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Table of Contents > QUARC > User's Guide > QUARC Targets > Specific Targets

QUARC Win64 Target

One of the target types supported by QUARC is the Windows target. The Windows target currently supports 64-bit Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 running on any x64-compatible CPU. This section provides a general description of the Windows target in addition to limitations and requirements for this target type. Please use the following list to refer to each topic:

Description

The QUARC Win64 Target is a soft real-time system. The Microsoft 64-bit Windows operating system is not designed to guarantee that events are always processed within a particular timeframe, as in a hard real-time system. Thus, if an operation misses its deadline, it is considered "less" than correct but not an application or system failure. The system simply tolerates the missed deadline and performs the operation with delay. In real-time applications, this behaviour is undesirable since all operations must meet their deadlines. In particular, real-time control applications expect the sampling rate of the controller to be maintained, and no samples to be missed.

To minimize the delays in processing real-time events, the QUARC Win64 Target assigns the highest possible priority to a model's real-time code. The threads of the real-time code will preempt the threads of all other processes, including operating system processes performing important tasks, such as handling of mouse and keyboard input. Hence, a real-time process that executes for more than a brief interval may cause disk caches not to flush or the mouse to be unresponsive.

QUARC currently supports 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. The QUARC Win64 Target is designed for 64-bit Windows platforms only. Refer to the QUARC Windows Target for 32-bit Windows platform support.

Limitations

There are a number of limitations imposed on the Windows target. The following is a list of these limitations:

Real-Time Performance

Warning The QUARC Win64 Target is a soft real-time system. For real-time processes with critical time constraints (e.g. advanced robotics), this target may not be suitable.

Sampling Rates

The QUARC system timebase has been substantially revised. Performance has been significantly improved for sample times of two milliseconds or slower on all platforms. For some systems, this improvement is also seen for one millisecond sample times.

Warning For samples times faster than two milliseconds, QUARC now provides the option of using a "fast system timer" on multiprocessor or multicore systems. The fast system timer is much more CPU intensive than the standard timer but allows samples times faster than one millisecond and typically provides better performance than QUARC 1.1 for sample times of one millisecond. Hence, the one millisecond limit no longer exists for the Windows target on multiprocessor or multicore machines. However, because the fast system timer is CPU intensive and limited to multiprocessor or multicore machines, hardware-based timing is still recommended. For more information on the fast system timer option refer to the Code Generation Pane - QUARC page.

Hardware-based timing makes use of the timer on a data acquisition card. Hardware timers are accessible via Timebase blocks such as the HIL Timebase blocks. It is highly recommended that a hardware timebase be used on the Windows target, particularly on a single-core machine.

EtherCAT

Warning EtherCAT devices are not currently supported by the QUARC Windows target. For information on the EtherCAT blocks, please refer to the EtherCAT Device Blocks section in the QUARC documentation.

Requirements

For the QUARC Win64 Target, the basic hardware and software requirements are discussed in the "QUARC Installation Guide" document included on the QUARC installation CD.

Certain devices supported by QUARC have their own set of customized blocks and need additional hardware or software to be installed on the target. These devices include the Nintendo Wiimote, Point Grey Research (PGR) Camera and the Schunk Gripper. For a complete list of devices supported by QUARC and their corresponding blocksets, please refer to the Device Blocks section. The table below includes the aforementioned devices with the corresponding hardware or software requirements:

Devices

Requirements

Nintendo Wiimote

In order to use the Nintendo Wiimote, a compatible Bluetooth device must be installed on the host PC and connected to the Wiimote so that the Wiimote is connected as an HID device. Details on compatible Bluetooth devices and connection procedures can be found online at https://wiibrew.org/wiki/Main_Page, or other related sites.

PGR Camera

In order to use the PGR Camera, the PGR FlyCapture software must be installed. The software should be included with the camera, or downloaded from the Point Grey Research website. The recommended version is FlyCapture v1.8 (FlyCapture v2.x is not currently supported). It is recommended that the FlyCapture software be installed and tested using the FlyCap application to ensure that the software is installed correctly and can communicate properly with the camera.

Schunk Gripper

In order to use the Schunk Gripper, the Schunk PowerCube software must be installed. The software should be i ncluded with the Gripper module, or can be downloaded from the Schunk website. It is recommended that the PowerCube software be installed and tested to ensure that the software is installed correctly and can communicate properly with the Gripper. The PowerCube software can also be used to verify the properties of your Gripper module such as the module ID, port, and baud rate.

In addition to the devices mentioned above, various data acquisition cards are also supported by QUARC. For more information about these cards and their software requirements, please refer to the QUARC Data Acquisition Card Support reference section in the QUARC documentation.

 

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