B-Box RCP 3.0

Control platform

The ultimate prototyping controller for power electronics

The B-Box RCP is a rapid control prototyping system for power electronic applications. Thanks to the high flexibility of its software and hardware, it facilitates the experimental validation of power converters control techniques.

your price

Upgrade kit

The kit allows to transform an existing BoomBox (HW 2.0) into the very same hardware as the B-Box RCP 3.0. The upgrade procedure implies to replace the motherboard – with its hosted processing module – as well as the rear panel. Updating the hardware is easy and can be done directly by the end user, or at imperix (standard support request).

your price
$3’655.00


KIT COMPOSITION
  • Motherboard with B-Board PRO
  • Rear panel (pre-assembled)

Upgrade kit

The kit allows to transform an existing BoomBox (HW 2.0) into the very same hardware as the B-Box RCP 3.0. The upgrade procedure implies to replace the motherboard – with its hosted processing module – as well as the rear panel. Updating the hardware is easy and can be done directly by the end user, or at imperix (standard support request).

your price
$3’655.00


KIT COMPOSITION
  • Motherboard with B-Board PRO
  • Rear panel (pre-assembled)

The B-Box RCP is centered around a Xilinx Zynq 7030 SoC, with the fastest available speed grade. It features a dual-core ARM processor, clocked at 1 GHz.

Thanks to its Kintex-grade FPGA logic, the B-Box RCP offers 32 PWM blocks, with a time resolution of 4 ns. This guarantees a duty-cycle resolution of 2 % at 5 MHz.

The B-Box RCP offers great flexibility for the most demanding applications, with an entirely configurable analog front-end and a large number of digital I/Os.

KEY specifications

System on chip

Zynq XC7Z030-3FBG676E

Digital outputs 16x Electrical (3.3V/5.0V)
Processor 2x ARM Cortex A9 1GHz
1GB DDR3
Digital inputs 16x Electrical (3.3V/5.0V)
FPGAs Kintex 7 125K (user programmable)
Artix 7 35T (auxiliary)
Fault inputs 16x Electrical (3.3V)
1x Electrical interlock
1x Optical interlock
Analog inputs 16x 16bits @ 500ksps 
Simultaneous sampling
Programmable full-differential front-end
Encoder inputs 2x 3pins (A,B,Z), shared with DI 
PWM outputs 16x Optical 
32x Electrical (3.3V)
Communication 1x CAN
1x Ethernet 1 Gbps
3x SFP+ 5Gbps (RealSync)
User High-speed I/Os 36x Electrical (3.3V)
See
System on chip Zynq XC7Z030-3FBG676E
Processor 2x ARM Cortex A9 1GHz
1GB DDR3
FPGAs Kintex 7 125K (user programmable)
Artix 7 35T (auxiliary)
Analog inputs 16x 16bits @500ksps
Simultaneous sampling
Programmable full-differential front-end
PWM outputs 16x Optical 
32x Electrical (3.3V)
User High-speed I/Os 36x Electrical (3.3V)
Digital outputs 16x Electrical (3.3V/5.0V)
Digital inputs 16x Electrical (3.3V/5.0V)
Fault inputs 16x Electrical (3.3V)
1x Electrical interlock
1x Optical interlock
Encoder inputs 2x 3pins (A,B,Z), shared with DI
Communication 1x CAN
1x Ethernet 1 Gbps
3x SFP+ 5Gbps (RealSync)
See
Front view
Rear view
Switch from simulation to experimentation in no time!

The B-Box RCP can be programmed in one click, directly from Simulink. Besides,  everything can be accurately simulated first. This allows a truly simple switchover to experimental work.

Go early to the lab and work straight ahead with power!

With the hardware protections present in the B-Box RCP, engineers can start testing early, saving valuable time on computer simulations and/or real time simulations.

Generate high quality and impactful experimental results!

Thanks to the data logger embedded in the B-Box RCP, every signal can be observed, tuned and logged during run time. This allows generating high quality results in no time!

Features and BENEFITS

Integrated with Simulink
Simulink
The B-Box RCP can be programmed using either C/C++ code or widespread simulation software, such as Matlab SimulinkTM. Thanks to a fully automated code generation toolchain, just one single click is all it needs to fully program the device!

The B-Box blockset also embeds simulation models so that the system behaviour can be accurately simulated and tuned before run-time code is generated. Then, everything should truly works from the first test!

Absolutely no expertise in FPGA-based development is needed to work with the B-Box RCP, as it operates readily with a highly flexible and highly configurable FPGA firmware.

Nevertheless, for the most advanced users who require to alter the FPGA code, the B-Box RCP allows to do so. Dedicaded FPGA areas are provided, with straightforward integration within the existing DSP software kernel.

FPGA
User-programmable FPGA
High processing power
Simulink

The B-Box RCP uses a dual-core processor. One core is dedicated to the closed-loop control tasks (bare metal, dedicated kernel), the other one to the system supervision and monitoring (linux). Most low-level tasks are also shifted in FPGA.

This results in the full dedication of a fast floating-point processor to real time control, with tremendous performance, ranging up to 200 kHz control frequencies in closed loop operation.

When the number of I/Os provided by one B-Box RCP unit turns out to be insufficient, several units can be stacked together, up to a maximum of 64 unis (1024 analog inputs and 2048 PWM outputs).

In stacked configurations, all units are naturally synchronized with an accuracy of ±2 ns (!) thanks to imperix’s RealSync technology. This allows to use all I/Os as if they simply belonged to the same controller hardware!

FPGA
Stackable design
Hardware-level protection
Simulink

In case of inappropriate operation, the B-Box instantly blocks its PWM signals, thanks to dedicated hardware protection circuits. This guarantees a high level of protection, entirely independently from both the DSP cores and the FPGA.

The B-Box is also self-protected against inappropriate conditions such as excessive computational burden or algorithmic errors.

Each B-Box RCP possesses 16 highly configurable analog input channels. This obviates the need to repeatedly develop signal conditioning interfaces for every project. Each input channel features:

  • 3kΩ differential voltage input or 100Ω single-ended current-type input.
  • Programmable safety thresholds.
  • Programmable gain amplifier and low-pass filter
FPGA
Highly flexible front-end

Features and BENEFITS

Integrated with Simulink

The B-Box RCP can be programmed using either C/C++ code or widespread simulation software, such as Matlab SimulinkTM. Thanks to a fully automated code generation toolchain, just one single click is all it needs to fully program the device!

The B-Box blockset also embeds simulation models so that the system behaviour can be accurately simulated and tuned before run-time code is generated. Then, everything should truly works from the first test!

User-programmable FPGA
Absolutely no expertise in FPGA-based development is needed to work with the B-Box RCP, as it operates readily with a highly flexible and highly configurable FPGA firmware.

Nevertheless, for the most advanced users who require to alter the FPGA code and implement very specialized control logic, the B-Box RCP allows to do so. In this case, dedicaded areas are provided, with straightforward integration within the existing DSP software kernel.

High processing power

The B-Box RCP uses a dual-core processor ; one core being dedicated to the execution of the closed-loop control tasks (bare metal, dedicated kernel), the other to the system supervision and monitoring (linux). Besides, most low-level tasks are shifted in FPGA.

This results in the full dedication of a fast floating-point processor core to real time control tasks, with best-in-class performance, ranging up to 200 kHz control frequencies.

Stackable design

When the number of I/Os provided by one B-Box RCP unit turns out to be insufficient, several units can be stacked together and linked with 5 Gbps optical fibers, up to a maximum of 64 B-Boxes. This results in a maximum of 1024 analog inputs and 2048 PWM outputs.

In stacked configurations, all units are naturally synchronized with an accuracy of ±2 ns (!) thanks to imperix’s patent-pending RealSync technology. This allows to use all I/Os as if they simply belonged to the same controller hardware.

Hardware-level protection
In case of inappropriate operation, the B-Box instantly blocks its PWM signals, thanks to dedicated hardware protection circuits. This guarantees a high level of protection, entirely independently from both the DSP cores and the FPGA.

The BoomBox is also self-protected against inappropriate conditions such as excessive computational burden or critical algorithmic errors.

Highly flexible front-end

Each B-Box possesses 16 highly configurable analog input channels. This obviates the need to repeatedly develop signal conditioning interfaces for each prototyping project. Each input channel features:

  • 3kΩ full-differential voltage input or 100Ω single-ended current-type input.
  • Programmable safety thresholds.
  • Programmable gain amplifier and low-pass filter

device and operation

Have a look inside the B-Box RCP to learn more about its capabilities! Each unit features no less than 2 FPGAs, a dual-core processor and 19 microcontrollers, for state-of-the-art performance a a maximum ease of use!

B-Board PRO inside!

A high-performance embeddable controller at the heart of B-Box RCP

A high performance variant of imperix’s B-Board PRO controller is used as the main processing system inside the B-Box RCP.

This guarantees consistant behaviour and performance between both platforms, enabling users to switch seamlessly between them, with full bitfile compatibility.

High-END interconnect

Perfect synchronization!

Imperix’s patent-pending RealSync technology guarantees an unrivaled synchronization accuracy across multiple units, down to ±2.0 ns!

All this is achieved through advanced clock dissemination inside the optical fibers, enabling multiple B-Boxes to operate as if they were one single unit!

High-speed communication

The same 5 Gbps SFP+ links can be configured in tree-shaped network, achieving superior data bandwidth and lower latency over daisy-chain or ring topologies. This guarantees sub-microsecond data transfers in configurations with up to 8 controllers!

Tailor-made kernel

The B-Box RCP embeds an ultra-light operating system, specially tailored for hard real time, very low latency operation as in power electronics. This kernel simultaneously combines a high level of safety and a very low overhead.

More importantly, thanks to its fully FPGA-based peripherals, the B-Box RCP is built on a strong hardware abstraction layer. As such, any control code is guaranteed to keep working across future generations of hardware, facilitating system maintenance and upgrade.

A nice benefit of this approach is also that B-Box RCP and B-Board PRO are fully cross-compatible, although the underlying hardware differs. This allows users to switchover very easily from one controller to the other.

Comprehensive computer software

Comprehensive design suites

The B-Box RCP can be easily programmed using one of two distinct software development environment kits (SDK). Either C++ or Simulink™ can be used to instantly program the device.

  • Support for C++ or Simulink™
  • Code libraries / examples
  • Free maintenance
Monitoring & Control software

During operation, the BB Control Utility  allows to observe, edit and log any variable present in memory. This allows for the rapid debugging and tuning of any converter control code.

  • Real-time tuning of all variables
  • 2 million points datalogging
  • Free maintenance