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Code generation tool targets new users

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

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It is the first time code generation has been available from within the Matlab environment, but the company says it isn’t trying to replace the software engineer.

In the existing scenario, an algorithm is developed and tested using Matlab, but it must then be interpreted by a software engineer to create an executable program, typically in C/C++. This leads to a reiterative cycle that MathWorks claims could be drastically reduced by enabling the algorithm developer to automatically generate the C/C++ from the Matlab interface.

However, software engineers will still be needed; the way in which the code generator operates can be modified, allowing platform-specific intrinsics to be used where available. The company believes this is where the software engineers’ time is better spent, rather than simply translating algorithms from one high-level language to another.

Matlab Coder, as it will be called, is unlikely to replace the same features being used within Simulink or Embedded Coder, both of which offer code generation. However, it is expected to introduce code generation to a new group of customers not currently exploiting this capability, which MathWorks admits is currently difficult and complex.

Making it easier to use the code generation features of the tools, directly from Matlab, will enable customers to side-step the Simulink stage, making it significantly simpler to do. This is expected to appeal to a much wider audience, particularly in industries that rely on signal processing algorithms.

The company claims the quality of the code generated will be much higher than the ‘average’ software engineer, but admits it would be difficult to match the capabilities of the best coders.


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