A System object™ is a specialized kind of MATLAB® object. System Toolboxes include System objects and most System Toolboxes also have MATLAB functions and Simulink® blocks. System objects are designed specifically for implementing and simulating dynamic systems with inputs that change over time. Many signal processing, communications, and controls systems are dynamic. In a dynamic system, the values of the output signals depend on both the instantaneous values of the input signals and on the past behavior of the system. System objects use internal states to store that past behavior, which is used in the next computational step. As a result, System objects are optimized for iterative computations that process large streams of data in segments, such as video and audio processing systems. This ability to process streaming data provides the advantage of not having to hold large amounts of data in memory. Use of streaming data also allows you to use simplified programs that use loops efficiently.
For example, you could use System objects in a system that reads data from a file, filters that data and then writes the filtered output to another file. Typically, a specified amount of data is passed to the filter in each loop iteration. The file reader object uses a state to keep track of where in the file to begin the next data read. Likewise, the file writer object keeps tracks of where it last wrote data to the output file so that data is not overwritten. The filter object maintains its own internal states to ensure that the filtering is performed correctly. This diagram represents a single loop of the system.
Many System objects support:
Fixed-point arithmetic (requires a Fixed-Point Designer™ license)
C code generation (requires a MATLAB Coder™ or Simulink Coder license)
HDL code generation (requires an HDL Coder™ license)
Executable files or shared libraries generation (requires a MATLAB Compiler™ license)
Check your product documentation to confirm fixed-point, code generation, and MATLAB Compiler support for the specific System objects you want to use.
System objects use a minimum of two commands to process data—a constructor to create the object (such as,
fft256 = dsp.FFT) and a function call (such as,
fft256(x)) to run data through the
object. This separation of declaration from execution lets you create multiple, persistent, reusable objects, each with
different settings. Using this approach avoids repeated input validation and verification, allows for easy use within a
programming loop, and improves overall performance. In contrast, MATLAB functions must validate parameters every time you call the function.
In addition to the System objects provided with System Toolboxes, you can also create your own System objects. See Create System Objects.
To run a System
object and perform the operation defined by its algorithm, you call the object as if it were a function. For
example, to create an FFT object that uses the
object, specifies a length of 1024, and names it
dft = dsp.FFT;
When you run a System object, it also performs other important tasks related to data processing, such as initialization and handling object states.
An alternative way to run a System
object is to use the
step method. For example, for an object created using
dsp.FFT, you can run it using
After you create a System
object, you use various object methods to process data or obtain information from or about the object. The syntax
for using methods is
<method>(<system object name>), plus possible extra input arguments.
For example, for
txfourier = dsp.FFT, where
txfourier is a name you assign, you call
reset method using
reset(txfourier). For more information about methods, see the
descriptions in Common Methods.
All System objects support the following methods, each of which is linked from each object’s reference page. In cases where a method is not applicable to a particular object, calling that method has no effect on the object.
object like a function, or|
Run the object to process data using the algorithm defined by that object.
As part of this processing, the object initializes needed resources, returns outputs, and updates the object states. After you start running the object, you cannot change any input specifications (i.e., dimensions, data type, complexity). During execution, you can change only tunable properties. Both ways of running a System object return regular MATLAB variables.
Releases any special resources allocated by the object, such as file handles and device
drivers, and unlocks the object. For System objects, use the
|Resets the internal states of a locked object to the initial values for that object and leaves the object locked|
|Returns the number of inputs (excluding the object itself) expected running the object. This number varies for an object depending on whether any properties enable additional inputs.|
|Returns the number of outputs expected from running the object. This number varies for an object depending on whether any properties enable additional outputs.|
|Returns the discrete states of the object in a structure. If the object is unlocked (when the object is
first created and before you have run it or after you have released the object), the states are empty. If the
object has no discrete states, |
|Creates another object of the same type with the same property values|
|Returns a logical value indicating whether the object is locked.|
|Applies to source objects only. Returns a logical value indicating whether the end of the data file has
been reached. If a particular object does not have end-of-data capability, this method value returns
|Returns a structure containing characteristic information about the object. The fields of this structure vary depending on the object. If a particular object does not have characteristic information, the structure is empty.|