Use of parallel co-processors in high speed position regulation

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


In March 1983, the General Electric Company Drive Systems Operations Division introduced the Distributed Micro-Controller (DMC) to the automation industry. The processor is used for high speed digital control of a number of devices. One of the first applications of the DMC was control high speed motor positioning for metal industry plant automation. In many attempts to control high speed position regulation, the problems that prevented the use of digital controllers included high cost, slow processing time, or poor mathematical capabilities. Usually to obtain two of these constraints, the third constraint became inhibitive (i.e., if processing time and mathematical capabilities were acceptable, then the cost of the controller was to high to make the use of the control device desirable). By incorporating the co-processor capabilities of the Intel 8087, a new era of digital control was available. By using the mathematical capabilities of the 8087 in conjunction with the logical processing capabilities of the 8086, a device was available to perform the mathematical calculations desired within an acceptable price range. The use of the two processes as parallel processors (at times synchronous processors, and at other times asynchronous processors) decreased the position regulation execution time to the point that the device met all three requirements needed. The parallel programming techniques that made the DMC acceptable as a high speed position regulation device are discussed in this thesis.