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Desktop RP speeds embedded apps
The MathWorks (Natick, MA) is known for its Matlab and Simulink software, used in data acquisition and analysis (the former), and in embedded system design and simulation (the latter). In fact, they may be too well known—the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company in June.
Also in June, the company made its first foray into hardware with the xPC TargetBox, an industrial PC that gives designers a customized, real-time system for desktop prototyping of embedded systems. This simulation lets designers debug a model before writing code for it, says Michael Dickens, director of marketing.
MathWorks decided to launch the new box because Simulink users were constantly asking for advice in choosing a custom hardware solution, Dickens says. There are countless combinations, but this box is designed to satisfy 50 to 70% of designers with an off-the-shelf solution.
The box is manufactured by Swiss company MPL AG in three standard-temperature and three extended-temperature models, with a custom PC motherboard that can access a variety of I/O boards. It offers construction without holes, fans, or mechanical parts, using flash memory and Intel Pentium processors. It boots DOS automatically, though customers can add Windows. That flexibility lets designers pick the right hardware to test a variety of interfaces: analog, digital, counter, PWM, incremental encoder, or CAN.
An accompanying software application called xPC Target 2, due for release this month, provides a new interface for real-time downloading, starting, stopping, and data logging. So far, the new box is used primarily by automotive OEMs, but some industrial equipment designers creating dishwashers and washing machines are also finding it useful. MathWorks, www.mathworks.com. Enter 604
CATIA Version 5 Release 9 (V5R9) is a 3D PLM solution intended for product creation, design, simulation, and optimization. Used in product morphing, it features new ap-plications, including industrial machinery, consumer goods, industrial equipment systems, aerospace, and shipbuilding sectors. It reportedly supports multi-CAD product development processes and has improved areas of cast, forged, and molded parts. IBM, www.ibm.com. Enter 605
This on-line CAD configurator allows users to feature native drawings with their CAD systems file format. Providing more than 80 file formats, the configurator offers users an e-mailed exact CAD model from the format and geometry selected, without modification. The program reportedly can produce more than 400 million unique on-line CAD drawings. PHD Inc., www.phdinc.com. Enter 606
Pre-TASysEdge 2002 is the first of three tolerance solutions to work with SolidEdge v11, for the machining, power, medical, robotics, electronics, and oil industries. The software reportedly uses ISO, ANSI, and JIS tolerances for pins and holes, and allows tolerances to be set to the max, min, and med when visualizing assemblies. The key dimension identifier lets users know which dimensions need added tolerances. C4 Advanced Engineering Services, www.tasysworld.com. Enter 607