LIN, RS485 and RS232. A wide range of commonly used protocols can also be integrated, allowing MICROGen to convert incoming information for onward transmission, broadening compatibility between disparate systems and their networks.
Therefore, MICROGen can be used by engineers who want to focus on their testing and development by using Simulink® for real-time testing and simulation. It provides a cost-effective alternative to bespoke hardware in low volume control system applications, serving as the real world interface to a hardware-in-the-loop simulation test setup, or an intelligent node in a distributed test or control system.
Configurable test interface
MICROGen provides a complete hardware solution to an ECU that meets automotive specifications that can be programmed from within Simulink® and Stateflow using the Real-Time Workshop from The MathWorks.
The unit has a small, rugged construction and has been designed to be highly configurable both in terms of on-board signal conditioning and in terms of easy access to user switches, as well as on-board memory.
Built-in signal conditioning interfaces directly with automotive voltages and is capable of withstanding the abuse of erroneous connections. The unit is highly expandable through the use of plug-in expansion boards that can stack together, increasing the number of I/O available and ultimately, boosting functionality.
MICROGen can be deployed in a variety of environments, thanks to its shock and vibration resistance. The unit is also resistant to spray or rain. External brackets may optionally be fitted to secure the unit to a vehicle, whereas for desktop use, small feet are available to prevent damage to the work surface.
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.
Expansions and Extras
The 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:
■ 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.
Benefits of using MICROGen
Five CAN channels are included in the MICROGen unit and all are high speed.
A choice of LIN, RS232 and RS485 is available with other protocols such as ARINC, n1553, ProfiBus, MOST and USB available, via adapters.
Flexible and scalable real-world I/O
Genix technology allows 56 flexible I/O channels to be made available, expandable up to 114 with custom boards.
Whether the requirement is for a few channels or a hundred, an option is available.
MICROGen has a 16-character LCD display which can be programmed to display a variety of messages.
There’s also a sounder for audible warnings and ten fully customisable, discreet LEDs.
The unit is built to withstand harsh environmental effects when being used in the field.
Operating temperatures range from 40°C to +85°C and the unit is protected against shock and vibration, up to 10Hz.
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