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Platform-based Design Approach in Control Engineering

An Alternative to Custom Design for Advanced Motion Control Systems

The platform-based semi-custom design approach can be a good and cost-effective solution for advanced control engineering problems. 1-CORE Technologies presents a new "Advantage" platform implementing this approach.

Modern automation industry is faced with a number of challenges. On the one hand, the market pressures that the control systems must achieve high precision, stability and ability to control a synchronous multi-axis motion. Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are often unable to provide the necessary characteristics. These goals can be achieved only by using advanced control algorithms.

Furthermore, the controller needs to be tightly integrated into the enterprise network infrastructure. A large number of controller models each supporting its own communication standard hinders the development of transparent industrial network hierarchy. Another effect that impedes the modernization of an enterprise infrastructure is vendor lock-in.

On the other hand, shrinking project budgets and intensive schedules make it difficult and too costly to design a complex custom controller for a particular application. In addition, the time spent on a from-the-scratch custom controller design can be large enough to make the resulting product outdated.

A possible solution to these problems is to use a platform-based approach to design a semi-custom controller using pre-designed and pre-verified components and general architecture. This makes it possible to design of a motion controller that not only performs well for a given task, but also can always be adapted to the changing requirements without costly redesign.

1-CORE Technologies announces a new semi-custom control system design service based on its fresh "Advantage" platform that implements this approach. The core of this platform is based on FPGA (field programmable gate array) ? a silicon chip with reprogrammable structure. Using FPGA provides much more flexibility than the standard CPU-based controller architecture since FPGA can be loaded with any embedded CPU and peripherals, and is not limited in external interfaces.

Using the "Advantage" library of pre-designed components and prior experience in the design of motion control systems reduce both costs and time-to-market. The "Advantage" platform accumulated the ideas and experience from the custom controller design projects. It is not tailored for any particular FPGA or hardware vendor.

More information is available on the 1-CORE Technologies website:
The brochure is available at

1-CORE Technologies is a Russian electronics design company providing design services in the fields of digital communications, digital signal processing and control engineering.


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