Guy on Simulink

Simulink & Model-Based Design

What’s New in R2020a

R2020a is here... Time to highlight my favorite new Simulink features!”

Editor Enhancements

As I said many times, I spend a good part of my life debugging and editing Simulink models. Anything that can save me a couple of clicks or can make the model more readable and understandable at first look has significant impact for me.

To give you an overview of the improvements made to the Simulink Editor in R2020a, I put together the following animation where you should notice:

  • Flexible Port Placement: It is now possible to move ports to any side and in any order. This is possible for Subsystem, Subsystem Reference, Model block and Stateflow
  • Port Name Propagation: Notice that when I connected the output named "Voltage" from block1 to block2, the newly created port on Block2 was automatically named "Voltage" too.
  • Block name on any side of blocks: With flexible port placement, we thought it was a must to also allow placing the block name on any side of blocks
  • Display port number: When I create a new connection from Block3 to Block2, the label is "1". We think it is more useful than the default port name "In1". As soon as you rename the Inport/Outport block, we automatically begin to display the port name.
  • Editor enhancements in R2020a

    Simulink Profiler

    Another activity where I spend a lot of my time is helping users figure out if their Simulink models could run faster. For that, I have a set of tools I heavily depends on: Performance Advisor, MATLAB Profiler, Solver Profiler, sldiagnostics, and of course the Simulink Profiler.

    One complaint I often heard from users about the Simulink Profiler in previous versions is that it was too "engine-oriented" and was not exposing results in the way users see their models.

    In R2020a, we heard you and we decided to completely re-design the Simulink Profiler. The results are now displayed in-canvas and are organized following the model hierarchy; here is an example where I profiled the Lane Following Control with Sensor Fusion and Lane Detection example from the Automated Driving Toolbox

    Simulink Profiler

    Click to enlarge

    This new profiler offers bi-directional navigation between the model and the profiler report, and if you have the property inspector opened and select a block in the list, you will get additional information on this block's individual methods. For those who will miss the previous profiler, no worries- there is a way to toggle between the new model hierarchy view and an execution view that is ordered in a way similar to the previous profiler HTML report.

    64-bit integer data types

    Before R2020a, if you needed to deal with fixed-point types larger than 32 bits, you needed a license for the Fixed-Point Designer. In R2020a, Simulink and Stateflow now supports 64-bit integer data types.

    64-bit integers

    Simulink Compiler

    The Simulink family has a new product: Simulink Compiler.

    I am not going to say too much in this post because I have a post dedicated to Simulink Compiler coming soon, but in short, it allows you to share Simulink simulations as standalone executables. We support most formats supported by MATLAB Compiler, plus generating a standalone Functional Mockup Unit.

    I recommend visiting the product page for more details.

    Now it's your turn

    Visit the R2020a release notes and let me know in the comments below if there are features you would like me to describe on this blog.

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