Issue: Oct 2006


dSPACE and Freescale Collaborate on Products to Benefit Shared Customer Base



by Lenny Case

dSPACE, Inc. has announced that it is expanding collaborative efforts with Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. to maximize production gains and shorten product development cycles for their shared customer base -- primarily automotive OEMs and tier-one suppliers.

dSPACE, Inc., a leading producer of engineering tools for the design, software generation, testing, and calibration of electronic controls for mechatronic systems, and Freescale, the world's largest supplier of automotive semiconductors, are working together to streamline the performance and functionality of several key products to optimize compatibility and ease of use.

"dSPACE and Freescale have a long-standing relationship and are committed to working together to support the best interests of our shared customer base," said Santhosh Jogi, Engineering Manager for dSPACE, Inc. "Together, we are leveraging the best possible performance for our customers."

A news conference was held during the SAE Convergence 2006 electronics and transportation show held Oct. 16-18, at Cobo Center, Detroit, to discuss the collaboration and the growing reliance and capability of autocoding tools within the automotive community.

Seamless Integration Between TargetLink(R) and MPC5500 Family

One of the most beneficial outcomes of the collaborative effort between these companies is the integration of dSPACE's automatic code generator - TargetLink(R) with Freescale's newest family of MPC5500 automotive microcontrollers (MCU) built on Power Architecture(TM) technology.

Built on the TargetLink base suite, optional modules are available to run simulations on specific microcontroller targets and to generate code optimized for those microcontrollers. Today, dSPACE provides a simulation module for the MPC5500 family and through cooperative engineering with Freescale, dSPACE will release a Target Optimization Module (TOM) for this popular MCU family. With this TOM, TargetLink(R) can be specifically configured to interface with MPC5500 processors, resulting in the output of highly customized, efficient code generation. Both products support high-end applications requiring complex, real-time control (e.g. multipoint fuel injection control, electronically-controlled transmissions, avionics, robotics, motion control, etc.).

"TargetLink(R), by itself, delivers quality, efficient autocoding," said Jogi. "When implemented with the TOM, TargetLink(R) has the added capability of leveraging the power of MPC5500 hardware to achieve true, optimal performance."

"Since dSPACE tools work with our automotive MCUs, it is in our best interest to make sure that dSPACE's TOM is highly optimized for our silicon," added Momin Salim, Director of Freescale Semiconductor's Virtual Garage Lab. "Together, we are enabling our customers to achieve optimal performance from our MCUs."

The TOM will be available in the new 2.2 version of TargetLink,(R) scheduled for release before the end of 2006.

TargetLink(R) has been on the road in more than 50 mass-produced vehicles worldwide since 2000. Thirty-five automotive OEMs and more than 75 suppliers -- including eight of the world's largest commercial vehicle manufacturers and 25 tier ones -- use TargetLink(R).

RAppID ToolBox Aligned with TargetLink(R)

Another outcome of this joint working relationship is a product alignment between dSPACE's TargetLink(R) and Freescale's RAppID ToolBox.

Freescale has designed its RAppID ToolBox, an add-on library of peripheral blocksets and optimized code blocks, to work in concurrence with TargetLink,(R) MATLAB(R) and Simulink(R). Together, these tools enable control engineers to quickly execute and evaluate control models on MPC5554 MCU hardware platforms. The necessary software -- including initialization code, I/O drivers and a scheduler or operating system -- is automatically generated.

"By making sure that the RAppID ToolBox works seamlessly with TargetLink(R), we are enabling customers to move from the modeling phase to on-target rapid prototyping on our MCU platforms," Salim said.

RapidPro Incorporates MPC5554 as Core Component

A third example of the close relationship between dSPACE and Freescale is the incorporation of the MPC5554 microcontroller as a core component of dSPACE's RapidPro Control Unit. This product creates a powerful environment for engineers to develop and test new concepts for control functions on a production-oriented microcontroller, and do so in a model-based approach, with the inclusion of an integration package for TargetLink.

dSPACE is a leading producer of engineering tools for the design, control and calibration of electronic and mechatronic systems. dSPACE offers a complete tool chain of products to enhance development, testing and validation of real-time embedded controllers. dSPACE tools support model-based control design, rapid control prototyping, automatic code generation, hardware-in-the- loop (HIL) simulation and calibration. Founded in 1988, dSPACE has its headquarters in Paderborn, Germany, and engineering project centers in Munich and Stuttgart, Germany. In addition to its North American subsidiary in Novi, Mich., the company has subsidiaries in France, Japan and the United Kingdom, as well as representatives worldwide.

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