CompactRIO is a reconfigurable embedded control and acquisition system. The CompactRIO system’s rugged hardware architecture includes I/O modules, a reconfigurable FPGA chassis, and an embedded controller. Additionally, CompactRIO is programmed with NI LabVIEW graphical programming tools and can be used in a variety of embedded control and monitoring applications.
CompactRIO systems consist of an embedded controller for communication and processing, a reconfigurable chassis housing the user-programmable FPGA, hot-swappable I/O modules, and graphical LabVIEW software for rapid real-time, Windows, and FPGA programming. Learn more about each of these components in the sections below.
The CompactRIO system includes an embedded controller and reconfigurable chassis. The embedded controller offers powerful stand-alone embedded execution for deterministic LabVIEW Real-Time applications or flexible Windows Embedded Standard 7 applications. The embedded chassis is at the center of the CompactRIO system because it contains the reconfigurable I/O FPGA core.
NI offers a value line of CompactRIO systems with a low cost and small footprint well suited to OEM and volume deployments.Integrated Chassis and Controller
If your application requires intense, multicore processing capabilities, integrated VGA graphics, or serious I/O expansion, then the performance CompactRIO line is what you need.Integrated Chassis and Controller
|Processor Performance||Up to 667 MHz dual core||Up to 800 MHz||Up to 1.33 GHz dual core|
Up to 85,000 logic cells
Up to 220 multipliers
Up to 110,000 logic cells
Up to 64 multipliers
Up to 147,000 logic cells
Up to 180 multipliers
|Operating System||Real-Time OS||Real-Time OS||Windows/Real-Time OS|
Up to -40 to 70º C,
-40 to 70º C,
0 to 55º C,
|Size||Starts at 17.8x9.3x8.7cm3||Starts at 18x9.3x8.7cm3||Starts at 40.4x13.4x8.7cm3|
|Target Application Examples||
Smart grid analyzer
Medical diagnostics and
Chemical process control
Machine condition monitoring
Industrial machine control
Oil and gas monitoring
Automated welding control
Rapid control prototyping
Big physics and research
NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) expansion chassis scale the benefits of the NI C Series platform to RIO applications requiring hundreds or even thousands of channels. C Series modules provide integrated signal conditioning and connection terminals, making them an efficient solution for large mixed I/O systems without the need for external custom circuitry and wiring. Each expansion chassis also contains a Xilinx FPGA that is programmable with the LabVIEW FPGA Module, giving you control over high-speed and customizable I/O timing, inline processing, and control.
NI MXI-Express RIO chassis deliver the highest-performance expansion RIO solution for applications that require custom signal processing and control algorithms and mixed-signal conditioned I/O. Featuring high-throughput and best-in-class FPGAs, these chassis are ideal for hardware-in-the-loop, real-time test and complex research applications. You can daisy chain multiple MXI-Express RIO chassis from supported controllers, which include real-time or Windows CompactRIO, PXI, PC, rack-mount, and industrial controllers. These chassis feature eight or 14 C Series I/O slots each, with up to six chassis per daisy chain and up to eight daisy chains per controller. And with 250 MB/s bus throughput, MXI-Express RIO can handle the most intense data streaming applications.
NI Ethernet RIO chassis offer the most flexible RIO expansion solution by making it easy to add a user-programmable FPGA and mixed-signal conditioned I/O to any Ethernet network. These chassis are ideal for distributed, remote measurement systems and can integrate easily with any real-time CompactRIO system, real-time PXI system, or Windows PC using standard 10/100 Ethernet. Ethernet RIO chassis feature four or eight C Series I/O slots each; an integrated user-programmable FPGA for custom timing, inline processing, and control; a network fail-safe for increased reliability; and support for the LabVIEW FPGA Module and RIO Scan Mode.
The NI EtherCAT RIO chassis provides deterministic, distributed I/O to maintain the tight timing and synchronization needed for time-critical systems. Using real-time Ethernet, this 8-slot rugged chassis for NI and third-party C Series modules communicates deterministically with any CompactRIO system, real-time industrial controller, or real-time PXI system that has two Ethernet ports. You can daisy chain multiple slave chassis from the controller to expand time-critical applications to high-channel counts while maintaining hard determinism. Plus, you can embed FPGA code on your expansion I/O to offload processing from the controller and reduce response time. The NI 9144 features eight C Series I/O slots and a 2M gate FPGA for custom timing, inline processing, and control.
With the NI wireless sensor network (WSN) product family, you can easily monitor your assets or environment with reliable, battery-powered measurement nodes that offer industrial ratings and local analysis and control capabilities. Each wireless network can scale from tens to hundreds of nodes and seamlessly integrate with existing CompactRIO systems.
CompactRIO provides direct hardware access to the input/output circuitry of each I/O module using LabVIEW FPGA elemental I/O functions. Each I/O module contains built-in signal conditioning and screw terminal, BNC, or D-SUB connectors.
Currently, there are more than 70 C Series modules for a wide range of different measurements. Channel counts on the individual modules range from three to 32 channels to accommodate a wide range of system requirements.
LabVIEW is a graphical development environment with configuration-based tools and powerful programming capabilities for developing measurement, analysis, and control applications with professional user interfaces. The LabVIEW reconfigurable I/O (RIO) architecture makes FPGA technology easily accessible, so you can define your own control circuitry while reducing the complexity and costs associated with traditional custom hardware.
LabVIEW is a graphical programming environment used by millions of engineers and scientists to develop sophisticated measurement, test, and control systems using intuitive graphical icons and wires that resemble a flowchart. It offers unrivaled integration with thousands of hardware devices and provides hundreds of built-in libraries for advanced analysis and data visualization—all for creating virtual instrumentation. The LabVIEW platform is scalable across multiple targets and OSs, and, since its introduction in 1986, it has become an industry leader. The LabVIEW Real-Time and FPGA modules allow you to develop, debug, and deploy applications to the microprocessor and FPGA on the CompactRIO system.
National Instruments real-time technology offers reliable, deterministic performance for your time-critical applications. Use the LabVIEW Real-Time Module to develop and deploy complex real-time systems quickly and efficiently to the CompactRIO microprocessor.
With the LabVIEW FPGA Module, you can create custom measurement and control hardware using graphical programming without having expertise in low-level hardware description languages or board-level design. You can use this custom hardware for unique timing and triggering routines, ultra high-speed control, interfacing to digital protocols, digital signal processing, RF and communications, and many other applications requiring high-speed hardware reliability and tight determinism. Use the module to develop, compile, and deploy applications to the CompactRIO on board FPGA.