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Compact prototyping unit for the laboratory

MicroLabBox is an all-in-one development system for the laboratory that combines compact size and low system costs with high performance and versatility.

  • Intelligent Drilling

    Simulating extreme environmental conditions for control units

    Schlumberger Ltd.

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  • Fast Control for Three-Phase Synchronous Motors with an EnDat 2.2 Interface on MicroLabBox

    Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences

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  • Chain-Free Cycling

    Serial hybrid drive for bicycles
    Institut für Automatisierung und Informatik GmbH (IAI)

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  • Press Release: Paderborn, February 11, 2015:

    dSPACE has introduced a new, compact control system development platform for laboratory use, MicroLabBox, that offers high computing power and comprehensive functionalities. MicroLabBox makes creating, optimizing and testing controllers, and implementing data acquisition applications easy and cost-efficient for both industry and academia.

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  • Compact power in the lab

    With MicroLabBox, dSPACE introduces an entirely new system – a compact development system for laboratory use that is very powerful and versatile, despite its low system costs and small size. Over 100 channels of different I/O types and a combination of real-time processor and FPGA provide the versatility needed in research and development. This lets you implement control, test and data acquisition applications quickly, simply and costeffectively.

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Application Areas

MicroLabBox lets you set up your control, test or measurement applications quickly and easily, and helps you turn your new control concepts into reality. More than 100 I/O channels of different types make MicroLabBox a versatile system that can be used in mechatronic research and development areas, such as robotics, medical engineering, electric drives control, renewable energy, vehicle engineering, or aerospace.

Key Benefits

High computation power combined with very low I/O latencies provide great real-time performance. A programmable FPGA gives you a high degree of flexibility and lets you run even extremely fast control loops, as required in applications such as electric motor control or active noise and vibration cancellation.

MicroLabBox is supported by a comprehensive dSPACE software package, including, e.g., Real-Time Interface (RTI) for Simulink® for model-based I/O integration and the experiment software ControlDesk, which provides access to the real-time application during run time by means of graphical instruments.

MicroLabBox, top panel variant with spring-cage terminal blocks

Versatility through Connector Panel Variants 

MicroLabBox is available in three connector panel variants, offering different types and/or positions of the I/O connectors. The front panel variant provides Sub-D connectors at the front to access the connectors of the MicroLabBox when it is included in a stack of laboratory equipment or easily switch between wire harnesses. The top panel variant is available with two different connector types and is ideal for desk use.

Equipped with BNC and Sub-D connectors, the top panel MicroLabBox allows easy access to the analog I/O channels via probes that are typically used in laboratories to offer high analog signal quality. Additionally, a top panel variant with spring-cage terminal blocks, which are often used in industrial automation, is available. This means, signal connections can be changed very fast and conveniently by means of a common push-in and release mechanism of the clamp with a standard screwdriver. To make wiring and signal tracing as user-friendly as possible, all panel variants show the pinout information on the unit itself. The pinout information is also displayed in the I/O blocks of the implementation software Real-Time Interface (RTI).

Overview of MicroLabBox variants: Front-panel variant (left), Top-panel variant (right)


Parameter Specification
MicroLabBox Front Panel Variant Top Panel Variant with BNC Connectors Top Panel Variant with Spring-Cage Terminal Blocks
Processor Real-time processor NXP (Freescale) QorlQ P5020, dual-core, 2 GHz 32 KB L1 data cache per core, 32 KB L1 instruction cache per core, 512 KB L2 cache per core, 2 MB L3 cache total
Host communi­cation co-processor NXP (Freescale) QorlQ P1011 800 MHz for communication with host PC
Memory 1 GB DRAM 128 MB flash memory
Boot time Autonomous booting of applications from flash (depending on application size), ~5 s for a 5 MB application
Inter­faces Host interface Integrated Gigabit Ethernet host interface
  Ethernet real- time I/O interface Integrated low-latency Gigabit Ethernet I/O interface
USB interface USB 2.0 interface for data logging ("flight recorder") and booting applications via USB mass storage device (max. 32 GB supported)
CAN interface 2 CAN channels (partial networking supported)
Serial interface 2 x UART (RS232/422/485) interface
LVDS interface 1 x LVDS interface to connect with the Programmable Generic Interface PGI1
Programmable FPGA1) Xilinx® Kintex®-7 XC7K325T FPGA
Analog input Resolution and type 8 14-bit channels, 10 Msps, differential; functionality: free running mode 24 16-bit channels, 1 Msps, differential; functionality: single conversion and burst conversion mode with different trigger and interrupt options
Input voltage range -10 ... 10 V
Analog output Resolution and type 16 16-bit channels, 1 Msps, settling time: 1 µs
Output voltage range -10 ... 10 V
Output current ± 8 mA
Digital I/O 48 bidirectional channels, 2.5/3.3/5 V (single-ended); functionality: bit I/O, PWM generation and measurement (10 ns resolution), pulse generation and measurement (10 ns resolution), 4 x SPI Master 12 bidirectional channels (RS422/485 type) to connect sensors with differential interfaces
Electric motor control I/O functionality Separate interfaces 2 x Resolver interface
  Functionality on digital I/O channels 6 x Encoder sensor input
2 x Hall sensor input
2 x EnDat interface
2 x SSI interface
Synchronous multi-channel PWM
Block commutational
Sensor supply Sensor supply 1 x 12 V, max. 3 W/250 mA (fixed)
1 x 2 ... 20 V, max. 1 W/200 mA (variable)
Feedback elements Programmable buzzer
Programmable status LEDs
Theft protection Kensington® lock
Cooling Active cooling (temperature-controlled fan)
Physical connections 4 x Sub-D 50 I/O connectors
4 x Sub-D 9 I/O connectors
2 x Sub-D 50 I/O connectors
48 x BNC I/O connectors
4 x Sub-D 9 I/O connectors
2 x Sub-D 9 I/O connectors
27 x spring-cage terminal block connectors with 8 pins each
  3 x RJ45 for Ethernet (host and I/O)
USB Type A (for data logging)
2 x 2 banana connectors for sensor supply
Power supply


1) User-programmable via RTI FPGA Programming Blockset. Using the RTI FPGA Programming Blockset requires additional software.

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