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The LabVIEW RIO Architecture

Last Modified: May 14, 2018

The NI ELVIS III is based on the LabVIEW RIO architecture, which incorporates the LabVIEW real-time system and user-programmable FPGAs.

LabVIEW Real-Time System

A LabVIEW real-time (RT) system consists of software and hardware components. The software components include LabVIEW, the RT engine, and the LabVIEW projects and VIs that you create. The hardware components of a real-time system include a host computer and an RT target such as the NI ELVIS III.

For the NI ELVIS III, the RT system includes the following four components:

  • Host computer—The host computer is a computer with LabVIEW, the LabVIEW Real-Time Module, and the LabVIEW ELVIS III Toolkit installed on which you develop the VIs for the real-time system. After developing the real-time system VIs, you can download and run the VIs on RT targets. The host computer can run VIs that communicate with VIs running on the NI ELVIS III to provide a user interface.
  • LabVIEW—You develop VIs with LabVIEW on the host computer. The Real-Time Module extends the capabilities of LabVIEW with additional tools for creating, debugging, and deploying deterministic VIs. The LabVIEW ELVIS III Toolkit provides NI ELVIS III-specific support for LabVIEW RT applications.
  • RT engine—The RT engine is a version of LabVIEW that runs on the NI ELVIS III. The RT engine runs the VIs you download to the NI ELVIS III.
  • RT target—The RT target is your NI ELVIS III. The NI ELVIS III is a networked hardware platform with an embedded processor and a real-time operating system that runs the RT engine and LabVIEW VIs. You can use a separate host computer to communicate with and control VIs on the NI ELVIS III through USB, Ethernet, or WiFi.

User Programmable FPGAs

The FPGA is the core of the LabVIEW RIO architecture and can be used to offload critical or intensive tasks from the processor and provide reliable, deterministic execution with extremely high throughput.

You can use the FPGA VIs and functions provided by the LabVIEW FPGA Module to program the embedded FPGA within the RIO architecture of the NI ELVIS III. FPGA personalities consist of predefined FPGA bitfiles for you to program with the NI ELVIS III. The LabVIEW ELVIS III Toolkit provides a default FPGA personality. You can create a custom FPGA personality by creating and compiling an FPGA VI.

The following diagram illustrates the physical layout of the RIO architecture of the NI ELVIS III:

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