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Code Generation from a MATLAB Function Block

Counter Model Using the MATLAB Function block

In this tutorial, you construct and configure a simple model, eml_hdl_incrementer_tut, and then generate VHDL® code from the model. eml_hdl_incrementer_tut includes a MATLAB Function block that implements a simple fixed-point counter function, incrementer. The incrementer function is invoked once during each sample period of the model. The function maintains a persistent variable count, which is either incremented or reinitialized to a preset value (ctr_preset_val), depending on the value passed in to the ctr_preset input of the MATLAB Function block. The function returns the counter value (counter) at the output of the MATLAB Function block.

The MATLAB Function block resides in a subsystem, DUT_eML_Block. The subsystem functions as the device under test (DUT) from which you generate HDL code.

The root-level model drives the subsystem and includes Display and To Workspace blocks for use in simulation. (The Display and To Workspace blocks do not generate HDL code.)

Tip

If you do not want to construct the model step by step, or do not have time, you can open the completed model by entering the name at the command prompt:

eml_hdl_incrementer

After you open the model, save a copy of it to your local folder as eml_hdl_incrementer_tut.

The Incrementer Function Code

The following code listing gives the complete incrementer function definition:

function counter = incrementer(ctr_preset, ctr_preset_val)
% The function incrementer implements a preset counter that counts
% how many times this block is called. 
%
% This example function shows how to model memory with persistent variables,
% using fimath settings suitable for HDL. It also demonstrates MATLAB
% operators and other language features that HDL Coder supports
% for code generation from Embedded MATLAB Function block.
%
% On the first call, the result 'counter' is initialized to zero.
% The result 'counter' saturates if called more than 2^14-1 times.
% If the input ctr_preset receives a nonzero value, the counter is 
% set to a preset value passed in to the ctr_preset_val input.


persistent current_count;
if isempty(current_count)
    % zero the counter on first call only
    current_count = uint32(0); 
end
           

counter = getfi(current_count);

if ctr_preset
    % set counter to preset value if input preset signal is nonzero
    counter = ctr_preset_val; 
else
    % otherwise count up
    inc = counter + getfi(1); 
    counter = getfi(inc);    
end

% store counter value for next iteration
current_count = uint32(counter);

function hdl_fi = getfi(val)

nt = numerictype(0,14,0);
fm = hdlfimath;
hdl_fi = fi(val, nt, fm);

Setting Up

Before you begin building the example model, set up a working folder for your model and generated code.

Setting Up a folder

  1. Start MATLAB®.

  2. Create a folder named eml_tut, for example:

    mkdir D:\work\eml_tut

    The eml_tut folder stores the model you create, and also contains sub-folders and generated code. The location of the folder does not matter, except that it should not be within the MATLAB tree.

  3. Make the eml_tut folder your working folder, for example:

    cd D:\work\eml_tut

Creating the Model and Configuring General Model Settings

In this section, you create a model and set some parameters to values recommended for HDL code generation hdlsetup command. The hdlsetup command uses the set_param function to set up models for HDL code generation quickly and consistently. See Customize hdlsetup Function Based on Target Application for further information about hdlsetup.

To set the model parameters:

  1. Create a new model.

  2. Save the model as eml_hdl_incrementer_tut.

  3. At the MATLAB command prompt, type:

    hdlsetup('eml_hdl_incrementer_tut');
    
  4. Open the Configuration Parameters dialog box.

  5. Set the following Solver options, which are useful in simulating this model:

    • Fixed step size: 1

    • Stop time: 5

  6. Click OK to save your changes and close the Configuration Parameters dialog box.

  7. Save your model.

Adding a MATLAB Function Block to the Model

  1. Open the Simulink® Library Browser. Then, select the Simulink/User-Defined Functions library.

  2. Select the MATLAB Function block from the library window and add it to the model.

  3. Change the block label from MATLAB Function to eml_inc_block.

  4. Save the model.

  5. Close the Simulink Library Browser.

Set Fixed-Point Options for the MATLAB Function Block

This section describes how to set up the fimath specification and other fixed-point options that are recommended for efficient HDL code generation from the MATLAB Function block. The recommended settings are:

  • ProductMode property of the fimath specification: 'FullPrecision'

  • SumMode property of the fimath specification: 'FullPrecision'

  • Treat these inherited signal types as fi objects option: Fixed-point (This is the default setting.)

Configure the options as follows:

  1. Open the eml_hdl_incrementer_tut model that you created in Adding a MATLAB Function Block to the Model.

  2. Double-click the MATLAB Function block to open it for editing. The MATLAB Function Block Editor appears.

  3. Click Edit Data. The Ports and Data Manager dialog box opens, displaying the default fimath specification and other properties for the MATLAB Function block.

  4. Select Specify Other. Selecting this option enables the MATLAB Function block fimath text entry field.

  5. The hdlfimath function is a utility that defines a FIMATH specification that is optimized for HDL code generation. Replace the default MATLAB Function block fimath specification with a call to hdlfimath as follows:

    hdlfimath;
  6. Click Apply. The MATLAB Function block properties should now appear as shown in the following figure.

  7. Close the Ports and Data Manager.

  8. Save the model.

Programming the MATLAB Function Block

The next step is add code to the MATLAB Function block to define the incrementer function, and then use diagnostics to check for errors.

  1. Open the eml_hdl_incrementer_tut model that you created in Adding a MATLAB Function Block to the Model.

  2. Double-click the MATLAB Function block to open it for editing.

  3. In the MATLAB Function Block Editor, delete the default code.

  4. Copy the complete incrementer function definition from the listing given in The Incrementer Function Code, and paste it into the editor.

  5. Save the model. Doing so updates the model window, redrawing the MATLAB Function block.

    Changing the function header of the MATLAB Function block makes the following changes to the block icon:

    • The function name in the middle of the block changes to incrementer.

    • The arguments ctr_preset and ctr_preset_val appear as input ports to the block.

    • The return value counter appears as an output port from the block.

  6. Resize the block to make the port labels more legible.

  7. Save the model again.

Constructing and Connecting the DUT_eML_Block Subsystem

This section assumes that you have completed Programming the MATLAB Function Block without encountering an error. In this section, you construct a subsystem containing the incrementer function block, to be used as the device under test (DUT) from which to generate HDL code. You then set the port data types and connect the subsystem ports to the model.

Constructing the DUT_eML_Block Subsystem

Construct a subsystem containing the incrementer function block as follows:

  1. Click the incrementer function block.

  2. On the Modeling tab of the Simulink Toolstrip, select Create Subsystem.

    A subsystem, labeled Subsystem, is created in the model window.

  3. Change the Subsystem label to DUT_eML_Block.

Setting Port Data Types for the MATLAB Function Block

  1. Double-click the subsystem to view its interior. As shown in the following figure, the subsystem contains the incrementer function block, with input and output ports connected.

  2. Double-click the incrementer function block to open the MATLAB Function Block Editor.

  3. In the editor, click Edit Data to open the Ports and Data Manager.

  4. Select the ctr_preset entry in the port list on the left. Click the button labeled >> to display the Data Type Assistant. Set Mode for this port to Built in. Set Data type to boolean. Click the button labeled << to close the Data Type Assistant. Click Apply.

  5. Select the ctr_preset_val entry in the port list on the left. Click the button labeled >> to display the Data Type Assistant. Set Mode for this port to Fixed point. Set Signedness to Unsigned. Set Word length to 14. Click the button labeled << to close the Data Type Assistant. Click Apply.

  6. Select the counter entry in the port list on the left. Click the button labeled >> to display the Data Type Assistant. Verify that Mode for this port is set to Inherit: Same as Simulink. Click the button labeled << to close the Data Type Assistant. Click Apply.

  7. Close the Ports and Data Manager dialog box and the MATLAB Function Block Editor.

  8. Save the model and close the DUT_eML_Block subsystem.

Connecting Subsystem Ports to the Model

Next, connect the ports of the DUT_eML_Block subsystem to the model as follows:

  1. From the Sources library, add a Constant block to the model. Set the value of the Constant block to 1, and the Output data type to boolean. Change the block label to Preset.

  2. Make a copy of the Preset Constant block. Set its value to 0, and change its block label to Increment.

  3. From the Signal Routing library, add a Manual Switch block to the model. Change its label to Control. Connect its output to the In1 port of the DUT_eML_Block subsystem.

  4. Connect the Preset Constant block to the upper input of the Control switch block. Connect the Increment Constant block to the lower input of the Control switch block.

  5. Add a third Constant block to the model. Set the value of the Constant to 15, and the Output data type to Inherit via back propagation. Change the block label to Preset Value.

  6. Connect the Preset Value Constant block to the In2 port of the DUT_eML_Block subsystem.

  7. From the Sinks library, add a Display block to the model. Connect it to the Out1 port of the DUT_eML_Block subsystem.

  8. From the Sinks library, add a To Workspace block to the model. Route the output signal from the DUT_eML_Block subsystem to the To Workspace block.

  9. Save the model.

Checking the Function for Errors

Use the built-in diagnostics of MATLAB Function blocks to test for syntax errors:

  1. Open the eml_hdl_incrementer_tut model.

  2. Double-click the MATLAB Function block incrementer to open it for editing.

  3. In the MATLAB Function Block Editor, select Build Model > Build to compile and build the MATLAB Function block code.

The build process displays some progress messages. These messages include some warnings, because the ports of the MATLAB Function block are not yet connected to signals. You can ignore these warnings.

The build process builds an S-function for use in simulation. The build process includes generation of C code for the S-function. The code generation messages you see during the build process refer to generation of C code, not HDL code generation.

When the build concludes without encountering an error, a message window appears indicating that parsing was successful. If errors are found, the Diagnostics Manager lists them. See the MATLAB Function block documentation for information on debugging MATLAB Function block build errors.

Compiling the Model and Displaying Port Data Types

In this section you enable the display of port data types and then compile the model. Model compilation verifies the model structure and settings, and updates the model display.

  1. In the Debug tab of the Simulink Toolstrip, on the Information Overlays > Ports section, select Base data types.

  2. Press Ctrl+D to compile and update the model. This triggers a rebuild of the code. After the model compiles, the block diagram updates to show the port data types.

  3. Save the model.

Simulating the eml_hdl_incrementer_tut Model

Start simulation. If required, the code rebuilds before the simulation starts.

After the simulation completes, the Display block shows the final output value returned by the incrementer function block. For example, given a Start time of 0, a Stop time of 5, and a zero value at the ctr_preset port, the simulation returns a value of 6:

You might want to experiment with the results of toggling the Control switch, changing the Preset Value constant, and changing the total simulation time. You might also want to examine the workspace variable simout, which is bound to the To Workspace block.

Generating HDL Code

In this section, you select the DUT_eML_Block subsystem for HDL code generation, set basic code generation options, and then generate VHDL code for the subsystem.

Selecting the Subsystem for Code Generation

Select the DUT_eML_Block subsystem for code generation:

  1. Open the Configuration Parameters dialog box and click the HDL Code Generation pane.

  2. Select eml_hdl_incrementer_tut/DUT_eML_Block from the Generate HDL for list.

  3. Click Apply.

Generating VHDL Code

In the Configuration Parameters dialog box, the top-level HDL Code Generation options should now be set as follows:

  • The Generate HDL for field specifies the eml_hdl_incrementer_tut/DUT_eML_Block subsystem for code generation.

  • The Language field specifies (by default) generation of VHDL code.

  • The Folder field specifies (by default) that the code generation target folder is a subfolder of your working folder, named hdlsrc.

Before generating code, select Current Folder from the Layout menu in the MATLAB Command Window. This displays the Current Folder browser, which lets you easily access your working folder and the files that are generated within it.

To generate code:

  1. Click the Generate button.

    HDL Coder™ compiles the model before generating code. Depending on model display options (such as port data types), the appearance of the model might change after code generation.

  2. As code generation proceeds, the coder displays progress messages. The process should complete with a message like the following:

    ### HDL Code Generation Complete.
    

    The names of generated VHDL files in the progress messages are hyperlinked. After code generation completes, you can click these hyperlinks to view the files in the MATLAB Editor.

  3. A folder icon for the hdlsrc folder is now visible in the Current Folder browser. To view generated code and script files, double-click the hdlsrc folder icon.

  4. Observe that two VHDL files were generated. The structure of HDL code generated for MATLAB Function blocks is similar to the structure of code generated for Stateflow® charts and Digital Filter blocks. The VHDL files that were generated in the hdlsrc folder are:

    • eml_inc_blk.vhd: VHDL code. This file contains entity and architecture code implementing the actual computations generated for the MATLAB Function block.

    • DUT_eML_Block.vhd: VHDL code. This file contains an entity definition and RTL architecture that provide a black box interface to the code generated in eml_inc_blk.vhd.

    The structure of these code files is analogous to the structure of the model, in which the DUT_eML_Block subsystem provides an interface between the root model and the incrementer function in the MATLAB Function block.

    The other files generated in the hdlsrc folder are:

    • DUT_eML_Block_compile.do: Mentor Graphics® ModelSim® compilation script (vcom command) to compile the VHDL code in the two .vhd files.

    • DUT_eML_Block_synplify.tcl: Synplify® synthesis script.

    • DUT_eML_Block_map.txt: Mapping file. This report file maps generated entities (or modules) to the subsystems that generated them (see Trace Code Using the Mapping File).

  5. To view the generated VHDL code in the MATLAB Editor, double-click the DUT_eML_Block.vhd or eml_inc_blk.vhd file icons in the Current Folder browser.

See Also

Related Topics