The BoomBox is a high-performance Rapid Control Prototyping (RCP) platform tailored for power electronics. It helps R&D engineers to speed up their control developments, while guaranteeing a safe and sound control implementation.
A major drawback of most rapid control prototyping systems is the relatively poor versatility of their signal conditioning hardware. This forces to develop repeatedly specific interfaces in order to each and every project or product. To obviate this shortcoming, the BoomBox embeds a highly configurable analog frontend, featuring:
The BoomBox features the ability to block the power switches in case of inappropriate operation, independently from the execution of the control software. A fault state is triggered based on user-programmable threshold values. In case an overvoltage or overcurrent is detected on any of the input channels, all firing signals are instantaneously deactivated. Additionally, the source of the fault is clearly indicated, allowing for an easy back-tracing of the fault.
Apart from this mechanism, the BoomBox is also self-protected against inappropriate operating conditions such as loss of realtime (excessive computational burden) or critical algorithmic errors. Finally, the user may also trigger these protective mechanisms manually.
Modular power converters are receiving an increasing interest, inducing new requirements for their control. Versatility and scalability are becoming key concepts. Unfortunately, existing controllers are barely capable of reproducing the same degree of modularity and flexibility as power circuits can offer. Extensive or strongly hierarchized control structures are still difficult to implement for non-experts.
The BoomBox fulfills solves these challenges by proposing easy means to combine elementary units in order to boost their I/Os and data processing capabilities. Several BoomBoxes can be combined in order to best adjust to various applications. Three different kinds of combined operation can be set up:
The BoomBox embeds an ultra-light and strongly layered operating system dedicated to power electronics. This OS simultaneously combines a high level of safety and a very simple use for the user.
More importantly, thanks to the combination of its OS and FPGA-based peripherals, the BoomBox is hardware-idependant. In other words, the system architecture has been designed to circumvent the low cycle lifetime of electronic components. The BoomBox is designed to last, guaranteeing a continuous portability and re-usablility of the user’s control code over evolving hardware and over time.
Generally, rapid prototyping systems do not fully reach their expected level of performance, partly due to the relatively poor quality of the self-generated executable codes.
Conversely, with the BoomBox control platform, the user is purposely involved the in programming procedure, but is also provided with a complete set of fully tested software control libraries. A basic project template and several examples are provided as well.
In such a way, the usual unattractiveness of C/C++ coding is compensated by very easy-to-use software libraries and the little additional programming effort is largely compensated by significantly better real-time performances.
Finally, numerous code examples and tutorials are directly available on imperix’s website in order to guide the user as much as possible in the development of control applications.
The development of power electronic systems can be made even faster and simple by using the numerous accessories and side products that are ideally suited to operate with the BoomBox. Among them, imperix provides various kind of power electronic building blocks, the PowerTrench boards, as well as other kind of accessories, such as sensors.
In a future release of the BoomBox core system, automated recognition of the imperix sensors will be available, allowing for excellent off-the-shelf performance using simple low-cost sensors.
The BoomBox control platform is designed, manufactured and assembled in Switzerland. In addition, the use of high-performance analog and digital components allows imperix to exclusively rely on high reliability and quality constitutive elements.