Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Wilfrido Moreno, Ph.D.


FPGA, SysGen, Matlab, PID, VHDL


The goal of this research was to explore a new and improved software development tool for the implementation of control algorithms on Xilinx Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA). The Simulink plug in, System Generator, complements traditional Hardware Description Language (HDL) by providing a higher level graphical language for the development of FPGA designs. The design is then translated into the lower level required by the Xilinx's ISE program. By utilizing this graphical based higher level of abstraction at the design entry level, the requirement of a detailed knowledge of HDL languages is no longer required. Because of this new environment the time required to implement the previously developed control design on the FPGA is reduced. The initial work began with a study of System Generator capabilities. One of the primary areas of interest is the difference on how the mathematical model representations are implemented between Simulink and the logic based hardware. From this initial work, a methodology for conversion between the developed and verified Simulink design and hardware implementation was obtained. As a case study, a control design was implemented for a Simulink model of an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) based on an RC-Truck. The control system consists of a simple mission planner to generate a vector of waypoints, a proportional-integral velocity controller and a proportional heading controller. The derived hardware design process is then utilized and validated by converting the control system into the available System Generator blocks. The final verification of the FPGA design was a hardware-in-the-loop simulation utilizing a Xilinx prototyping board. This design example demonstrated the validity of the presented approach as an efficient and reliable method for rapid system prototyping for designs developed within the Simulink environment.