Processor board enables fast closed loop model computations

May 27, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Advanced development departments in the automotive industry today are busy to devise the sophisticated algorithms for next-generation driver assistance systems and control units. To provide the high computing power and ample resources required in this phase of the development, tool vendor dSpace introduced the DS10007 processor board.

The DS1007 replaces dSpace's existing DS1005 board, offering significantly higher computing power. Typical applications are development and test of real-time algorithms in the area of fuel efficiency, undercarriage control, and sensor fusion for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. Other application examples are fast closed-loop control functions for electric drivetrains or active noise cancellation. In this early phase of the development, designers typically run their programs on a platform that offers headroom for experiments; when it comes to series production, these algorithms are transferred for cost reasons to much more customised ECU platforms.

In the DS1007, a Freescale QorIQ P5020 dual-core microprocessor offers both short latency and fast I/O through parallel interfaces. Since in high-performance control applications the latency time during I/O access steps is an important factor for the overall performance, the PowerPC-based P5020 has a significant edge over x86 architectures with their serial PCIExpress I/O interface. This feature enables QorIQ users to implement closed-loop control applications with very high sample rates, a dSpace spokesperson explained.

The board runs under a modified QNX operating system, ensuring good real-time behaviour. Users can configure Simulink models by means of a graphical user interface and allocate them to both microprocessor cores, facilitating load balancing between the cores. By the same token, it is possible to define the data communication channels between the cores, effectively speeding up significantly the execution of very detailed and compute-intensive models.

A gigabit Ethernet interface allows connecting the DS1007 to a host PC as well as exchanging data with other Ethernet-based devices. In addition, the DS1007 has an USB interface that enables long-term data recording through a USB stick or a disk.

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