Introducing High-Performance Multicore NI CompactRIO

Publish Date: Feb 24, 2014 | 4 Ratings | 5.00 out of 5 |  PDF

Overview

Learn more about the high-performance multicore CompactRIO systems. The cRIO-9081 and cRIO-9082 provide the highest performance of any CompactRIO product available today featuring an advanced Intel Core i7 dual-core processor. Continue reading to discover the details of the technology used and applications enabled by these advanced systems.

Table of Contents

  1.  High-Performance Multicore Processing
  2. Embedded Operating Systems (OSs)
  3. User-Programmable FPGA
  4. NI C Series and C Series Expansion
  5. Onboard VGA Display Output
  6. Imaging and Inspection with GigE Vision
  7. Peripheral Connectivity
  8. Introducing the CPU Expansion Module
  9. Next Steps

Product At-A-Glance

Figure 1. NI cRIO-9082 offers several new features on the CompactRIO platform.

The high-performance multicore NI cRIO-908x provides never-before-seen features on the CompactRIO platform, including advanced Intel Core i7 dual-core processing, built-in VGA display output for an integrated user interface, and the option to use a Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 7 (WES7) or LabVIEW Real-Time OS. The increased processing power of the cRIO-908x makes it well suited to perform the advanced processing tasks required by complex applications, such as machine vision and rapid control prototyping. Choose WES7 on the high-performance multicore CompactRIO and take advantage of the extensive Windows ecosystem of software and display capabilities made possible by NI LabVIEW software. The high-performance multicore CompactRIO also provides the widest array of connectivity and expansion options available in the CompactRIO platform, including the high-bandwidth and low-latency MXI-Express bus.

1.  High-Performance Multicore Processing

 

cRIO-9081

cRIO-9082

Clock Frequency

1.06 GHz

1.33 GHz/2.4 GHz (Turbo)

Cores/Parallel Threads

2/2

2/4

Hyper-Threading

No

Yes

Turbo Boost

No

Yes

Active Management Technology (AMT)

No

Yes

Table 1. Multicore CompactRIO uses advanced dual-core Intel processors.

High-performance multicore CompactRIO features a low-power dual-core Intel processor for intense processing tasks. With multicore processors, you can execute independent tasks, or threads, simultaneously to drastically reduce the time required to perform operations. LabVIEW makes it easy to develop an application that takes advantage of this multicore technology by automatically dividing each opperation into multiple threads. The complex task of thread management within the processor is transparently built into graphical programming.

Learn more about multicore technology.

Intel processors offer several new technologies to enhance the performance and functionality of your CompactRIO application.

Intel Hyper-Threading technology improves multicore performance by giving each processor core the ability to execute two threads in parallel, doubling the number of apparent processor cores available to software. This allows applications running on the NI cRIO-9082 to execute four threads in parallel, further increasing performance.

Intel Turbo Boost technology provides increased processor clock frequency during times of high workload. When your application calls for faster clock frequencies during times of intense calculation, the processor’s clock frequency automatically increases at regular increments until demand is met, or until factors such as temperature and load on other processor cores cause the clock speed to reduce back to its base operating frequency. This ensures that you always get the maximum performance while keeping the processor within its designed safety limits.

Intel Active Management Technology (AMT) gives advanced users the ability to remotely manage their CompactRIO targets. This low-level hardware access is performed via the primary Ethernet interface and allows the remote user to power up or down their CompactRIO, check the current system status, redirect the console output to the remote user, and many other management tasks without any interaction with the CompactRIO software.

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2. Embedded Operating Systems (OSs)

The high-performance multicore CompactRIO is the first device in the CompactRIO family to offer a choice of OSs. Engineers and systems integrators can choose between the determinism and reliability of LabVIEW Real-Time, or the extensive ecosystem of software and integrated user-interface capabilities of WES7.

The LabVIEW Real-Time OS provides the ideal environment for time-critical applications that require deterministic performance. Through precise timing and task prioritization, deterministic tasks such as closed-loop motion control can be easily developed in LabVIEW and deployed to CompactRIO. The LabVIEW Real-Time OS also provides an optimized environment designed to ensure applications run reliably 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

 

 

WES7 can provide additional functionality to your application by giving you the ability to use the extensive Windows ecosystem of software and LabVIEW for Windows platform. Take advantage of functions found in .NET assemblies, ActiveX controls, and DLL libraries; implement an onboard OPC server; or directly connect to a remote database for logging with ease using WES7. And for the first time on the CompactRIO platform, you can also use the built-in VGA display output to implement your user interface, reducing system costs and maintenance requirements by eliminating the need for a dedicated user interface computer.

For more help choosing the right OS for your needs, read Top 5 Considerations for Choosing an Embedded OS for NI CompactRIO.

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3. User-Programmable FPGA

The high-performance multicore CompactRIO features the new Xilinx Spartan-6 family of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The cRIO-9082 features the largest Spartan-6 LX150 FPGA available, which has roughly 30 percent more logic cells and three times as many multipliers than the largest Virtex-5 FPGA in the NI cRIO-9118 chassis.

 

 

Learn more about the Xilinx Spartan-6 family of FPGAs.

You can use the LabVIEW FPGA Module to create custom measurement and control hardware using graphical programming without having expertise in low-level hardware description languages. This custom hardware can be used for unique timing and triggering, ultra high-speed control, interfacing to digital protocols, and many other tasks requiring high-speed hardware reliability and tight determinism.

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4. NI C Series and C Series Expansion

The high-performance multicore CompactRIO provides eight slots of integrated C Series I/O capacity, but I/O capacity can be greatly increased through C Series expansion options. With the addition of the high-bandwidth and low-latency MXI-Express bus, the high-performance multicore CompactRIO provides the widest array of C Series expansion options available in the CompactRIO platform. All C Series expansion chassis also employ their own onboard user programmable FPGA for custom data processing.

The EtherCAT slave chassis provides eight slots or more of deterministic, distributed I/O for CompactRIO based on LabVIEW Real-Time. Use this expansion option for applications requiring closed-loop manipulation of I/O including motion applications.

 

The Ethernet RIO provides eight slots or more of easy stand-alone C Series expansion for Windows or LabVIEW Real-Time systems. It uses LabVIEW shared variable communication across a typical local area network (LAN) to create an easily expandable network of distributed I/O.

 

 

The MXI-Express RIO chassis provides 14 or more slots of the highest performance C Series expansion available. The high-throughput MXI-Express x1 interface has 200 MB/s of multichassis streaming bandwidth. Once configured, you can also use the MXI-Express RIO chassis as a stand-alone device, processing data with its onboard FPGA.

 

Using any of these expansion methods, you can incorporate any combination of over 60 measurement specific C Series modules developed by National Instruments and third-party vendors. With this wide selection of measurement modules, you can tailor your system to your exact I/O requirements.

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5. Onboard VGA Display Output

Creating a human machine interface (HMI) is an important step when developing any embedded or industrial system. The high-performance multicore CompactRIO is the first CompactRIO device to have integrated VGA graphics, greatly simplifying HMI development. Using WES7 and a VGA monitor or flat panel touch screen, you can develop your LabVIEW application and use its front panel as your user interface. This not only reduces development time by eliminating the development of a separate HMI application, but also reduces cost by replacing the additional PC or touch panel computer with a low-cost monitor.

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6. Imaging and Inspection with GigE Vision

Multicore CompactRIO is an ideal platform for applications that involve Machine Vision, including medical devices, autonomous robotics and industrial monitoring. Use the dual gigabit Ethernet ports to connect to a range of GigE Vision cameras and perform fast, high-resolution image acquisition and processing tasks with both LabVIEW Real-Time and WES7. Take advantage of the high-performance NI-IMAQdx driver and hundreds of algorithms in the NI Vision Development Module imaging library to develop vision applications that involve tasks such as image enhancement, pattern matching, and object measurement.  

Learn more about Machine Vision on the CompactRIO.

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7. Peripheral Connectivity

Connect to a wide array of additional hardware through the largest selection of connectivity options available on any CompactRIO device. Use one of four Hi-Speed USB ports to connect to peripherals such as keyboards and mice, or use it to log data to an external storage medium. Choose either the RS232 or RS485/422 serial port to connect to a multitude of devices such as motor drives, specialized instruments, or character displays.

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8. Introducing the CPU Expansion Module

The high-performance multicore CompactRIO is the first CompactRIO device to work with the new CPU Expansion Module (CXM). By attaching a wide range of NI and third-party CXM modules, you can take advantage of I/O such as Wi-Fi, high-speed removable storage, and ExpressCard.

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9. Next Steps

Learn more about the RIO platform

Shop for a high-performance multicore CompactRIO

Configure a complete CompactRIO system

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