Rapidly Iterate on Designs With Proven and Customizable Hardware

Publish Date: May 19, 2017 | 0 Ratings | 0.00 out of 5 | Print

Overview

National Instruments approach to embedded applications combine LabVIEW system design software with reconfigurable off-the-shelf hardware. This architecture is based on four components: a processor, a reconfigurable FPGA, measurement I/O hardware, and LabVIEW. Using an integrated hardware and software platform, you can simplify system development across a variety of industries and applications. In Section 5 of this document you can find tutorials and sample code that will guide you through the first steps of working with this architecture.

 

Table of Contents

  1. The LabVIEW RIO Architecture
  2. Approachable Heterogenous Computing With LabVIEW
  3. Select the Right Hardware for Your Application
  4. Innovate With a Platform to Accelerate Productivity and Drive Rapid Innovation
  5. Getting Started with LabVIEW and NI Embedded Hardware
  6. Additional Resources



1. The LabVIEW RIO Architecture


The LabVIEW RIO architecture seamlessly integrates four components to deliver the ultimate building block for innovative designs: a processor, a user-programmable FPGA, modular I/O, and a complete software toolchain for programming every aspect of the architecture.

 

Figure 1: The LabVIEW RIO architecture combines processors, user-programmable FPGAs, modular I/O interfaces, and a complete software toolchain to deliver the ultimate architecture for any control or monitoring application. 

 

Processor
NI offers a variety of high-performance embedded processors ranging from the 667 MHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor running the NI Linux Real-Time OS to the 1.9 GHz quad-core Intel Atom processor running the NI Linux Real-Time or WES7 OS. You can program these processors with C/C++ through LabVIEW’s integrated Eclipse support, Python, or IEC 61131-3 or using the intuitive LabVIEW G dataflow programming language to accomplish common tasks such as running applications, manipulating data sets, processing signals, logging data, and interfacing with local HMIs.

 

FPGA
At the core of the LabVIEW RIO architecture, the reconfigurable FPGA can be used to offload critical or intensive tasks from the processor and ensure reliable, deterministic execution with extremely high throughput. The FPGA is directly connected to the I/O for high-performance signal and image processing and customizable timing, triggering, and synchronization capabilities. And by using a direct FPGA-to-I/O connection instead of connecting through a bus, you experience virtually zero control loop latency, which gives you the performance you need for the most advanced control algorithms. For instance, using the FPGA, a single CompactRIO chassis can execute more than 20 analog proportional integral derivative (PID) control loops simultaneously at a rate of 100 kHz.
NI hardware based on the LabVIEW RIO architecture leverages the latest FPGA technology and chipsets from Xilinx, ranging from the Artix and Virtex families to the 410T, which incorporates 406,720 logic cells; 1,540 DSP slices; and 28 MB of block RAM.

 

Modular I/O
I/O modules contain built-in isolation, conversion circuitry, signal conditioning, and direct connectivity to industrial sensors, actuators, cameras, motors, drives, and industrial communication protocols such as PROFIBUS, PROFINET, and EtherCAT. NI offers over 100 C Series I/O modules, and with the Module Development Kit, you can develop custom modules to meet application-specific needs. To learn more about C Series I/O modules, refer to Analog and Digital I/O With CompactRIO: The Ultimate Multipurpose Controller.


Figure 1: Choose from over 100 C Series I/O modules to directly interface with sensors, motors, drives, actuators, and industrial communication protocols. 



Back to Top

2. Approachable Heterogenous Computing With LabVIEW


You can use LabVIEW system design software to program and customize every element of the LabVIEW RIO architecture. It offers support for programming languages such as C/C++, Python, IEC 61131-3, and G dataflow so you can leverage existing code and programming expertise. The standard software environment boasts a complete set of built-in math and analysis functions, signal and image processing algorithms, and network and I/O interface APIs.

The NI Linux Real-Time OS is an open-source, real-time operating system that runs on the embedded processor and delivers reliable, deterministic operation and a complete set of APIs for data logging, data transfer mechanisms, and custom processing and analysis. With the LabVIEW FPGA Module, you can program the embedded FPGA within an intuitive, graphical programming environment without needing any knowledge of hardware description languages like VHDL or Verilog. And with an entire community of IP, add-ons, example code, and support, LabVIEW delivers a complete toolchain for the design of embedded control and monitoring systems based on the LabVIEW RIO architecture.

Back to Top

3. Select the Right Hardware for Your Application


NI offers a variety of hardware targets based on the LabVIEW RIO architecture including a wide range of size, performance, and price points to meet your unique application needs. You can also take advantage of a consistent architecture that allows you to reuse code across targets and leverage the same software environment from simulation and prototyping to design, validation, and deployment.

>>Explore embedded hardware targets.

>>See how you can double your productivity with NI embedded systems.

Back to Top

4. Innovate With a Platform to Accelerate Productivity and Drive Rapid Innovation


The integration of hardware and software in the NI platform offers you a complete solution for any embedded control or embedded monitoring application.

  •  Eliminate the need to start from scratch by leveraging a customizable, off-the-shelf platform.
  •  Satisfy the computation, connectivity, and control requirements common in embedded and Internet of Things applications.
  •  Meet changing requirements over time with flexible, scalable, and field-programmable products.
  •  Choose from a variety of high-quality form factors, price points, and performance options.
  •  Take advantage of a consistent software environment for programming every element of the system and across design phases.

Back to Top

5. Getting Started with LabVIEW and NI Embedded Hardware

You can use LabVIEW to develop next-generation control and monitoring systems within industries such as energy, industrial control, life sciences, and transportation. To get started with LabVIEW and NI embedded hardware, refer to the following tutorials for the initial steps of your application:

  1. Acquire and Analyze Signals With LabVIEW Real-Time
  2. Monitor and Log Data With LabVIEW Real-Time
  3. Offload Signal Processing With LabVIEW FPGA
  4. Communications Between the FPGA, Real-Time Processor, and Distributed Systems

Back to Top

6. Additional Resources

The registered trademark Linux® is used pursuant to a sublicense from LMI, the exclusive licensee of Linus Torvalds, owner of the mark on a worldwide basis.

MATLAB® and Simulink® are registered trademarks of The MathWorks, Inc. The registered trademark Linux® is used pursuant to a sublicense from LMI, the exclusive licensee of Linus Torvalds, owner of the mark on a worldwide basis.

CODESYS® is a trademark of 3S-Smart Software Solutions GmbH

Back to Top

Bookmark & Share


Ratings

Rate this document

Answered Your Question?
Yes No

Submit