MATLAB expands to reach self-driving, wireless biz

Features aimed at industrial, IoT, autonomous needs


MathWorks, maker of the long-standing MATLAB suite, is focusing its latest software updates on reaching beyond its traditional scientific base – and eyeing up autonomous vehicle developers, makers of devices with wireless communications, and others.

MATLAB and Simulink R2022a has "hundreds of new and updated features and functions … five new products and 11 major updates," MathWorks said. The news here isn't just about all that stuff. It's also about what MathWorks is trying to do: chase more markets. 

MATLAB and Simulink have been mainstays in academic and engineering environments, and the wheelhouse in which those products operate is an aging one. There's no shortage of modeling and simulation software waiting to knock MathWorks from its throne. To that end, this is an update full of features designed in hope of keeping MATLAB and Simulink relevant.

Latest-and-next-generation technologies feature heavily in the five products being added to the MATLAB and Simulink world, such as industrial communication, self-driving vehicles, and wireless technology.

New products in MATLAB R2022a

MathWorks' RoadRunner Scenario is an autonomous driving simulator that lets users "place vehicles and paths, define logic and parameterize scenarios, then simulate the scenarios in the editor" using vehicles imported from custom designs or pre-populated ones. RoadRunner also has an API that lets users automate the creation of different scenarios and the testing process.

The Wireless Testbench contains reference applications designed to run on off-the-shelf software-defined radio hardware, with applications including data transmission and capturing, spectrum monitoring, and signal analysis. 

An Industrial Communication Toolbox has been added that will allow MATLAB and Simulink users to access live and historic industrial data, as well as read, write and log OPC UA data from distributed control systems, PLCs and other industrial hardware. 

Also added was a DSP HDL Toolbox for designing digital signal processing apps for FPGAs, ASICs, and SoCs, and a Bluetooth Toolbox for simulating and testing systems using the radio standard. 

The major updates in MATLAB R2022a

Several of the "major updates" MathWorks alluded to add what could be seen as essential functions, and are therefore worth a mention.

The MATLAB Compiler SDK is now able to publish MATLAB functions as Docker container microservices, and the Production Server can now map custom request URLs to already-deployed MATLAB functions, as well as serve static content and customize request headers. 

Polyspace Access can now identify coding defects, review analysis results and monitor software quality metrics, which are sure to be welcomed capabilities of a code analysis product. And the Simulink Real-Time development computer now has Linux support, and the Signal Processing Toolbox can now pre-process, extract features, and label signals in AI workflows.

For a full rundown of what's changed check out the full R2022a patch notes. ®

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