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Model-Based Design with Simulink

Modeling is a way to create a virtual representation of a real-world system. You can simulate this virtual representation under a wide range of conditions to see how it behaves.

Modeling and simulation are valuable for testing conditions that are difficult to reproduce with hardware prototypes alone. This is especially true in the early phase of the design process when hardware is not yet available. Iterating between modeling and simulation can improve the quality of the system design early, by reducing the number of errors found later in the design process.

You can automatically generate code from a model and, when software and hardware implementation requirements are included, create test benches for system verification. Code generation saves time and prevents the introduction of manually coded errors.

In Model-Based Design, a system model is at the center of the workflow. Model-Based Design enables fast and cost-effective development of dynamic systems, including control systems, signal processing systems, and communications systems.

Model-Based Design allows you to:

  • Use a common design environment across project teams

  • Link designs directly to requirements

  • Identify and correct errors continuously by integrating testing with design

  • Refine algorithms through multidomain simulation

  • Automatically generate embedded software code and documentation

  • Develop and reuse test suites

A diagram shaped like an arrow is labeled with the steps of model-based design. The left half of the arrowhead, moving from the outside toward the arrow tip, lists these steps: requirements, system-level design, subsystem design, and subsystem implementation. The right half of the arrowhead, moving from the outside toward the arrow tip, lists these steps: complete integration and test, system integration and test, subsystem integration and test, and subsystem implementation. The arrow tail, moving from the outside towards the arrow tip, lists these steps: system specification, high-level design, and low-level design.

Example Model-Based Design Workflow in Simulink

To get started with a Model-Based Design task, consider this workflow.

The flow chart is V-shaped. The listed steps start in the upper left, move towards the tip of the V, and then to the right. The left half of the chart, moving from the outside towards the tip, lists these steps: determine modeling goals, determine components, model system layout model components, analyze model, and design new components. The right half, moving from the tip towards the outside, lists these steps: test designed components, test system components, integrate components, test system model. There is also an arrow connecting the model components step to the test system components step.

The workflow in this tutorial focuses on fundamental Simulink® tasks as they relate to Model-Based Design.

The first two tasks in this workflow model an existing system and establish the context for designing a component. The next step in this workflow would be to implement the new component. You can use rapid prototyping and embedded code generation products, such as Simulink Real-Time™ and Embedded Coder®, to generate code and use the design with a real, physical system.

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