The main hardware components are ten dSPACE DS1102 Miniboxes and ten Sun workstations. The dSPACE Miniboxes and Sun workstations communicate with each other through an Internet connection. Each Minibox and workstation has its own IP (Internet Protocol) address and is remotely accessible from any Internet site. The Internet access to the laboratory makes it possible to develop experiments that can be shared among several universities, as proposed in  and recently developed further in .
Each DS1102 Minibox contains a 40 M Hz Texas Instruments TMS320C31 digital signal processor along with memory and input/output circuits, including four channels each for analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion. The dSPACE Miniboxes can be programmed in assembly language, C language, or through Simulink, which is a graphical interface to MATLAB. The Simulink interface is the simplest to use, since systems and algorithms are described by block diagrams. Simulink contains an extensive library of predefined blocks for signal and system analysis.
An additional software tool called TRACE serves as a virtual oscilloscope for real-time data collection and display. TRACE can be used to transfer measured data directly to MATLAB for analysis. TRACE is also a valuable aid for debugging algorithms and tuning parameters during real-time execution on the Minibox. The combination of Simulink, MATLAB, and TRACE provides an integrated set of tools for simulation, real-time implementation, and testing of signal processing and control algorithms.