Simucube 2 and Simucube
By hardware, we really mean hardware.
Precision CNC machined full metal parts give the durability and accuracy that a real competitive racer deserves.
Reaction time is everything when it comes to overtaking opponents or taking corrective action to prevent loss of tire grip. Simulator's ultra-low latency not only keeps the driver a step ahead but naturally also removes barriers between the simulated world and the driver.There is no latency in the real world - and in the perfect simulation neither. We, humans, are naturally built to perform optimally in such world.
By coupling a wheel directly to an extremely fast responding direct drive torque motor, Driver will open a straight portal into the physics of the simulated race car and track. Such an ideal torque transducer adds nothing of its own to be felt - it's just a pure connection to the road behind the wheel.Direct drive is the only known method to achieve sub-millisecond latency and real-life race car dynamic range - the keys to true transparency.
Sensing the tiniest changes in the tire grip at the same time with the high steering force of a sharp corner will transmit the forces of every part of the race car to the driver is the way it works in the real world.The high dynamic range of force feedback equals maximizing the flow of physical information from the simulator to the driver. The greatest need to precisely sense the emerging loss of grip happens to be at the peak force moment. Being able to sense that enables the driver to utilize 100% of the race car potential.
By passing the simulator's sometimes coarse digitally sampled force commands through force reconstruction engine, the driver will be able to feel the force feedback it was intended by the simulator's physics engine. Moreover, the real nature modeling based inertia, damping and friction effects calculated right inside the simulator hardware will make the driver feel like they're connected to the real world - not to a simulator.
Whatever it takes attitude towards engineering set Simucube 2 apart from its peers.
Simucube developer, Granite Devices, has a two-decade history of making precision motor controls for industrial robotics. A demanding industry where speed, precision and reliability matter most.
Simucube 2 uses tailor made Sinusoidal AC Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor – a motor type best known from precision industrial robotics. Tech comparison: Texas Instruments (pdf), Engineering Solutions.
Simucube DD motor has been FEM optimized for virtually zero torque ripple and cogging (the feeling of detents or jerks when rotated).
The motor also features special segmented stator construction to yield especially high power efficiency enabling constant high torque output without cooling fan and/or throttling.
Simucube 2 motor coils have been designed for the highest torque slew rate rating (Nm/ms) in the Direct Drive market. This gives an unparalleled response speed in demanding conditions where torque direction and amplitude change rapidly.
With wheel angle resolution of several millions of counts per revolution, robotics grade optical angle sensor is a jack-of-all-trades sensor when it comes to sensor performance: the highest precision, the lowest latency, and the highest immunity to interference. It’s not the cheapest choice among sensors, tho.
The importance of sensor precision becomes paramount when simulating the natural physical properties of a steering wheel.
Simucube motor current sensing is based on special current sense resistors that have near-zero temperature drifting and aging characteristics. As resistors are the most direct method of measuring current, they have certain characteristics important in torque control: practically zero noise, ideal linearity, and sub-microsecond response time.
HDRT yields detailed torque control capability at the high & low extremes of output torque regions. This allows the device to utilize the full 20 kHz torque controller bandwidth without having to rely on performance-degrading current sensing noise filters.
HDRT operates by varying current sensing amplifier gain on the go thus reducing noise to a fraction from normal. Simucube uses a best-in-class amplifier (spec pdf) with very low noise and drifting characteristics while having very high analog bandwidth.
As of 2022 Simucube is the only DD wheel utilizing such technology.
Simucube power stage consists of a low loss MOSFET (spec) based DC/AC inverter. High power efficiency allows high Direct Drive torque without throttling or cooling. As these big MOSFETs operate under a relatively light load, they also get the benefit of a decades-long lifetime.
Unusually high performance (216 MHz 32 bit ARM Cortex-M7, spec) CPU to take care of motor torque control and signal processing tasks with the priority they deserve. The whole time-critical Field Oriented Control pipeline is running under Real-Time OS (RTOS) at a constant 20 kHz refresh rate.
As a byproduct, a beefy processor ensures Simucube 2 keeps its industry-leading position through software upgradeability during the years to come.
Dedicated communications CPU (168 MHz 32 bit ARM Cortex-M4, spec) handling all USB, I/O, and Simucube Wireless Wheel communication.
With the dual CPU architecture,w Simucube eliminates time-critical code execution overlapping and therefore enables butter-smooth torque signal processing while simultaneously achieving the lowest possible USB latency.
Electrically isolated transfer of power and data separates all motor side electronics to make it immune to any external interference, and vice versa. Isolation also effectively eliminates ground loop issues.
Dedicated protection diodes on USB and I/O (spec pdf). Protection adds ruggedness against electrostatic discharges of up to 25 kilovolts. This exceeds the strength required by industrial standards, not to mention commercial electronics standards.
SWW allows hot-swapping SWW compatible wheels. SWW has zero electrical contacts between the wheel and wheelbase which eliminates the change of worn-out contact issues.
True Drive wheelbase setup software got your tuning desires covered, effortlessly.
Tuning wheel base settings to match the simulator and car of choice can sometimes be a time-consuming task.
Thanks to True Drive Paddock settings sharing online, one can now simply pick a highly rated online settings profile, activate it, and get straight on the track.
True Drive software gives fine-grained control of all Simucube properties allowing racers to tune the force feedback feeling according to their unique preferences.
Racer can simply make a copy of any Paddock profile and fine-tune it, or create a new profile from scratch.
Synchronize your favorite settings profile with fellow racers over Paddock. Publish your profile worldwide with a single click.
This is the live Simucube Paddock profle sharing online at your disposal.
The roots of Simucube date back to the 2010’s when Granite Devices supplied precision motor drives for the very first commercial Direct Drive racing wheels. Granite Devices tech was selected due to its torque smoothness and responsiveness.
In 2015 a famous unrelated project, OpenSimWheel (OSW), selected Granite Devices motor drives as a building block due to much the same performance characteristics, and due to its open-source friendliness.
In 2016 Granite Devices launched the world-famous Simucube 1 system which immediately set the new golden standard in the Direct Drive market.
In the 2019s Simucube 2 took the lead and since then has been the reference Direct Drive wheelbase to which all competitors are compared. Thanks to whatever it takes engineering, Simucube 2 remains unparalleled.