1. Loading an Application
In earlier versions of LabVIEW, LabVIEW FPGA VIs with a large number of elements could sometimes take a significant amount of time to load. In LabVIEW 2011, the node framework is highly optimized to speed up the loading of larger VIs.
Figure 1. LabVIEW FPGA VI load time has decreased drastically in LabVIEW 2011.
Large-scale monitoring and control applications sometimes require the collections and manipulation of many channels of data, and a hardware platform like NI CompactRIO is ideal for such a task. However, in the past, the performance of simple operations like wiring could degrade for diagrams with a large number of I/O nodes. In LabVIEW 2011, those nodes have been reimplemented to remove any edit-time performance issues.
Figure 2. LabVIEW FPGA wiring is now significantly faster.
3. Processor Interface
Similarly, applications that involve data encryption can require several stages of handshaking between a processor and the FPGA. In earlier versions of LabVIEW, applications that had large numbers of host interface elements might have become unresponsive and difficult to work within. In LabVIEW 2011, this interface has been rearchitected to provide a far more responsive editing experience.
Figure 3. Large numbers of host interface nodes no longer degrade performance in LabVIEW.
LabVIEW FPGA compilation can take anywhere from minutes to hours. Recent versions of LabVIEW have introduced better ways to simulate VIs before compilation is necessary and more efficient methods to offload compilation to other computers and even the cloud. However, the initial phase of compilation blocks other operations in LabVIEW and can take up to one half of total compile time. In LabVIEW 2011, this phase is optimized to be up to 80 percent faster.
Figure 4. A complex communication protocol like High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC) requires significant FPGA logic and can take a lot of time to compile. The initial phase of compilation is now up to 80 percent faster.
5. Overall Development Task Performance Benchmarks
In addition to the benefits discussed above, LabVIEW 2011 FPGA delivers hundreds of other improvements to operations from dropping VIs and loading dialogs to in-product utilities like the Icon Editor. To provide a more comprehensive comparison, the development team benchmarked over 800 of the most common operations in LabVIEW 2010 and LabVIEW 2011. After each operation was timed, it was placed into a performance “bin” with other operations that took about the same amount of time. For example, if drawing a While Loop took 38 ms to complete, it was placed in the first bin where operations took 0 ms to 100 ms. If deleting a control took 620 ms to complete, it fell into the seventh bin with other operations that took between 600 ms and 700 ms to complete. Figures 5 and 6 show the comparison between LabVIEW 2010 FPGA and LabVIEW 2011 FPGA. The sum total of all operations has been reduced from just over 20 seconds to just under 6 seconds, a 5X improvement in overall performance.
Figure 5. A Comprehensive View of Operations in LabVIEW 2010
Figure 6. LabVIEW 2011 delivers a more responsive development experience across almost all of the more than 800 benchmarked operations as compared to LabVIEW 2010.
LabVIEW 2011 sets a new standard for the responsiveness and performance of the LabVIEW development environment.