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The LabVIEW RIO Architecture

Last Modified: December 12, 2019

The NI ELVIS III is based on the LabVIEW RIO architecture, which incorporates the LabVIEW Real-Time (RT) system, a user programmable FPGA, and user programmable I/O.

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

LabVIEW Real-Time System

A LabVIEW Real-Time 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 RT 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 RT system. After developing the RT system VIs, you can download and run the VIs on RT targets. The host computer can run user interface 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 Run-Time engine—The RT run-time engine is a version of LabVIEW that runs on the NI ELVIS III. The RT run-time engine runs the host 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. You can use a separate host computer to communicate with VIs on the NI ELVIS III through USB, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi models only).

User Programmable FPGAs

You can use the FPGA, which is the core of the LabVIEW RIO architecture, to offload critical or intensive tasks from the processor. The FPGA also provides 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. You can program with the NI ELVIS III using FPGA personalities that consist of predefined FPGA bitfiles. The LabVIEW ELVIS III Toolkit provides a default FPGA personality. Refer to NI ELVIS III Shipping Personality Reference for more information. You can create a custom FPGA personality by creating and compiling an FPGA VI.

User Programmable I/O

The user programmable I/O, also known as control I/O, consists of three levels of programming that you can access on the NI ELVIS III. Refer to Programming the Control I/O for the three levels of programming.

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