How we cut down project lifetime of a satellite modem by four times with MATLAB & Simulink

Earlier this year, we got a license for MATLAB & Simulink, one of the best graphical programming environments for modeling, simulating, and analyzing communication systems and automatic source code generation for FPGA. Alexander Maloshtan, head of FPGA at Promwad, was convinced on a real project that these new tools can reduce the development time of telecom equipment by four times! Six months later, Alexander shares our experience of implementing MATLAB & Simulink.

While developing electronic equipment for the telecom industry, there are usually a bunch of engineers from different departments involved: from circuit designers and tracers to system programmers. As they work in different environments, it is rather difficult for them to communicate. As a result, the appeared synchronization of project outcomes delays the overall project lifetime.

The implementation of MATLAB & Simulink has changed the rules of the game: now engineers can work in parallel. When developing a composite board with a large number of microcircuits that require control, we are now able to attract hardware engineers even without programming tools. For example, thanks to Simulink, our circuit designer created a GUI for boards and wrote simple MATLAB scripts that formed commands for writing to registers. After that our engineers quickly transferred this development to the device and immediately saw the results on an oscilloscope. This approach has significantly reduced development time. Notably, in our project of designing a satellite modem, it was reduced by four times – from one month to a week.