Engineering teams use MATLAB and Simulink to manage the complexity and scale of digital baseband signal processing projects.
Today a vast majority of engineers use MATLAB to develop digital baseband signal processing algorithms in a fraction of the time it takes with C/C++ and other languages. They save time by working at a high level of abstraction and drawing from an extensive library of prebuilt signal processing algorithms such as FFTs, filters, and modulators. This makes it easy to develop digital baseband models based on OFDM or QAM and adapt to evolving standards such as UMTS, WiMAX, and LTE.
With MATLAB and Simulink, engineering teams can express both signal processing algorithms and control logic in a single system model. Engineers can describe the signal processing algorithms as MATLAB code, Simulink blocks, or custom C or HDL code, and include control logic expressed as MATLAB code or state machines.
The complete system is simulated to ensure that the different subsystems work together as specified. Using MathWorks parallel computing technology, engineers can also take advantage of multicore computers and compute clusters to accelerate long simulations for BER testing and parameter sweeps.
Engineers can reuse the system model as the test bench by introducing implementation-level subsystem models (in C, HDL, or analog circuits) in the simulation. The results can be directly compared with the system model simulations without additional scripts or test benches. The reference models can also be used to generate test vectors for verifying hardware prototypes. By connecting the hardware prototype and test and measurement equipment to the reference model, engineers can send test vectors to the prototype, capture the results, and compare them with the simulation results.
Designing at a high level of abstraction can dramatically improve the quality of digital baseband signal processing design. Using MATLAB and Simulink, engineers quickly model and simulate design ideas. This means they can perform more iterations to improve designs and uncover design flaws.
These engineers work at multiple levels of abstraction to test both concepts and implementation details. In contrast to design flows based on lower-level programming languages, MATLAB and Simulink enable engineers to combine the extensibility of a widely-used technical computing language and the ease and productivity of a higher-level system design tool, using different levels of design abstraction as needed. Additionally, engineering teams improve the verification of digital baseband signal processing systems by quickly and repeatedly verifying system designs – first against the original specification, and then against the final implementation – by utilizing links to external simulators, hardware prototypes, and test and measurement equipment.