Introducing dSPACE MicroLabBox - Compact Power in the Lab

New all-in-one development system Dual-core real-time processor (2 GHz) plus FPGA Over 100 I/O interfaces Programmable from Simulink Compact design

dSPACE MicroLabBox: New all-in-one development system for the laboratory.
dSPACE MicroLabBox: New all-in-one development system for the laboratory.

Wixom, Michigan: dSPACE has introduced a new, compact control system development platform for laboratory use, MicroLabBox, that offers high computing power and comprehensive functionalities. MicroLabBox makes creating, optimizing and testing controllers, and implementing data acquisition applications easy and cost-efficient for both industry and academia.

With its powerful combination of a Simulink-programmable real-time processor and the latest high-performance Kintex FPGA (field-programmable gate array), MicroLabBox provides the versatility required for research and development. It is specifically designed with an optimal form factor to not take up any more desk space than a conventional laptop computer. MicroLabBox, with over 100 I/O channels of various types, lets engineers develop innovative applications in robotics, medical engineering, electric drives, renewable energy, consumer appliances, industrial products, automotive engineering, and aerospace.

This compact, powerful, and cost-effective system is also a comprehensive teaching and experiment aid for universities and training institutions that want to use the latest industry standard technology to equip their students with the skills necessary for innovation.

High Computing Power and Fast I/O

MicroLabBox features a 2 GHz dual-core real-time processor (Freescale PowerPC QorIQ P5020) capable of achieving fast closed-loop cycle times of less than 15 µs, depending on the application. For extremely fast control applications, the integrated FPGA can be used for high-speed computation. The FPGA technology allows for parallel, exact and fast I/O processing. MicroLabBox includes over 100 I/O interfaces of not only conventional types, such as analog I/O and digital I/O, but also features specialized interfaces like CAN, Ethernet, and position encoders. Additionally, MicroLabBox’s integrated sensor supply provides power for sensors without any additional laboratory devices.

Easy Wiring

MicroLabBox is available in two panel variants: The top-panel variant provides Sub-D and BNC connectors, making wiring easy when the unit is used on a laboratory desk. The front-panel variant provides Sub-D connectors, making it easy to integrate MicroLabBox in a stack of laboratory devices. The connector information is printed on each MicroLabBox and is also included in the I/O blockset of the device's implementation software.

Autonomous Use

MicroLabBox can be used with or without a host PC. In autonomous mode, without the host PC, the real-time application is loaded from the on-board flash memory when MicroLabBox is started. A programmable buzzer and programmable set of LEDs provide status information of the real-time application to the user. A USB connector lets users save data to a mass storage device.

Comprehensive and User-Friendly Software

MicroLabBox is supported by a dSPACE software package including Real-Time Interface (RTI) for model-based I/O integration into Simulink and ControlDesk Next Generation. Graphical instruments within ControlDesk Next Generation provide access to the real-time application variables and parameters during run time. In addition to these tools, dSPACE offers further software modules that complement MicroLabBox in various use cases.