Tuesday, August 9, 2011

QUARC 2.2: Significant reduction of model build time

The release of QUARC 2.2 control design software is imminent and highly anticipated throughout the control education and research community. In this post I want to introduce one of the long-awaited new features – one that should increase your anticipation even further, because it will greatly facilitate your teaching and research.

Linux Verdex Target Cross-Compilation on Host Means Much Shorter Build Time

Researchers and engineers alike have greatly appreciated QUARC’s thorough support on Gumstix Verdex, even though it could take several minutes to build a complicated model for a Verdex target. The reason why building a model took so much time was that the source code was being downloaded onto the board and built natively by the on-board ARM processor, which is not nearly as powerful as a modern CPU.

In this new release we bring an LLVM-based cross-compiler into QUARC and allow you to build code for Linux Verdex Target on your Windows host PC. By utilizing the computational power of current PCs, building time is reduced significantly. Unless you actually want to take a coffee break every time you build a model on Verdex, you’ll appreciate this new feature.

The following video clip shows the significant speed difference between the two compilers (on QUARC 2.1 and QUARC 2.2) in building the Sine and Scope Demo for the Verdex target (the one on the right side is QUARC 2.2 with the LLVM-based cross-compiler). As you'll see, the QUARC 2.2 compiler takes only 40 seconds to build its model, while the 2.1 compiler, at 120 seconds, takes three times longer.

Quanser's UVS users will be able to benefit immediately from the much faster compilation times achieved by the cross-compiler we developed and included in QUARC 2.2. The Verdex target is used in our unmanned vehicle systems (UVS) including the Qbot, Qball, HiQ, and the upcoming Quanser Ground Vehicle QGV, which we demonstrated at the recent ASEE 2011 and ACC 2011 Conferences.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts on some of the other new and very exciting advanced features of the soon-to-be released QUARC 2.2 control design software.

Click here for more information about QUARC.

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