What is Board Support?

With board support, you can add your own hardware boards and test them in Simulink by using the SoC Blockset's BoardSupport objects.

Board support allows new hardware boards to be added to the selection of available hardware boards in SoC Blockset™. Adding board support allows you to select the new hardware board in a model and simulate with the features of SoC Blockset, such as processor-memory-FPGA or I/O device interaction.

For example, SoC Blockset provides board support for hardware boards based on the Xilinx® UltraScale+™ MPSoC family of devices. An example of a hardware board in that family is the Zynq® UltraScale+ MPSoC ZCU102 Evaluation Kit. For a complete list of supported hardware boards, see Supported Third-Party Tools and Hardware.

Hardware Board

A hardware board defines the specifications for the physical hardware board. After adding the new hardware board, many of these properties are reflected as parameters in the blocks in SoC Blockset.

The following diagram shows a simplified representation of a sample hardware board object.

Processor Core 0 through 3 specify the processor architecture. Similarly, the Processing System in the FPGA Core specifies the dimensions of the buses and references the Tool Command Language file needed to generate the HDL code.

For a detailed description of creating a new hardware board object and adding specific properties to the object, see Define Properties of Hardware Boards.

Features of Board Support

Creating new board support adds and registers tools, libraries, configuration, source and header files, and hardware board parameters to the Simulink® environment. Groups of tools, configurations, and files that serve a specific purpose define a features of board support. These features, such as external mode or kernel profiling, can be mapped to a hardware board, which enables those features and makes them visible in the Simulink configuration parameters and SoC builder app for the associated hardware board. Combined with Embedded Coder® and HDL Coder™, you can deploy a model as compiled C/C++ and HDL code to an SoC device on that suppoted hardware board.

You can create a new hardware board that uses features from an existing board by using a board support reference. When using a reference, you only need to add or modify the features unique to your hardware board and BoardSupport object. The following diagram shows how to create new board support with features from a reference board support.

Some of the features from the existing board support have been added, by reference, to the new board support. When a feature is then mapped to a hardware board in that board support, the feature becomes available to use in Simulink with that hardware board.

For a detailed description of how to add features to a new soc.sdk.BoardSupport object, see Map Reference Board Support Features.

See Also