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This paper proposes the concept of a universal controller hardware system for power electronics applications. With the presence of generic interfaces and communication schemes, this system can be used in various other control scenarios. A prototype hardware system incorporating a high performance floating point digital signal processor (DSP) and a powerful field programmable gate array (FPGA) has been built to demonstrate the concept of real-time hardware simulation. Prior to being deployed for control of a complete power electronics system, an intermediate step that would yield more information pertaining to system timing is the hardware simulation enabled by such a board. Extracting maximum throughput from this system with a few innovative schemes has been another goal of this project. In order to achieve this objective, the embedded peripherals of the Texas Instruments C6000 series DSP have been programmed to facilitate a higher degree of parallelism. The core of this paper deals with the different sub-systems that comprise the real-time controller (RTC) board, and their interaction with one another. One of the novel schemes proposed in this paper involves the on-board communication between the DSP and several analog-to-digital converter (ADC) chips using the multi-channel audio serial port (McASP) peripheral. The efficacy of this concept is made possible by a robust software architecture, enabled by the enhanced direct memory access (EDMA) peripheral. In addition to the DSP peripheral activity, significant processing capability is offered by the Cyclone II series FPGA. The option of universal connectivity is provided over either Ethernet or USB. The FPGA also provides a platform for developing a complete system with an embedded 32-bit processor. The RTC board prototype can be used for power electronics applications with the addition of certain interface boards, which can be readily developed.