On the 19th of March 2020, MATLAB R2020a was released. There are countless new features and 3 new products from MathWorks: MATLAB Web App Server, Simulink Compiler and Motor Control Blockset. This article will go over VersionBay’s favorite features in MATLAB and Simulink.

To make this entry as useful as possible VersionBay nominated 4 features for each of the following groups of MATLAB users: Newbies, Casual Users, Proficient Users and Developers.

  • Newbies: people who are just starting to use MATLAB.
  • Casual Users: they use MATLAB every now and again.
  • Proficient Users: people who use MATLAB on a regular basis, e.g. at least 3 times per week.
  • Developers: they use MATLAB to develop tools on top of MATLAB to make the organization/community more productive.

Top features for Newbies

  • Performance Improvements: Under Release notes Performance MathWorks now quantifies which functions increased performance with a new release. An example is datetime Data Type Format Parsing is faster in R2020a according to MathWorks tests suits it went from R2019b: 5.44s to 3.10s in R202a.
  • Simulink Port Location: it is possible to move the port location on subsystems, model references, libraries to help in cleaning models and making them more readable.
  • MATLAB Online Documentation: has introduced new features that make it more useful, by combining videos, answers, bug reports, and file exchange entries. The new Help Center makes it even easier to find what you need.

Top features for Casual Users

  • boxchart is a new chart in MATLAB to visualize grouped numeric data.
  • exportgraphics and copygraphics are two new functions to help supporting publishing workflows.
  • tiledlayout came out in R2019b, but this release has more Name Paired Values which enable more control. An example is having nested tiledlayout.
  • App Designer increased its response time dramatically, making it more enjoyable to work on developing larger Apps.

Top features for Proficient Users

  • Profiler Flame Graphs: is a new output of the MATLAB profiler. It makes it easier to understand where the bottlenecks are in your MATLAB code.
  • Simulink Port Name Propagation: saves time creating a connection between subsystem ports and/or port blocks now propagates a nondefault port name to the default named port.
  • Updated Simulink Profiler: makes it much more intuitive to understand where the bottlenecks are in simulations. The new Simulink Profiler is significantly easier to understand and use now.
  • Hexadecimal and binary literals are now supported in the functions textscanreadtabledetectImportOptions, and setvaropts. This list outlines the added capabilities of each function. An example is: textscan('110101', '%b')

Top features for Developers

  • Simulink Compiler is a long waited product from MathWorks that enables one:
    • deploy Simulink models into Apps, libraries
    • enable people without a Simulink license to run and visualize simulations (with different parameters)
    • generate fixed-step standalone FMUs
  • MATLAB Web App Server empowering companies to share their MATLAB and Simulink apps to people without having to buy extra licenses.
  • App Testing Framework: perform press gestures with different selection types.
  • Dependency Analyzer improved navigation and highlighting for large projects.

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