NI-RFSG 19.0 Readme

May 2019

This file contains important information about NI-RFSG, including new features, supported hardware, a partial list of bugs fixed for NI-RFSG 19.0, and known issues.


New Features

Supported Hardware

System Requirements

Supported Operating Systems

Application Software Support

Installation Instructions

Accessing the API

Finding Examples

Accessing the Documentation

Product Security and Critical Updates

IVI Compliance Package Functionality

Behavior Changes

Known Issues

Bug Fixes

Automating the Installation of NI Products

Using NI Software with Microsoft Windows 10

Using NI Software with Microsoft Windows 8.1

NI-RFSG Drops Support for Windows 7 (64-Bit) and Windows Server 2008 in 2021

Legal Information


This software installation provides support for customers using RF signal generator or vector signal transceiver hardware, as specified in the Supported Hardware section. To program your device, use the NI-RFSG instrument driver or NI-RFSG Soft Front Panel (SFP).

The getting started guide for your device provides information about how to install, configure, test, and begin using your hardware.

New Features

NI-RFSG 19.0 includes support for LabVIEW 2019

NI-RFSG 18.2 includes the following new features:

  • Support for de-embedding measurements on the PXIe-5840
  • Improvements to communication performance on the PXIe-5820/5840
  • Support for automatic LO sharing for the PXIe-5840 in the NI-RFSG SFP
  • Support for specifying external calibration date for the PXIe-5644/5645/5646 and PXIe-5820/5840 in System Configuration API and MAX

NI-RFSG 18.1 includes the following new features:

  • Improvements to initiate performance on the PXIe-5820/5840
  • Support for associating the PXIe-5840 with the PXIe-5653 LO source
  • Support for the PXIe-5840 with PXIe-5653 in the NI-RFSG SFP
  • Support for controlling the RF IN LO OUT terminal on the PXIe-5840
  • Support for PXIe-5820/5840 self-calibration in System Configuration API
  • Support for modifying temperature resolution for automatic thermal correction
  • Support for modifying DMA buffer size to improve NI-RFSG write arb waveform performance
  • Support for clearing self calibrate range data on the PXIe-5644/5645/5646
  • Improvements to NI-RFSG write arb waveform and streaming performance

NI-RFSG 18.0 includes the following new features:

  • Added support for LabVIEW 2018
  • Added the NI-RFSG .NET Class Library and NI-RFSG .NET examples to the installer

NI-RFSG 17.1 includes the following new features:

  • Support for the PXIe-5820
  • Support for RF list mode on the PXIe-5820/5840
  • Support for System Configuration API and MAX for module temperature and self-calibration date and time
  • Support for sub-sample trigger and marker resolution on the PFI line for the PXIe-5820/5840

Supported Hardware

The following table shows which hardware products are supported in the NI-RFSG instrument driver and the NI-RFSG SFP. The following hardware products are supported in all operating systems listed in the Supported Operating Systems section.

Hardware Product Hardware Model NI-RFSG NI-RFSG SFP
RF Signal Upconverter PXI-5610
I/Q Modulator PXIe-5611
Vector Signal Transceiver PXIe-5644
PXIe-5840 with PXIe-5653
RF Analog Signal Generator PXI/PXIe-5650
PXIe-5654 with
PXIe-5696 Amplitude Extender
Vector Signal Generator PXI-5670

Note  Some hardware products are not supported by the NI-DAQmx-based runtime. Visit and enter the Info Code rfsgdevices for more information about which NI-RFSG devices are supported by the NI-DAQmx-based runtime.

Note  You must install the same version of the NI-RFSA Runtime for PXIe-5644/5645/5646 and NI-RFSA Runtime for PXIe-5820/5840 if you choose to install the runtimes independently.

Note  MXI Express and MXI-4 are supported on Windows 10/8.1/7.

System Requirements

NI-RFSG has the following requirements:

  • Processor—1 GHz 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 4 GB RAM*
  • A screen resolution of 1,024 x 768
  • Windows 10/8.1/7, with all available critical updates and service packs

*Depending on the amount of data acquired and/or processed, a larger amount of memory may be required.

Note  Guest accounts are not supported under any OS.

Note  NI-RFSG 19.0 is not compatible with NI-RFSA 2.6. Upgrade to NI-RFSA 2.7 or later before installing NI-RFSG 19.0.

Supported Operating Systems

NI-RFSG 19.0 and NI-RFSG SFP 19.0 support the following operating systems:

  • Windows 10/8.11/7 SP12 (64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2012 R21 (64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP12 (64-bit)

1 NI software installs VC2015 Runtime and .NET 4.6.2. Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 require Microsoft updates to support these items. Refer to Microsoft KB2919442 and KB2919355 for more information about how to install these updates.

2 NI software is signed with a SHA-256 certificate. Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 require Microsoft updates to support SHA-256. Refer to Microsoft KB3033929 for more information about how to install this security update.

Note  In 2019 NI-RFSG dropped support for all 32-bit Windows operating systems. NI-RFSG will not install or run on an unsupported OS. Refer to NI-RFSG Drops Support for Windows 7 (64-Bit) and Windows Server 2008 R2 in 2021 for information about future OS support.

Application Software Support

NI-RFSG supports the following application software versions, including service packs. You should install application software, such as LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI or Microsoft Visual Studio®, before installing NI-RFSG. To add support for application software installed after installing NI-RFSG, modify your NI-RFSG installation or launch the NI-RFSG installer again. If you are not using NI application software, refer to Microsoft Visual Studio Support.

Application SoftwareVersions Supported by NI-RFSG
LabVIEW 2016, 2017 SP1, 2018 SP1, or 2019
LabVIEW Real-Time Module 2016, 2017, 2018 SP1, or 2019
LabWindows/CVI 2010 to current
LabWindows/CVI Real-Time Module 2010 to current

Note When using NI-RFSG with LabVIEW Real-Time Module or LabWindows/CVI Real-Time Module, the PXIe-5644/5645/5646, PXIe-5654/5654 with PXIe-5696, and the PXIe-5820/5840 are not supported.

Note  Install any toolkits or add-on software you intend to use with the NI-RFSG instrument driver after NI-RFSG installation is complete. Refer to the getting started guide for your device for more information about software and hardware installation.

Note  MXI users must install the software included with the MXI hardware.

Microsoft Visual Studio Support

If you are using the NI-RFSG .NET Class Library, .NET Framework 4.0 (minimum) is required. The NI-RFSG .NET Class Library can be used with Visual C# or Visual Basic .NET in any Visual Studio version that can target .NET Framework 4.0 or .NET Framework 4.5. For more information on .NET development using NI .NET drivers, visit and enter Info Code NETAPIdriversupport.

To install the NI-RFSG .NET Class Library, ensure that you select .NET Framework 4.5 Languages Support or .NET Framework 4.0 Languages Support in the NI-RFSG installer.

Installation Instructions

NI installs NI-RFSG using NI Package Manager. If you do not already have NI software installed, NI-RFSG installs NI Package Manager to handle the installation of your NI software. Visit and enter the Info Code NIPMDownload to download NI Package Manager. Refer to the NI Package Manager Manual for more information about installing, removing, and upgrading NI software using NI Package Manager.

Accessing the API


NI-RFSG VIs are available in LabVIEW from the Functions»Measurement I/O»NI-RFSG palette.


NI-RFSG functions are available in LabWindows/CVI from the Instrument menu. To load the NI-RFSG function panel (.fp), select Instrument»Load, and navigate to IVI\Drivers\niRFSG\niRFSG.fp.

.NET Framework

You can use the NI-RFSG .NET Class library by adding a reference to NationalInstruments.ModularInstruments.NIRfsg.Fx40 or NationalInstruments.ModularInstruments.NIRfsg.Fx45 and any dependent class libraries from within the Solution Explorer in Visual Studio.


You can use the NI-RFSG C dynamically linked library by adding a reference to: Program Files (x86)\IVI Foundation\IVI\Bin\niRFSG.dll for 32-bit development or Program Files\IVI Foundation\IVI\Bin\niRFSG_64.dll for 64-bit development.


To launch the NI-RFSG SFP, navigate to Start»All Programs»National Instruments»NI-RFSG»NI-RFSG Soft Front Panel.

Finding Examples

Select Help»Find Examples from LabVIEW or LabWindows/CVI to launch the NI Example Finder and navigate to Hardware Input and Output»Modular Instruments»NI-RFSG. You can also select the Search tab to search all installed examples by keyword.

You can access all the installed NI-RFSA examples at Start»All Programs»National Instruments»NI-RFSG»NI-RFSG Examples.

Accessing the Documentation

Documentation for NI-RFSG is located at Start»All Programs»National Instruments»NI-RFSG»Documentation. The documentation set is composed of the following documents.

Document Format Description
NI RF Signal Generators Help HTML/Windows Help Contains primary help content for NI-RFSG products. The help is an HTML version of a traditional user manual that includes the following information:
  • An introduction to RF fundamentals
  • Hardware device overviews
  • How to get started with application development
  • The NI-RFSG Soft Front Panel Help
  • A complete reference for all NI-RFSG VIs, properties, and functions, as well as the NI-RFSG .NET Class Library Help
Getting Started Guide for your device Printed and PDF Contains software and hardware installation, MAX configuration, signal connection, and troubleshooting information for your device.
Specifications for your device PDF Lists technical specifications for your device.
Calibration Procedure for your device PDF Contains calibration instructions for your device.
NI-RFSG Readme HTML (this document) Contains information about supported hardware and operating systems, new features, fixed issues, and legal notices.
Introduction to niRFSG HTML Contains information about driver documentation, examples, connecting to your instrument, configuring instrument settings, and known issues.
NI-RFSG IVI Compliance Document TXT Contains information about IVI compliance.

For the most recent revisions of documentation and for newly released documentation, visit

Note  To view PDFs, you need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed. You can install the viewer from

Product Security and Critical Updates

Visit to view and subscribe to receive security notifications about National Instruments products. Visit for information about critical updates from National Instruments.

IVI Compliance Package Functionality

NI-RFSG no longer installs IVI Compliance Package (ICP). NI-RFSG supports IVI configuration and runtime, but no longer installs the following IVI components:

  • LabVIEW and CVI IVI class drivers for developing IVI interchangeable applications
  • IVI Class Simulation drivers
  • IVI-COM Adapters

To use these features, you must install ICP separately. ICP is included in the Software Platform Bundle media. A stand-alone web distribution is available from

Behavior Changes

The following are behavior changes in NI-RFSG 18.2 from NI-RFSG 18.1:

  • NI Script Editor is no longer installed with NI-RFSG.
  • The NI-RFSG Express VIs are now obsolete and are no longer installed.
  • The NI-RFSG RF Out LO Export Enabled property no longer requires the NI-RFSA LO Out Export Configure From RFSA property to be set to Enabled. NI-RFSG can change the export state of NI-RFSA without an open NI-RFSA session on the PXIe-5840. Ensure the NI-RFSA LO out export is generating a useful signal before using that signal for NI-RFSG operations.

Known Issues

You can access the software and documentation known issues list online. Refer to the following locations at for an up-to-date list of known issues in NI-RFSG 19.0 and NI-RFSG SFP 19.0.

Bug Fixes

NI-RFSG Instrument Driver

The following items are the IDs and titles of a subset of issues fixed between NI-RFSG instrument driver revisions. This table is not an exhaustive list of issues fixed in the current version of NI-RFSG.

NI-RFSG 18.2

IDFixed Issue
670356 Fixed an issue in which NI-RFSG returned a power level error if the PXIe-5840 temperature drift exceeded 10 °C from the last self-calibration temperature.

NI-RFSG 18.1

IDFixed Issue
598644 Fixed an issue where writing a large waveform on the PXIe-5840 resulted in an error.
604856 Fixed an issue where error message text contained multiple unrelated warnings and errors.
668974 Fixed an issue where the PXIe-5840 amplitude accuracy degraded after calling Perform Thermal Correction.
682389 Fixed an issue where the PXIe-5820/5840 trigger alignment was imprecise when using the PXI trigger lines.
685044 Fixed an issue where calling Reset on the PXIe-5840 reset the LO source to Onboard, even if the LO source was specified in the driver setup string.
697475 Fixed an issue where setting the calibration due date or retrieving the last date of external calibration for the PXIe-5820/5840 was not possible.
689717 Fixed an issue in which the PXIe-5644/5645/5646 and PXIe-5820/5840 showed an incorrect calibration time in MAX when the system timezone was greater than UTC+0.

NI-RFSG 17.1.2

IDFixed Issue
664698 Fixed an issue where a timeout error occurred when TClk was used with the PXIe-5820/5840 using the WLAN Toolkit.

NI-RFSG 17.1

IDFixed Issue
601860 Fixed an issue where an error occurred when changing the device name of the PXIe-5840 in MAX.
515837 Fixed an issue where the PXIe-5654 device name persisted for other devices inserted into the same slot.
640124 Fixed an issue where the PXIe-5840 could show a slow phase drift below 400 MHz.
541356 Fixed an issue where attribute names did not show up correctly in I/O trace.
479015 Fixed an issue where the niRFSG Reset VI and the niRFSG_reset function did not re-enable the output for the PXIe-5645.
573420 Fixed an issue where the default value of the Impairment Enabled property and the NIRFSG_ATTR_IQ_IMPAIRMENT_ENABLED attribute for the PXIe-5644/5645/5646 was incorrect.
637641 Fixed an issue where the PXI-5671 would incorrectly error with markers on a quantum of two when the DUC (digital upconverter) was enabled.


The following items are the IDs and titles of a subset of issues fixed between NI-RFSG SFP revisions. This table is not an exhaustive list of issues fixed in the current version of the NI-RFSG SFP.


Bug ID Fixed Issue
609550 Fixed an issue where saving and recalling a sweep list frequency larger than 2.15 GHz resulted in coercion to a value of 231.


Bug ID Fixed Issue
575506 Fixed an issue where changing external gain was not available for the PXIe-5644/5645/5646.

Automating the Installation of NI Products

You can automate the installation of most NI products using command-line arguments to suppress some or all of the installer user interface and dialog boxes.

If the NI product you are installing uses Microsoft .NET 4.0, the .NET installer may run before any NI software installs and may require a reboot before the installation of NI software begins. To avoid a .NET reboot, install .NET 4.0 separately before you install NI software.

For more information about automating the installation of NI products, refer to the following KnowledgeBase articles:

Using NI Software with Microsoft Windows 10

Microsoft Windows 10 is the latest version of the Windows operating system and features significant changes compared to previous versions. Windows 10 introduces several new capabilities and also combines features from both Windows 7 and Windows 8. For more information about NI support for Windows 10, visit

Using NI Software with Microsoft Windows 8.1

When you install NI software on Microsoft Windows 8.1, you will notice a few additional tiles in the Apps view, including shortcuts to NI application software products such as NI LabVIEW, Measurement & Automation Explorer (NI MAX), and NI Launcher. For more information about NI support for Windows 8.1, visit

NI-RFSG Drops Support for Windows 7 (64-Bit) and Windows Server 2008 R2 in 2021

NI-RFSG will drop support for Windows 7 (64-bit) and Windows Server 2008 R2 starting in 2021. Versions of this product that ship after May 1, 2021, will not install or run on these operating systems. For detailed information about NI operating system support, visit

For detailed information about NI application software product life cycles, visit and enter one of the following Info Codes:

Product Info Code
Measurement Studiomstudiolifecycle

Legal Information


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End-User License Agreements and Third-Party Legal Notices

You can find end-user license agreements (EULAs) and third-party legal notices in the following locations after installation:

  • Notices are located in the <National Instruments>\_Legal Information and <National Instruments> directories.
  • EULAs are located in the <National Instruments>\Shared\MDF\Legal\license directory.
  • Review <National Instruments>\_Legal Information.txt for information on including legal information in installers built with NI products.

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