Top view of the B-Board PRO inverter control board

Inverter control board

B-Board PRO

Embedded converter controller

Embedded inverter controller

The B-Board PRO is an embeddable inverter control board that can be fully programmed using Simulink, PLECS, or C/C++. It operates identically to the B-Box RCP prototyping system.

Overview of the B-Board PRO inverter control board.
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Fully-programmable inverter control board for product-embedded applications

A tiny converter control module

Our programmable converter control module, based on Xilinx Zynq, can have both its DSP and FPGA sections fully customized using our software development environment. It is ideally suited for demanding power electronic applications and advanced converter control techniques, which require powerful computational capabilities and complete software/firmware flexibility.

Typical applications include industrial inverters and rectifiers, motor drives, multilevel inverters, and all modular converter topologies. That said, our inverter control module can be involved in almost all applications where a fully programmable digital controller is needed.

Use of the B-Box RCP inside the research laboratory
Use B-Box RCP for your R&D activities

Our rapid prototyping controller offers the very same performance as the control module, but with some additional flexibility that is tailored for R&D purposes, contributing to accelerating product development.

Transfert of control software from the B-Box to the B-Board embedded inverter controller.
Migrate easily to B-Board PRO

Thanks to the exact equivalence between both programmable controllers, control software that was previously developed on B-Box can be instantly ported on B-Board. In fact, the very same bitfile can be used!

Use of B-Board PRO inside power inverters.
Use B-Board PRO for your products

The B-Board PRO possesses just what is needed for embedded control applications. It is small enough to be integrated directly within power converters, yet powerful enough to support advanced applications.

Development phase

  • Flexible hardware
  • Rapid control validation

Production phase

  • Cost-optimized hardware
  • Product integration
New
Full bitfile compatibility!

B-Board PRO
Inverter control board

DSP+FPGA inverter controller B-Box for research applications.

B-Box RCP
Prototyping controller

The exact compatibility between B-Box RCP and B-Board PRO allows benefitting from the increased flexibility of the prototyping controller during developments, while using a product-embeddable variant during series production.

Development phase

Rapid prototyping controller

  • Flexible hardware
  • Rapid control validation
New

Production phase

Inverter control module

  • Cost-optimized hardware
  • Product integration

B-Box RCP Prototyping controller

The exact compatibility between B-Box RCP and B-Board PRO allows benefiting from the increased flexibility of the prototyping controller during developments while using a lower-cost product-embeddable inverter control board during series production.

Full bitfile compatibility!

B-Board PRO Inverter control board

Medium voltage power inverter with the B-Board PRO control board.
Embeded control board for use within power converter.

A power converter controller, equivalent to B-Box RCP!

The embeddable inverter controller module possesses most of the features of its laboratory counterpart, except the configurable analog front-end and the software-independent protections.

It is meant to be a cost-optimized equivalent system for embedded control applications, fully cross-compatible with its larger sister.

B-Box RCP

B-Board PRO
Processor (Xilinx Zync)2x ARM 1GHz2x ARM 1GHz

FPGA (Xilinx Zynq)

Kintex 7 125KKintex 7 125K

Analog to digital converters

16x8x

C++ programming

Simulink programming

Programmable front-end

Hardware protections

Key hardware specifications

System on chip

Xilinx Zynq XC7Z030-3FBG676E

Digital outputs

16x Electrical (3.3V)

Processor

2x ARM Cortex A9 1GHz 
1GB DDR3

Digital inputs16x Electrical (3.3V)
FPGAsXilinx Kintex 7 125K
(user programmable)
Fault inputs16x Electrical (1.8V)
1x Electrical interlock
Analog inputs

8x 16bits @2Msps 

Incremental decoder inputs4x 3-pins (A,B,Z)
(shared with GPI inputs)
PWM outputs16x Electrical (1.8V)
16x Electrical (3.3V)
Communication1x USB 2.0 (computer)
1x Ethernet 1Gbps (RJ45)
3x SFP+ 5Gbps
1x CAN
+ user high-speed I/Os
User High-speed I/Os36x Electrical (3.3V)
System on chipZynq XC7Z030-3FBG676E
Processor2x ARM Cortex A9 1GHz
1GB DDR3
FPGAsKintex 7 125K (user programmable)
Analog inputs8x 16bits @2Msps
PWM outputs16x Electrical (1.8V)
16x Electrical (3.3V)
User High-speed I/Os36x Electrical (3.3V)
Digital outputs16x Electrical (3.3V)
Digital inputs16x Electrical (3.3V)
Fault inputs16x Electrical (1.8V)
1x Electrical interlock
Encoder inputs4x 3-pins (A,B,Z) (shared with GPI inputs)
Communication1x USB 2.0 (computer)
1x Ethernet 1Gbps (RJ45)
3x SFP+ 5Gbps

An embeddable inverter control board

The B-Board PRO is a small piggy-back control module meant to be assembled within a larger converter control system. It embeds the essential and application-independent part of a power converter controller and can be easily mounted on top of a system-specific carrier board.

Bitfile compatibility

The inverter control module is guaranteed to work exactly the same way as the B-Box RCP, with the exact same performance. In fact, the very same bitfile can be used on both devices.

Small form factor

Despite its numerous I/Os, the control module measures only 86×124 mm. This is small enough to be assembled in most industrial systems. It also fits within a headroom of 22mm only!

Processing power

The embeddable control module is exactly as powerful as the B-Box RCP. Indeed, with its dual-core 1GHz processor, it features outstanding performance, especially for an embedded controller.

Extensive I/O connectivity

Everything you may ever need to control advanced power inverters!

Over 120 user I/Os

Our inverter control module is ready for the most demanding needs and has been specially designed with low- to mid-volume, complex applications.

With its high number of digital I/Os, there’s plenty of extension margin. The application scope is thus mostly defined by the available analog inputs.

Ideal for distributed control applications!

When needed, hierarchized or distributed control systems can also be implemented. This allows either building larger control systems or interconnecting several programmable controllers together.

Communication can be implemented easily over Ethernet, CAN, or our proprietary low-latency protocol running over optical fiber links (SFP).

Hardware peripherals onboard the B-Board PRO inverter controller.

The inverter controller offers plenty of I/O connectivity with other industrial control equipment.

Benefits for industrial applications

A powerful converter control board

The B-Board PRO inverter control board brings most of the benefits of a rapid prototyping system directly into industrial applications. When compared to the B-Box RCP, it offers the same development environments, exact same performance, and same remote access capabilities.

Integrated with Simulink and PLECS
Simulink

The converter controller can be programmed using C/C++ code, or directly from simulation software, such as Simulink and PLECS. Thanks to a fully automated code generation toolchain, just one single click is all it needs to fully program the device!

The provided blocksets also embed simulation models so that the system can be accurately simulated and tuned before run-time is generated.

Absolutely no expertise in FPGA-based development is needed to work with this industrial control module. It operates readily with a highly flexible and highly configurable FPGA firmware.

Nevertheless, for the advanced users who require to alter the FPGA code, the B-Board PRO allows doing so. In this case, dedicated areas are provided, with straightforward integration within the existing DSP software kernel.

User-programmable FPGA
FPGA
Imperix module for inverter control.
Up to 400kHz closed-loop rate

The converter control module uses a dual-core processor. One core is dedicated to the execution of the closed-loop control tasks (bare metal, dedicated kernel), the other one to the system supervision and monitoring (linux). Most low-level tasks are also shifted in FPGA.

This results in the full dedication of a fast floating-point processor core to real-time control tasks, with best-in-class performance, ranging up to 400kHz control frequencies in closed-loop operation.

In addition to being 100% compatible with the prototyping controller, the inverter control board benefits from the same software environment and tools. It, therefore, facilitates debugging and testing activities in the same way!

Overall, integration efforts are often limited to mechanical aspects, which are specific to the application anyway. All the rest is in direct continuity with previous work done with the B-Box RCP.

Quick product integration
Quick integration
Power inverter with our embedded control board.

Benefits for industrial applications

A powerful inverter controller

The inverter control board brings most of the benefits of a rapid prototyping system directly into industrial applications. When compared to the B-Box RCP, it offers the same development environments, exact same performance, and same remote access capabilities.

Inverter control development from Simulink and PLECS
Programming of the B-Board PRO inverter control board using Matlab Simulink.

The power electronic inverter controller board can be programmed using C/C++ code, or directly from simulation software, such as Simulink and PLECS. Thanks to a fully automated code generation toolchain, just one single click is all it needs to fully program the device!

The provided blocksets also embed simulation models so that the system behavior can be accurately simulated and tuned before run-time is generated.

Inverter control module with user-programmable FPGA

Power electronic engineers need absolutely no expertise in FPGA-based development to work with the B-Board inverter control module. It operates readily with a highly flexible and highly configurable FPGA firmware.

Nevertheless, for the most advanced users who require to alter the FPGA code, the B-Board control module allows doing so. In this case, dedicated areas are provided, with straightforward integration within the existing DSP software kernel.

Digital control board with fast processors 

The B-Board PRO inverter control board uses a dual-core processor; one core being dedicated to the execution of the closed-loop control tasks (bare metal, dedicated kernel), the other to the system supervision and monitoring (linux). Besides, most low-level tasks are shifted in FPGA.

This results in the full dedication of a fast floating-point processor core to real time control tasks, with best-in-class performance, ranging up to 400kHz control frequencies.

Quick integration into power inverters

In addition to being 100% compatible with B-Box RCP, the B-Board PRO inverter controller board benefits from the same software environment and tools. It can be programmed from Simulink (or PLECS) and controlled from BB Control too!

Overall, most of the specific integration efforts are only those related to the mechanical aspects as well as the signal conditioning and protection, which are often tailored to the application anyway.

Internal hardware architecture of the control module inside the B-Board PRO.

The inverter control board embeds a specialized operating system and firmware for power inverters.

A specialized operating system for power electronics

High performance and safety

The inverter controller board embeds an ultra-light operating system (BBOS), specially tailored for hard real-time applications. This kernel simultaneously combines a high level of safety, very low overhead, and very rigorous management of priorities.

Integrated monitoring capabilities

The B-Board PRO control module also benefits from the close interaction of BBOS and the second CPU core (Linux) for debugging, monitoring, and the related interaction with the remote computer. This non-invasive supervision can also be used for long-term remote surveillance.

Hardware independence

Thanks to its fully FPGA-based peripherals, the B-Board is built on a strong hardware abstraction layer. As such, any control code is guaranteed to keep working across future generations of hardware, facilitating system maintenance and upgrade.

Comprehensive computer software

Tools dedicated to the control of power converters

Software development environments compatible with imperix programmable controllers.
Comprehensive design suites

Rapid control prototyping with our programmable controllers is supported by our software development kits (SDK), for either C++, Simulink or PLECS .

  • Support for C++, Simulink or PLECS
  • Code libraries / examples
  • Free maintenance
Monitoring & control software

During operation, the BB Control Utility  allows to observe, edit and log any variable present in memory. This allows for the rapid debugging and tuning of any converter control code.

  • Real-time tuning of all variables
  • 2 million points datalogging
  • Free maintenance

The Evaluation kit allows quickly evaluating
the tremendous capabilities of the B-Board PRO,
right from the top of your desk.

Evaluation kit for the B-Board PRO embedded inverter control board.

Evaluation kit

Discovery and development kit for B-Board PRO

The Evaluation kit enables development engineers to power up the B-Board PRO and get the first signals out of it within few minutes. It notably contains an easy-to-use carrier board that gives instant access to most analog and digital signals, normally located on the bottom of the embedded control module.

The kit also contains suitable documentation and getting-started examples as to best support a rapid evaluation of the hardware and software capabilities, featuring the very same performance as the larger B-Box RCP system.

I/O connectivity of the inverter control module.

carrier board signals

x8Analog inputs

Full-differential inputs,16bits

Phoenix 3.5mm (1989023)

± 5V

x4Analog outputs

16bits, single-ended

Phoenix 3.5mm (1989023)

± 5V

x1Fault input

Electrical

2.54 mm header

3.3V
x1Communication

Ethernet, device programming and monitoring

RJ45 socket
x16PWM outputsDedicated modulators, 4 differents time basesPhoenix 3.5mm (1989023)3.3V
x8Digital outputs

2.54 mm header

3.3V
x8Digital inputs

2.54 mm header

3.3V
x36User configurable I/OsDirect to FPGA, bidirectional

2.54 mm header

3.3V
x8Analog inputsFull-differential inputs,16bits
Phoenix 3.5mm (1989023)
± 5V
x4Analog outputs16bits, single-ended
Phoenix 3.5mm (1989023)
± 5V
x1Fault inputElectrical
2.54 mm header
3.3V
x1CommunicationEthernet, device programming and monitoring
RJ45 socket
x16PWM outputsDedicated modulators, 4 differents time bases
Phoenix 3.5mm (1989023)
3.3V
x8Digital outputs2.54 mm header3.3V
x8Digital inputs2.54 mm header3.3V
x36User configurable I/OsDirect to FPGA, bidirectional
2.54 mm header
3.3V
Content view of the evaluation kit for inverter control, including B-Boar PRO.
CONTENT OF THE KIT

Carrier board (motherboard)

x1
B-Board PROx1
Power supply (20W / 12V)x1
Ethernet cablex1
Quick start guide (user manual)x1
Packaging of the B-Board PRO inverter controller.
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ACG SDK
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C/C++ SDK
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