For support radar engineers to simplify their development process, the NXP Model-Based Design Tools team released a simulator to be used in MATLAB, on 32-bit and 64-bit (R2015aSP1, R2016a, R2016b, R2017a, R2017b), for their radar-signal processing operational accelerator SPT 2.0 —embedded on their S32R27 and MPC577XX MCUs.


The Signal Processing Toolbox (SPT) supports high-performance radar signal processing using its powerful dedicated engine containing signal processing operations: FFT, MAXS, Histogram, MATH, and some others. The SPT carries all the required hardware modules to help engineers with:

- ADC sampling within a programmed window

- Hardware acceleration for FFT, histogram calculation, peak search, and mathematical operations on vector data.

- High-level commands for signal processing operations

- Compression/Decompression for DMA data transfers

- CPU interrupt notification and a Watchdog


SPT Block Diagram


The bit-exact SPT simulator for MATLAB runs as a regular MATLAB m-script and helps radar engineers to:

- Check the Signal Processing Toolbox (SPT) functionalities

- Change parameters/steps and visualize data results in real-time

- Use native MATLAB functions to build own algorithms

- Run performance tests, instead of implementing real hardware

- Build Golden Models, due to the floating-point precision

- Save development time, reducing time-to-market


The free-of-charge SPT simulator for MATLAB is available and included in the Model-Based Design Toolbox for SPT 2.0/2.5 v1.0.0 now ready to be downloaded, just register and request an evaluation license (so you can get future release notifications directly from the system); it came with a radar signal example to find objects in the proximity of the car, the distance to them, and their relative velocity.

A dedicated how-to guide of the example using a five-step method (Input data, Range FFT, Doppler FFT, Peak Search, and Range & Velocity) can be checked at the NXP Model-Based Design Tools for radar engineering community. In case of need, download the latest (R2017b) MATLAB release.


Why is the NXP Model-Based Design Toolbox SPT 2.0 useful for radar engineers?

Because it allows updating any variable at any step of their algorithm, gets real-time results without having to worry about hardware-related issues and speeds-up of their radar applications development now that we are experiencing a democratization of radar systems. Check this short video presentation to find more information about the NXP Model-Based Design Toolbox.