mobile | classic
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology Magazine

Follow us on:
Follow us on Facebook Share via Twitter Share via LinkedIn


Electronics Buyers' Guide

Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook 2019


Accelerating new product development with model-based design
17 September 2008, Design Automation

In today’s society almost all major equipment and appliances are computerised.

From the basic electronic calculator or household appliance to a motor vehicle or even a space shuttle, every device has some embedded software that makes it work, often performing many complex tasks at the push of a button.

Developing such complex, intricate systems used to be a long and expensive process and it got even longer when it reached the testing phase. Traditionally, testing a new product required that several prototypes be built. It is easy to imagine that in the case of a motor vehicle, building even a single prototype can be a time consuming and costly exercise.

However, using model-based design principles, engineers can test the viability of a concept without the need to build and rebuild numerous test models. Model-based design is an engineering concept through which engineers can mathematically model the behaviour of a physical system, design the appropriate software for it and then simulate the entire system to accurately predict and optimise its performance.

Two of the most well known software packages for model-based design, namely MATLAB and Simulink, both from The MathWorks, provide this virtual environment for creating and testing new designs.

MATLAB is an interactive, high-level technical computing environment for algorithm development, numeric computation, and data visualisation and analysis. Because of its embedded technical functions and powerful graphics, MATLAB is able to handle very large data sets, enabling engineers to solve technical computing problems faster than was possible with traditional programming codes such as Fortran or C++.

Simulink provides the virtual environment in which the system is modelled, the algorithm designed and the design concept tested. Integrated with MATLAB, Simulink provides access to a complete set of tools for developing algorithms, simulating and validating behaviour and automatically creating embeddable C code.

One of the arenas in which model-based design has been successfully used is the aerospace industry. Because of the expensive nature of this industry, the complexity of the products developed and the large teams involved, many of its participants have taken to model-based design as a means of sharing information, reducing development time and keeping costs to a minimum.

In an operation as complex as designing autopilot systems for aircraft, engineers have been able to deliver successful first tests of prototypes using model-based design tools from The MathWorks.

With MathWorks tools such as Simulink and MATLAB, engineers are able to create block diagrams and use simulations to test their designs against flight-control laws. Using the Real-Time Workshop component, engineers can also electronically generate embedded software codes, eliminating the need for handwritten codes and the flaws associated with creating them. The end result is a prototype that works first time, regardless of how complex the product is.

With the use of appropriate tools, model-based design can be implemented in almost any environment, including mining and metallurgy, telecommunications, education, petrochemical, manufacturing and medical research.

Grant Grobbelaar
Grant Grobbelaar

For more information contact Grant Grobbelaar, Opti-Num Solutions, +27 (0)11 325 6238,,

Supplied By: Opti-Num Solutions
Tel: +27 11 325 6238
Fax: +27 11 325 6239
  Share on Facebook Share via Twitter Share via LinkedIn    

Further reading:

  • Subrack configuration software
    31 July 2019, Actum Electronics, Design Automation
    Schroff has launched the EuropacPRO Subrack Configurator, an intelligent online design tool that enables users to configure individual EuropacPRO subracks for vertically-installed applications. This ...
  • Unified STM32 programming tool
    31 July 2019, EBV Electrolink, Design Automation
    Making life easier for STM32 microcontroller (MCU) and microprocessor (MPU) users, the latest version of the STM32CubeProgrammer from STMicroelectronics gathers the capabilities of multiple device programmers ...
  • Altium Designer gets 2019 update
    30 April 2019, EDA Technologies, Design Automation
    Altium Designer 19, the latest version of the company’s flagship PCB design software, introduces new features aimed at making the design of complex, high-quality projects easier, faster and more accurate, ...
  • DesignSpark surpasses 750 000 members
    30 April 2019, RS Components (SA), Design Automation
    RS Components’ DesignSpark online engineering community has grown to more than 750 000 members. Launched in 2010, DesignSpark provides design engineers and students around the globe with free tools, ...
  • Python programming comes to Nordic’s multiprotocol SoCs
    30 April 2019, RF Design, Design Automation
    Nordic Semiconductor announced that Zerynth, a New York-based Internet of Things (IoT) software developer, has extended the availability of its ‘Zerynth IoT middleware’ to Nordic’s nRF52840 Bluetooth ...
  • Würth extends design tool’s functionality
    30 April 2019, Würth Elektronik eiSos, Design Automation
    Würth Elektronik eiSos has extended its free online design tool, REDEXPERT. The simulation software is a highly precise option for AC loss calculation in switch mode power supplies, and now supports calculations ...
  • Espressif jumpstarts ESP32 development
    30 April 2019, iCorp Technologies, Design Automation
    Espressif Systems has introduced two tools to assist developers using its ESP32 microcontroller platform in simplifying and speeding up their designs. As developers know, building production-ready firmware ...
  • Motor drive evaluation board
    27 March 2019, Altron Arrow, Design Automation
    Infineon Technologies’ EVAL-M1-IM818-A evaluation board was developed to support customers during their first steps of applications with CIPOS Maxi IPMs (intelligent power modules). In combination with ...
  • Würth extends design tool’s functionality
    27 March 2019, Würth Elektronik eiSos, Design Automation
    Würth Elektronik eiSos has extended its free online design tool, REDEXPERT. The simulation software is a highly precise option for AC loss calculation in switch mode power supplies, and now supports calculations ...
  • Cloud-based design and evaluation platform
    27 February 2019, Altron Arrow, Design Automation
    ON Semiconductor has rolled out Strata Developer Studio, a cloud-based development platform that provides a seamless, personalised and secure environment for engineers to evaluate and design with ON Semiconductor ...
  • AVR MCUs get beta support in MPLAB X
    30 January 2019, Avnet South Africa, Design Automation
    Microchip Technology recently announced the release of MPLAB X integrated development environment (IDE) version 5.05, which beta supports the majority of AVR microcontrollers (MCUs). This release will ...
  • Programming and debugging probe
    14 November 2018, Altron Arrow, Design Automation
    STMicroelectronics has introduced the next-generation STLINK-V3 probe for programming and debugging STM8 and STM32 microcontrollers, adding enhancements to further increase flexibility and efficiency. ...

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronics Buyers’ Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual


    Classic | Mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.