Why was model based design not mentioned in the Zynq webinar

Hello Mr. Laird—


My team at MathWorks works with our FPGA and SoC partners to promote use of MATLAB and Simulink. I didn’t have a chance to attend Dr. King’s webinar, but I scanned through his slides and was surprised to see no mention of Model-Based Design in these applications.


MATLAB and Simulink are used worldwide in both industry and academia in power electronics and, more specifically, motor control applications. Also, we have developed workflows and examples that target the Zynq-7000 SoC platform as well as the Altera Cyclone SoC platform.

–        Webinar with Avnet Electronics: How to Build Custom Motor Controllers for Zynq SoCs with MATLAB and Simulink

o   You may view the example used in the demo here

–        Webinar with Altera: Prototyping SoC-based Motor Controllers with MATLAB and Simulink


This use of MathWorks products has been widely covered in publications as well:

–        MATLAB Digest: How Modeling Helps Embedded Engineers Develop Applications for SoCs

–        Xcell Journal: Motor Drives Migrate to Zynq SoC with Help from MATLAB

–        Xcell Software Journal: MATLAB and Simulink Aid HW-SW Co-design of Zynq SoCs (p.42)

–        Analog Dialog: FPGA-Based Systems Increase Motor-Control Performance

–        EE Journal: MathWorks Targets Hardware/Software: Prototyping MATLAB and Simulink Algorithms on Xilinx Zynq and Altera SoCs


Given that your firm is promoting seminars, could we interest you in including information about MathWorks products in your seminars and webinars?


Please let me and my colleague Tony Lennon know how to follow up with you.




–Eric Cigan


Hi Eric and Tony,


Thanks for the e-mail and thanks for the question about model based design.


I am sure that the Matlab products you refer to and the workflows associated are great and fit their purpose.  It is a shame that you did not attend the webinar as I am not sure you have taken the emphasis that was in the webinar.


So a little context about ELMG Digital power. We have Matlab licenses along with Simulink licenses. We use PLECs inside Simulink for power electronics simulation and use the PLECs Simulink and the HDL tools in the vivado tool chain to provide functional verification of FPGA applications that we build. We operate in market spaces where we have very high traceability and audit requirements.  We work on controller technology for power electronics principally in the larger converter space but also in the smaller safety critical market spaces.  Recently we provided the safety critical fibre optic communications links specifically designed for the modular IGBT converters for 26 Megawatt 6.6kV grid interactive UPS for the refinery industry.  We also work on HVDC transmission control, SVCs, large motor drives and other large static power converters.  Our specialty is in making the control suitable for the application and converter we are controlling.  We have deep domain knowledge in power converter characteristics and digital control of these converters.  We also create controllers for safety critical converter control including medical and safety systems for human protection.


The intent of the webinar was not to show how to design or implement controllers.  Rather the intent was to show how we have decided and then implemented our control platform.  We have created FPGA code IP blocks that perform a control function.  These code IP blocks are encrypted, tested, verified and exercised and are then available to the customer to purchase.  Verification is done with testbenches at an HDL code level.  Functional testing is done in simulation and then in real time simulation and then in power converter testing.  This is the product we provide to our customers.


Our webinar target audience includes some people who are not experienced digital control design engineers.  A significant portion of the people who consider our technology do not understand FPGA fabric and yet have safety critical requirements that require them to convince their regulators that the technology is appropriate.


We are Xilinx Alliance Program members so see and have all the reference material that you point to.  We recently were part of the presenting team in the Xilinx webinar Speedway series. We work carefully and closely with Xilinx and Avnet in how we promote the Xilinx family of products alongside our IP products.


Xilinx provide a large number of benefits to us through the Xilinx Alliance Program.  We have worked with Xilinx since 1997.  Avnet provide FAE support and global reach through their network – we have worked closely with Avnet on Xilinx work for seven years.


We’d be happy to include your material in our webinars on a partner basis.  Please let me know how your partnership program works, what we need to do to get the process of becoming a partner started and what the benefits are of the partnership program.


As you can see form the PS in the signature below we are running a training course in this very material in Camarillo January 30 to Feb 2.  Please register and come along.  Look forward to seeing you there if you can make it.