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Release 12 from Mathworks.

MathWorks upgrades wide range of mathmatical tools

The MathWorks, previously Cambridge Control Ltd. is introducing a major new release of its entire portfolio of industry-leading technical computing software for engineers and scientists. Release 12 includes important new versions of The MathWorks' flagship products, MATLAB 6 and Simulink 4.0, as well as upgrades of 40 application - specific software tools. among these are the Neural Network Toolbox 4.0, Statistics Toolbox 3.0, Data Acquisition Toolbox 2.0, MATLAB Compiler Suite 2.1 and MATLAB Web Server.

Release 12 is the result of extensive design and development work on the MATLAB computer language, control design applications, DSP and communications design. A primary focus has been on usability, the company has established a large development group working continuously on customer requirements, ensuring that The MathWorks' products closely match the working practices of technical professionals.

The first result of this is the MATLAB desktop, which provides an intuitive, flexible, visual user interface to. MATLAB 6. making it easier for existing and new users both access the different tools and functions available to them, and explore and utilise the MATLAB environment MATLAB 6 also gives users fast state--of--the art maths functionality with LAPACK-matrix computation and enhanced FFT (Fast Fourier Transforms) implementations for signal and processing.

Another major change is the introduction, of a range of new test and measurement tools to communicate with external hardware and instruments. MATLAB 6 now has a serial port interface, capability for full use of Java, and accepts data in various file formats. New interfaces are provided to external sources such as Java script, as well as to serial ports.


Also the new Instrument Control Toolbox allows users to communicate with instruments through standard GPIB and VISA protocols.

The Simulink 4.0 product family, including Real-Time Workshop 4.0, builds upon MATLAB 6 with a range of new features including frame-based simulations support, faster loading of libraries, a new configurable subsystem block and improved speed and memory usage. These support large-scale modelling of embedded code for controls, DSP (Digital Signal Processing) and communications systems design.

A new product, Simulink Performance Tools 1.0, provides advanced model-based design capabilities. These include tools to model performance, compare two Simulink models graphically, and analyse the results of model simulation tests. For embedded systems, the new Real-Time Windows Embedded Coder 1.0 produces optimised code for custom-embedded applications, with reduced code size and more efficient utilisation of memory. Substantial updates are also found in Simulink 4.0, Stateflow 4.0, Stateflow Coder 4.0, Real-Time Workshop 4.0, Control System Toolbox 5.0 and System Identification Toolbox 5.0.

Also available is a new DSP Developer's Kit for Texas Instruments chips, which provides a breakthrough capability for embedded DSP development.

This will be especially beneficial for DSP and communications users. It allows Simulink diagram converted directly into TI 67XX code and augments the other DSP hardware links announced by The Math Works. this year, including the Xilinx System Generator for FPGA (created and sold by Xilinx) and the Motorola DSP Developer's Kit. Also included in Release 12 are a new Filter Design Toolbox and major updates to the Communications Blockset, as well as new versions of the DSP Blockset andCommunications, Signal Processing and Wavelet Toolboxes.

Release 12 from The MathWorks is currently shipping for Microsoft Windows 95,98, NT and2000 and UNIX and Linix. Information about pricing can be found on The MathWorks Web site at www mathworks com.

Appendix 1.

Among the many new desktop components are a cross-product, fully searchable HTML-based help reader, a command history window that documents users' MATLAB sessions, and a workspace browser for loading, viewing and editing data. Another new introduction is The MathWorks' new GUIDE system (Graphical User Interface Design Environment), built for point-and click development and design of GUI interfaces from MATLAB. Used together, these tools help users to organise their data, programs and graphics, and provide a direct route into the MATLAB environment.

Graphics and Analysis

With MATLAB 6, standard analysis, plotting and visualisation tasks are now easier to perform and repeat, without any programming. Users can edit, annotate and customise their MATLAB graphics and export them, with new point-and-click interfaces, to third party applications such as Word and PowerPoint New data statistics and basic fitting tools allow users to superimpose statistical calculations and curve fits--both text and graphics -- directly on their MATLAB plots. Adding to the extensive collection of advanced visualisation features, MATLAB 6 now permits the viewing of 2D images, surfaces and volumes as transparent objects; it also includes visual tools for controlling point of view.

The core mathematical and signal processing routines have been extensively optimised with MATLAB 6. The new release incorporates the cache-aware LAPACK library, which replaces LINPACK and EISPACK, resulting in significant speed increases. For simple matrix computations, such as matrix multiplication, operations on matrices of several hundred by several hundred are six to eight times faster, while more complex operations, such as eigenvalue and singular value decomposition, are approximately twice as fast. In addition, the FFT functions now rely on the MIT FFTW library, resulting in significantly faster performance across the range of FFTs, particularly for large lengths. Probably the most significant obstacle to analysis and algoithm development is the importing of data. For this reason, both MATLAB 6 and The Math Works Release 12 include a wide range of new and updated tools for accessing and acquiring data. The new MATLAB Import Wizard is an interactive tool that allows users to access and selectively impor t data stored externally in a variety of industry-standard formats, such as JPEG, AVI, Excel and ASCII. In addition, data from peripheral instruments and devices such as printers and modems can be brought directly into MATLAB through the computers serial port, via the new MATLAB serial port interface. For exchanging data with OBDB/JDBC compliant databases, such as Oracle and Sybase, the new Database Toolbox 2.1 offers significant speed improvements for executing queries and now runs on a wider range of platforms. In addition, one of the most significant new additions to The MathWorks product line is the Instrument Control Toolbox, which enables users, for the first time, to communicate with GPIB and VISA--based instruments, such as oscilloscopes, directly from MATLAB.


MATLAB 6 itself offers new tools for integrating external code, aimed particularly at users who work with other programming environments. For example, a new Java interface allows users to call Java directly from MATLAB, allowing them to incorporate their Java routines with their MATLAB applications. With the interface, users can call Java-based GUIs for use within their MATLAR applications, send results of mathematical computations to Java applications and more. This capability allows MATLAB users to work with colleagues who work in Java, while using MATLAB as their own primary development platform.

Other new features of The MathWorks Release 12

For users who want to convert their MATLAB applications to C and C++, the updated MATLA[sim]B Compiler Suite 2.1 can handle an enlarged set of MATLAB functions and language features. In addition, Release 12 includes several new and updated MATLAB application toolboxes for data acquisition, maths and analysis. New products include the Filter Design Toolbox, Financial Derivatives Toolbox and Instrument Control Toolbox. Major updates of the Signal Processing, Control System, Statistics, Spline, Wavelet and Neural Network toolboxes feature new visual interfaces and algorithms that make learning and applying toolbox algorithms easier.

MATLAB 6 is currently shipping for Microsoft Windows 95, 98 and 2000, and UNIX and Linux platforms. Quantity and education discounts are available. Additional information is available at The MathWorks Web site at www.

Appendix 2.

Embedded Systems Design and Modelling

The new embedded systems design solution is based on The MathWorks' established range of design tools. A significant upgrade of its principal products has led to Simulink 4.0, Stateflow 4.0 and Real-Time Workshop 4.0 being introduced as part of release 12. With these three major new products, control engineers and embedded systems designers can take an integrated, model-based approach to embedded systems design, rather than using the traditional method of writing specifications and coding software manually. They can develop complex embedded systems designs, starting with the initial concept and taking them through to full deployment on the production target. By adopting these tools, tests have demonstrated that weeks or even months can be eliminated from the overall process of designing embedded applications for the aerospace, automotive, telecommunications and industrial control industries. Users have experienced a significant increase in the efficiency and reliability of their systems.

The new versions of Simulink, Stateflow, Real Time Workshop and their extensions provide an interactive, graphical modelling environment that allows users to design, analyse and accurately simulate models of complex, large-scale systems. Simulation is used to give a clear understanding of the way in which models behave, and to provide an "executable specification" of the system being designed. Users can then automatically implement these models in real time, with supported rapid prototyping and hardware-in-the-loop environments. Once an algorithm has been demonstrated through simulation or real-time prototyping, it is possible automatically to generate high-performance code for use in target embedded processors. The new capabilities for model-based design give designers a better understanding of their models and greater ability to optimise them. The new Simulink Performance Tools 1.0, which includes Simulink Accelerator, speeds model simulations significantly. Other new features allow the user to measure simulation performance i n a detailed way, allowing them to focus their resources effectively to produce highly tuned models. These tools use the graphical nature of the design environment to enhance the powerful analysis capabilities of the product. Additional support, provided by Real-Time Workshop 4.0, includes intellectual property protection for sharing designs with third parties.

In large systems modelling, the trend is towards increasingly complex embedded control system designs that demand more extensive models. The Math Works has responded to this by adding an integrated finder that shows information and provides hyperlinks to the graphical models in Simulink 4.0 and Stateflow 4.0. Stateflow also includes an extended graphical hierarchy in diagrams and multilevel transition connections.

Usability features include new model and library navigation capabilities, added model browser options and features for the management of model details in Simulink 4.0. The Control System Toolbox 5.0 now features new analysis and design GUIs as well as performance analysis and gain tuning tools.

The new Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder 1.0 and Stateflow Coder 4.0 automatically generate target-independent embeddable code that users can configure to run in existing target environments. Real--Time Workshop Embedded Coder can now handle files that are similar in size and speed to optimised handwritten code. It preserves model symbol names, includes test capabilities for verifying the generated code and produces HTML code reports. Fixed point and floating point code can be aimed at a variety of processors and operating systems, using the target templates provided. Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder and Stateflow Coder meet customer requirements for flexible, readable code that can be inserted into the production process and also fits seamlessly with legacy code.

A particular benefit of The Math Works' model-based design solution is control engineers and embedded systems designers can spend more time investigating new design. concepts and refining ideas rather than performing routine coding and debugging tasks. Since models are debugged before software is written, errors can be detected much earlier in the development process. Software code, documentation and test functions are translated directly from the model, so process errors are eliminated and productivity is increased.

The Control Design Suite (consisting of MATLAB, Simulink, Stateflow and the Control System Toolbox), Real-Time Workshop, Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder and Stateflow Coder will be available for Windows 95, 98, 2000 and NT, Linux and UNIX platforms from. November 2000.
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Title Annotation:new software introduction
Publication:Software World
Article Type:Product Announcement
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2000
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