FPGA based rapid prototyping system development

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Dr. Fehér Béla
Department of Measurement and Information Systems

Within my thesis work, I got to know the hardware emulation, furthermore during literature research, I investigated existing solutions for hardware emulation: what kind of solutions, system and depth is possible with it.

At the department, where I did the thesis work, we would like to use the hardware emulation to emulate filter circuits, subcircuits, and whole electronic control units (ECU), which are used in vehicles. We would like to emulate with FPGA based real-time box, or FPGA development board. The aim of my thesis work to investigate whether it is possible to do hardware emulation with the equipment, which is available in my department, or we have to buy another real-time box, which is suitable. It is also an aim to compare these equipments: are they suitable for hardware emulation? If yes, what are the limits, what is the maximum complexity of the emulated circuits? Which real-time machine is the most suitable for us? What kind of other purposes is it suitable for? Another comparison aspect is the personal impressions about the real-time boxes, and software: how user-friendly are they?

For preparing of the hardware emulation, I made filter circuits. In first, I made them on test panel, and then I designed a PCB with Altium designer 10. I investigated, is there any difference between the test panel and the PCB? and what is the frequency limit, where the deviation is significant? Is it in the same order of magnitude with the frequency limit of the real-time boxes?

I simulated the behavior of the filter circuits with LTSpice, and I considered it as a standard. I compared the measured amplitude and phase diagrams of the built test panels and PCBs with this, and after the emulations.

I did the emulations with the real-time boxes, and then I compared them with each other: what are the advantages and disadvantages of these systems. After the emulations, I investigated the maximum component number, which is emulatable with a certain real-time box, and what sampling rate belongs to this number of components. I deduced the conclusions based on these results, and I made advice for a possible continue of this hardware emulation project.


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