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Important Things to Know

Release Type
MPI Version
Release Date
Production Release
03.02.00
16Dec2004

Introduction

This release contains several new features since the 03.01.xx series:

 

For information about MEI's software life cycle policy and release types, see Software Life Cycle Policy and MPI Release Types. To learn about the MPI version numbering scheme, see MPI Version Numbering for details.

 

Client/Server Compatibility

WARNING!
The MPI client/server feature does NOT have compatibility checks between the library on the client and the library on the server. To be safe, make sure you use the same library version on both the client and server. Between the 03.02.02 and 03.02.03 versions, the client/server interface was changed, causing an incompatibility issue. Mixing versions 03.02.02 (or lower) with 03.02.03 (or higher) when using client/server will cause client side deadlocks and saving to flash will fail. In future versions, a client/server compatibility check will be added to prevent use with incompatible versions.

 

SynqNet Node I/O

SynqNet has been expanded to support digital and analog I/O nodes. SynqNet I/O nodes are modular, making it possible to scale the number of digital and analog I/O to fit your application. For more information, see the SynqNet I/O Hardware.

New MPI methods, structures, and defines have been added to support SynqNet Node I/O. During SynqNet initialization, the nodes, the number of I/O modules (segments) and I/O bits on the modules are discovered. A new MEISqNodeInfoIo{...} structure has been added to the MEISqNodeInfo{...} structure. This structure contains the number of digital inputs, digital outputs, analog inputs, analog outputs, and number of segments. The digital and analog inputs/outputs can be accessed with the following methods:

     meiSqNodeDigitalIn
     meiSqNodeDigitalOutGet /Set
     meiSqNodeAnalogIn
     meiSqNodeAnalogOutGet /Set

     meiSqNodeSegmentDigitalIn
     meiSqNodeSegmentDigitalOutGet /Set
     meiSqNodeSegmentAnalogIn
     meiSqNodeSegmentAnalogOutGet /Set


Motor I/O

New methods and bit defines have been added to read, write, and identify the motor object's digital I/O. The new methods were added to allow future expansion for the dedicated and general purpose digital I/O and to provide a consistent interface for all digital I/O (Control, Can, SynqNet, and Motor). The MEIMotorInfo{...} structure was expanded to provide information about which I/O bits are supported, text labels, and supported sources for general purpose I/O. The old motor I/O methods and defines have been moved to meiDeprecated.h for backwards compatibility. In future releases, new methods will be added for Control and Can I/O.

For more details, see:
     mpiMotorDedicatedIn
     mpiMotorDedicatedOutGet

     mpiMotorGeneralIn
     mpiMotorGeneralOutGet /Set

     MEIMotorInfo


SynqNet Bandwidth Improvements

The SynqNet packet scheduling algorithm has been improved to support networks with high sample/data rates (16 kHz and higher). The scheduling changes may affect the control latency. Whenever your SynqNet system configuration is changed, you should verify the control latency. SynqNet schedules adapt to hardware changes (controller type, number of nodes, node types, topology, and cable length). Future software releases may have improvements to the schedule algorithms. To ensure hardware and/or software changes do not change the control loop behavior, verify that the overall control latency remains identical. See SynqNet Timing Values.

To view the SynqNet timing values, see the sample application: SqTiming1.c. If control latency is affected, it may be possible to compensate by configuring a different TxTime value. Contact MEI for additional help.

 

Host/Controller Synchronization Interrupt

A new Host/Controller synchronization interrupt feature has been added. An interrupt can be generated by the controller to the Host every "N" sample periods. By default, the synchronization interrupt sample period is set to zero (disabled). The controller's background interrupt, for generating asynchronous events is still available whether the foreground synchronization interrupt is enabled or disabled.

This feature is useful for synchronizing the Host application to the controller's sample update and the SynqNet cyclic data update. For example, if an application has custom algorithms to generate trajectory profiles it could use the synchronization interrupt to update the controller's command position every sample period. For more details, see the MEIControlConfig structure. See the sample program syncInterrupt.c in the XMP\Apps directory.

 

Kollmorgen PicoDAD and S200 Drives

Support has been added for the new Kollmorgen SynqNet PicoDAD drive and the S200 drive.

 

meiConfigGUI

The meiConfigGUI program is the "graphical user interface" version of the meiConfig program. This new software tool provides a visual means to configure a controller using text files. The text files contain symbolic configuration data in an XML format that is independent of the controller's firmware version. This makes it easy to copy controller configurations across machines or when upgrading to newer software releases.

For more information, see the meiConfigGUI utility.

Both the meiConfig and meiConfigGUI utilities are included in this release. They both share the same configuration file format, so the same configuration file can be used with either utility.

The original config.exe has been discontinued and is no longer available. Since the config and meiConfig/meiConfigGUI configuration files have different formats, you will need to convert config text files to meiConfig XML files. The 03.01.xx software release contains both the config and meiConfig utilities.

 

Node FPGAs

This release includes new SynqNet Node FPGA Runtime images. These images contain some internal improvements and bug fixes. Please see the FPGA Release Note 03.02.00 section for more details. MEI always recommends that you use the FPGA images included with the software release.

ZMP Boot0 Image/Firmware Compatibility

WARNING! ZMP-SynqNet series controllers with Boot0 image version 1.002 are ONLY compatible with firmware version 561C2 (or higher). The 561C2 firmware is available with the MPI package version 03.02.06 (or higher). ZMP-Series controllers revision P.5 and greater shipped after May 5th, 2005 have Boot0 image version 1.002 (or higher). Firmware versions 561C1 or older are no longer supported by ZMP-SynqNet series controllers. For more information, please see issue MPI 1666 - Missing foreground cycles on ZMP-SynqNet controllers.

To view the Boot0 version, use the version.exe utility.

If your ZMP-SynqNet series controller is revision P.4 or earlier and has a Boot0 image version that is 1.001 (or lower), it must be returned to MEI for an upgrade. Please contact MEI for more details.

 

 

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