FPGAs & Embedded Systems



Recent years have witnessed an exponential growth in the complexity and performance of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). This has lead to high adoption of FPGAs in embedded applications, such as micro-electromechanical systems, consumer electronics, and medical devices. Due to the FPGAs attractive features, such as their inherent flexibility, performance, parallelism, and low-level reconfigurability, industrial control design and simulation vendors have been creating the next generation FPGA development tool chains that are designed for engineers with little or no digital design expertise. Consequently, choosing FPGAs as control systems deployment platforms is spreading.

The first paper below presents a number of development techniques for systematically implementing FPGA-based control systems. These techniques are applied towards developing a basic control systems building block, the transfer function. Additionally, a design cycle that is inspired by the Design by Emulation approach for digital control, is introduced for implementing general-purpose FPGA-based control systems. A case study is presented to demonstrate the application of the proposed methodologies towards an observer-based position motion control system.

The second paper below discusses some of the traditional challenges that prohibited wide adoption of FPGAs in the industrial control and simulation fields. The paper demonstrates how new graphical system design tools are helping mechatronics engineers leverage the full power of FPGAs as deployment platforms. Moreover, the paper discusses some particularly useful development techniques for FPGA-based control and simulation in mechatronics applications.

Related Publications

  1. Methodologies for implementing FPGA-based control systems
    Z. Kassas
    IFAC World Congress, Aug. 28 - Sep. 2, 2011, Milan, Italy, pp. 9911-9916

  2. New mechatronics development techniques for FPGA-based control of electromechanical systems
    B. MacCleery and Z. Kassas
    IFAC World Congress, Jul. 6-11, 2008, Seoul, South Korea, pp. 4434-4439

  3. Multi-channel algorithm infrastructure for programmable hardware elements
    Z. Kassas and J. Lewis
    Patent No. 8,122,238, Issued: Feb. 21, 2012