Table Of Contents

Downloading and Running an FPGA VI

Last Modified: February 27, 2020

To complete this task, you need a host VI and a compiled bitfile for the FPGA VI.

Use the FPGA Host Interface nodes to download, run, and communicate with code on the FPGA.

What to Use

What to Do

Create the following diagram to download and run your FPGA VI to an FPGA target.

Customize the gray sections for your unique programming goals.

Use the device name for your FPGA found in SystemDesigner to specify an FPGA target. To ensure your code runs on the FPGA, the device name input must match the FPGA device name.

To specify the FPGA bitfile you want to deploy to the target, complete the following steps:
  1. On the diagram, select the Open FPGA Reference node.
  2. On the Item tab, in the Mode section, select Run bitfile on hardware.
  3. In the File list, select a bitfile within your project or select Dynamic reference and wire the bitfile path to the bitfile path input of the Open FPGA Reference node.
When you run this host VI, a reference to the FPGA application associated with the bitfile you selected opens and runs on the FPGA target you specify.
Download the FPGA VI specified in the bitfile to the FPGA target and run the VI. The Download FPGA VI and Run FPGA VI nodes replace the code on the FPGA each time you run the FPGA VI, ensuring that the FPGA VI properly resets before each execution.
Use the FPGA Host Interface nodes to interact with and send data to the FPGA. In this example, the host and the FPGA VI communicate in the following ways:
  • Read/Write FPGA Control—The VIs write to and read from controls and indicators on their panels.
  • DMA FIFO nodes—The VIs write to and read from a DMA FIFO on the FPGA.
Use the Close FPGA VI Reference node to close every reference the Open FPGA Reference node creates. If you don't close the reference, the FPGA VI runs until the host application stops running.


Search within the programming environment to access the following installed example: FPGA Host Interface.

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