FPGA Programming Blockset

Integrating FPGA models in dSPACE systems

The FPGA Programming Blockset is a Simulink blockset for using a FPGA model created with a dSPACE system using the Xilinx® Vitis™ Model Composer HDL Library, the former Xilinx® System Generator Blockset.

The end of life of the dSPACE PHS (peripheral high-speed) hardware for modular systems is planned for December 31, 2024. You can still buy the related products up to and including December 31, 2021. New Releases of dSPACE software will still support the dSPACE PHS hardware for modular systems until at least the end of 2023. Although the FPGA Programming Blockset still supports PHS hardware, we advise against using the PHS hardware products in new projects. For new projects we recommend that you use SCALEXIO, the latest dSPACE technology for modular real-time systems.

  • Preprocessing and postprocessing of processor signals

    With the FPGA Programming Blockset 22.2, it is possible to embed Simulink functions in an FPGA container. The FPGA container can therefore contain preprocessing and postprocessing components. These components let you also process data exchanged between the FPGA and the computation node (CN) directly on the CN and/or during the data exchange between the FPGA and CN application.

Application Areas

The FPGA Programming Blockset is a Simulink blockset for using a FPGA model created with a dSPACE system using the Xilinx® Vitis™ Model Composer HDL Library, the former Xilinx® System Generator Blockset. It provides blocks for implementing the interface between the FPGA mounted on a dSPACE board and its I/O, and the interface between the dSPACE FPGA board and its computation node (CN).

The blockset can be used with the following dSPACE FPGA platforms, which provide user-programmable FPGAs:

  • DS2655 FPGA Base Board and its I/O modules
  • DS6601/DS6602 FPGA Base Boards and their I/O modules
  • MicroAutoBox II 1401/1511/1514 and 1401/1513/1514 extended with I/O modules
  • MicroAutoBox III 1403/1511/1514 and 1403/1513/1514 extended with I/O modules
  • MicroLabBox

Typical application scenarios for rapid control prototyping (RCP) and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation are:

  • Projects in the automotives, industrial automation, medical engineering, and aerospace industries
  • Signal preprocessing, adapting new interfaces, very fast control loops, designing and testing new concepts for electrified powertrains

Key Benefits

The dSPACE FPGA platforms provide a Xilinx® FPGA for which you can implement an application graphically by using Xilinx® Vitis™ Model Composer HDL Library, the former Xilinx® System Generator Blockset in Simulink. The FPGA Programming Blockset lets you integrate the resulting FPGA model in a Simulink model that runs on dSPACE hardware. The FPGA Programming Blockset gives you a convenient way to connect the I/O board’s I/O driver components and to model the connection to a processor-based computation node (SCALEXIO processing hardware, MicroLabBox or MicroAutoBox). The data exchange supports fixed-point data types as well as floating-point data types. Thus, FPGA programming is seamlessly integrated into the Simulink environment. With the FPGA blockset, you can synthesize, build, and program the FPGA or processor directly from Simulink for optimal convenience. During run time, you can access variables to trace or modify them, without having to modify the model.

Alternatively, the handcode interface lets you program the FPGA boards in VHSIC Hardware Description Language (VHDL) or Verilog.

Optional Hardware Boards and Variants
  • DS2655 FPGA Base Board
  • DS6601 FPGA Base Board
  • DS6602 FPGA Base Board
  • I/O modules:
  • MicroAutoBox II with FPGA:
    I/O Modules for MicroAutoBox II
  • MicroAutoBox III with FPGA:
    I/O Modules for MicroAutoBox III
  • Front or Top Panel version

Functionality Description
  • Integrating an FPGA model on a dSPACE FPGA platform
  • I/O configuration
  • Automatic generation of a processor model template on the basis of an FPGA application
FPGA interface
  • Programming the FPGA with the Xilinx® Vitis™ Model Composer HDL Library, the former Xilinx® System Generator Blockset
  • Integrating an FPGA model created with the Xilinx® Vitis™ Model Composer HDL Library, the former Xilinx® System Generator Blockset
  • Offline simulation in Simulink
Handcode interface
  • Programming the FPGA in VHDL or Verilog
I/O access
  • Connecting the FPGA model with analog and digital input and output signals with the FPGA Blockset
Processor-FPGA communication
  • Connecting the FPGA model with the processor model running on the computation node (SCALEXIO processing hardware, MicroLabBox or MicroAutoBox)
  • Access types for system bus communication with the dSPACE FPGA platforms: register, register groups, buffer, and Simulink buses
Inter-FPGA communication between SCALEXIO FPGA base boards
  • Via I/O Module Slots offers lowest latencies
  • Via MGT Module provide highest bandwidth
  • Via IOCNET offers highest flexibility
Asynchronous tasks
  • Implementing interrupt-driven tasks in the processor model triggered from the FPGA model
Variable access1)
  • Tracing of register values, e.g., dSPACE in ControlDesk directly without model changes
  • Changing constant values during run time of the FPGA application without modeling
Remote FPGA build
  • Support of separate PCs for performing the FPGA build so that the PC used for modeling is not blocked
  • The build process can be observed using an extra tool

Real-Time Interface (RTI) Implementation of MATLAB®/Simulink®/Stateflow® models on dSPACE hardware ConfigurationDesk Configuration and implementation software for dSPACE real-time hardware MicroLabBox Hardware Compact prototyping unit for the laboratory MicroAutoBox Hardware Compact, stand-alone prototyping unit with real-time hardware, I/O, and signal conditioning DS6601 FPGA Base Board High-performance FPGA board with the Xilinx® FPGA technology for advanced electromobility applications DS6602 FPGA Base Board High-performance FPGA board with the latest Xilinx® FPGA technology for advanced electromobility applications FPGA I/O Modules SCALEXIO FPGA I/O modules for expanding the I/O channels of the SCALEXIO FPGA base boards DS2655 FPGA Base Board SCALEXIO I/O board with user-programmable FPGA DS6651 Multi-I/O Module SCALEXIO FPGA I/O expansion for developing and testing highly dynamic control applications SCALEXIO Processing Unit Product lines for high core performance and high parallel performance DS6001 Processor Board High-performance processor board for SCALEXIO systems XSG Utils Library Ready-to-use function blocks for speeding up the implementation of FGPA models XSG AC Motor Control Library FPGA-based control design for MicroAutoBox II, MicroLabBox, and SCALEXIO XSG Advanced Engine Control Library FPGA solution for cylinder pressure indication and in-cycle control of combustion engines XSG Electric Component Library Plant models of electric drives featuring FPGA-based simulations

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