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Pick of the Week: MathWorks Releases 2013a MATLAB and Simulink

Three-dimensional beam pattern for a 10-by-10 uniform rectangular array as viewed in the MATLAB Phased Array System Toolbox. Image courtesy of the MathWorks.

MathWorks (Natick, MA) has announced Release 2013a of its MATLAB and Simulink product families. New in this release is the introduction of Fixed-Point Designer, which combines the functionality of Fixed-Point Toolbox and Simulink Fixed Point. Also included are new capabilities within the Phased Array System Toolbox and SimRF that strengthen wireless and radar communications system design, the company says. R2013a also updates more than 80 other products, including Polyspace embedded software verification products.

Fixed-Point Designer is described as providing data types and tools for developing fixed-point algorithms in MATLAB code, Simulink models, and Stateflow charts. With it you can convert floating-point algorithms to fixed point as well as create and optimize fixed-point data types to meet numerical accuracy requirements and target-hardware constraints. The company says that Fixed-Point Designer will automatically propose fixed-point data types and attributes such as word length and rounding mode, although you can also specify these attributes manually. You can also perform accelerated bit-true simulations to observe the impact of limited range. Fixed-Point Designer supports C, HDL, and PLC code generation.

Editing the title of a surface contour plot using the MATLAB interactive plotting environment. Image courtesy of the MathWorks.

MATLAB’s Phased Array System Toolbox delivers algorithms and tools for the design, simulation, and analysis of phased array signal processing systems. Algorithms for waveform generation, beam forming, direction of arrival estimation, target detection, and space-time adaptive processing are provided. New features in Release 2013a include polarization support, array tapers, and apps for sensor array analysis, waveform analysis, and radar equation calculation.

With Release 2013a, the Data Acquisition Toolbox has been enhanced with a support Package for the Analog Discovery Design Kit from Digilent. The Vehicle Network Toolbox now offers XCP support for accessing ECUs on CAN bus devices. SVMs (support vector machines) for binary classification, PCA (principal component analysis) algorithms for missing data, and functionality for the Anderson-Darling goodness-of-fit test have been added to the Statistics Toolbox.

Enhancements to the Image Processing Toolbox include image segmentation using active contours, C code generation for 10 functions, and GPU (graphics processing unit) acceleration for 11 functions. The Image Acquisition Toolbox now provides Kinect for Windows sensor support for acquiring images, depth maps, and skeleton data. The DSP System Toolbox improvements include spectrum analyzer and logic analyzer scopes and triggering of time scopes.

An example of the Fixed-Point Designer toolbox that shows a comparison of output with data types using 16-bit word length and proposed fraction length with original floating-point baseline output. Image courtesy of the MathWorks.

Simulink Release 2013a offers enhancements in numerous toolboxes. For example, the SimRF component library and simulation engine for designing RF systems now provides a circuit envelope solver for fast simulations and model load times. SimMechanics has been improved with a published XML schema for importing models from CAD and other systems, and Simulink coder now provides reduced data copies for Simulink functions called from Stateflow.

The R2013a release of the MATLAB and Simulink product families is available immediately. Click here for more information on MATLAB. Click here for more details on Simulink.


Watch a MATLAB overview video.

Watch an overview of Fixed-Point Designer.

Watch an overview of the Phased Array System Toolbox.

Here’s a brief video on analyzing and visualizing data with MATLAB.

Watch a Simulink overview video.

Watch a video on simulating multidomain dynamic systems with Simulink.

Go here for more on what’s new with MATLAB and Simulink Release 2013a.

Request a 30-day trial of MATLAB and Simulink.

See why DE’s editors selected the R2013a release of the MATLAB and Simulink product families as their Pick of the Week.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@digitaleng.news.