NI-FGEN 15.0 Readme

August 2015

This file contains important information about NI-FGEN and is organized into the following sections:

New Features

Supported Hardware

System Requirements

Installed Software, Documentation, and Examples



Accessing VIs and Functions

Finding Examples

Product Security and Critical Updates

Driver Version Naming Changes

Uninstalling/Modifying NI-FGEN

Upgrading Firmware

Known Issues

Bug Fixes

Automating the Installation of NI Products

How to Use NI Software with Microsoft Windows 8.x

NI Software Support for Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003

Legal Information

New Features

NI-FGEN 15.0 adds support for LabVIEW 2015 (32- and 64-bit).

NI-FGEN 14.0 adds support for LabVIEW 2014 (32- and 64-bit).

NI-FGEN 2.9.4 includes the following new features:

  • Enhanced support for filter group delay compensation for NI PXIe-5442 Rev D or higher.
  • Support for allowing I/Q rates up to 400 MS/s when using onboard signal processing mode on the NI PXIe-5450/5451.

NI-FGEN 2.9.3 adds support for LabVIEW 2013 (32- and 64-bit).

Supported Hardware

The following table shows which hardware products are supported in this release under particular operating systems.

Hardware Product Supported Under
Windows 8.1/8.0/7/Vista1
Supported Under
Windows XP1
NI PXI/PCI-5401 Function Generator
NI PXI/PCI-5402 Function Generator
NI PXI-5404 Frequency Generator
NI PXI/PCI-5406 Function Generator
NI PXI/PCI-5411 Arbitrary Waveform Generator
NI PXI/PCI-5412 Arbitrary Waveform Generator
NI PXI/PCI-5421 Arbitrary Waveform Generator
NI PXI-5422 Arbitrary Waveform Generator
NI PXI/PCI-5431 Video Signal Generator
NI PXI-5441 Arbitrary Waveform Generator with Onboard Signal Processing
NI PXIe–5442 Arbitrary Waveform Generator with Onboard Signal Processing
NI PXIe–5450 Dual-Channel I/Q Generator with Onboard Signal Processing
NI PXIe–5451 Dual-Channel Arbitrary Waveform Generator with Onboard Signal Processing
1 MXI Express and MXI-4 are supported on Windows 8.1/8.0/7/Vista/XP, but MXI-3 is supported on only Windows XP.

2Simulating these devices is also not supported on Windows 8.1/8.0/7/Vista, using either the NI-FGEN or the NI-FGEN Soft Front Panel. Simulating a device that is not supported on your operating system results in indeterminate behavior.

3 Windows 8.1/8.0/7/Vista support for the NI 5404 does not include support for external calibration. Perform external calibration for the NI 5404 on Windows XP operating systems.

Device-specific information about these signal generators is included in the NI Signal Generators Help.

System Requirements

Supported Operating Systems

NI-FGEN 15.0 and later supports the following operating systems:

  • Windows 8.1 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 8.0 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows XP Service Pack 2 (32-bit)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 (32-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit)

Note  NI-FGEN 15.0 does not support Windows Server non-R2 editions.

NI recommends that you have the most recent service pack for your operating system installed.

Supported Real-Time Operating Environments

NI-FGEN 15.0 supports the following real-time operating environments:

Minimum System Requirements

  • Processor—Pentium III/Celeron 600 MHz or equivalent
  • RAM—
    • Windows 8.1/8.0/7/Vista: 512 MB
    • Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3): 128 MB
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or later
  • A screen resolution of 800 x 600 with 256 colors
  • Windows 8.1/8.0/7/Vista/XP SP3, with all available critical updates and service packs

Recommended System

  • Processor—Pentium 4 or equivalent
  • RAM—
    • Windows 8.1/8.0/7/Vista: 1 GB
    • Windows XP SP3: 256 MB
  • A screen resolution of 1,024 x 768
  • Windows 8.1/8.0/7/Vista/XP SP3, with all available critical updates and service packs

Application Development Environments (ADEs)

Note  You should install ADEs, such as NI LabVIEW, NI LabWindows/CVI, or Microsoft Visual Studio®, before installing NI-FGEN. To add support for ADEs installed after installing NI-FGEN, modify your NI-FGEN installation or launch the NI-FGEN installer again.

  • NI LabVIEW 2012 SP1 (32- and 64-bit), 2013 SP1 (32- and 64-bit), 2014 SP1 (32- and 64-bit), 2015 (32- and 64-bit)
  • NI LabVIEW Real-Time Module 2012 SP1, 2013 SP1, 2014 SP1, or 2015 (no support for NI PXI/PCI-5401/5411/5431 devices)
  • LabWindows/CVI 9.0.1 or later
  • LabWindows/CVI Real-Time Module 2009 or later (no support for NI PXI/PCI-5401/5411/5431 devices)
  • Measurement Studio 6.0 or later
  • Microsoft Visual C++ (MSVC) 6.0 or later
  • If you are running your application on an RT target, 128 MB of memory or more is required.

Installed Software, Documentation, and Examples

  • <NIDocDir> is an alias for the following National Instruments file folder location:
    • Windows 8.1/8.0/7/Vista: Users\Public\Documents\National Instruments
    • Windows XP: Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents\National Instruments
  • <IVIROOTDIR32> is an alias for the following National Instruments file folder location:
    • Windows 8.1 (32-bit)/8.0 (32-bit)/7 (32-bit)/Vista (32-bit)/XP: Program Files\IVI Foundation\IVI\
    • Windows 8.1 (64-bit)/8.0 (64-bit)/7 (64-bit)/Vista (64-bit): Program Files (x86)\IVI Foundation\IVI\
      NOTES:$(IVIROOTDIR32) is configured as an environment variable on the target system.
      If you upgraded an installation of IVI, your files may be in the following location:
      • Windows 8.1 (32-bit)/8.0 (32-bit)/7 (32-bit)/Vista (32-bit)/XP: Program Files\IVI\
      • Windows 8.1 (64-bit)/8.0 (64-bit)/7 (64-bit)/Vista (64-bit): Program Files (x86)\IVI\
  • <IVIROOTDIR64> is an alias for the following National Instruments file folder location:
    • Windows 8.1 (64-bit)/8.0 (64-bit)/7 (64-bit)/Vista (64-bit): Program Files\IVI Foundation\IVI\
      NOTE:$(IVIROOTDIR64) is configured as an environment variable on the target system.

File Locations

Item Installed Location on Windows 8.1 (32-bit)/8.0 (32-bit)/7 (32-bit)/Vista (32-bit)/XP
NI-FGEN Function Panel <IVIROOTDIR32>\Drivers\niFgen\niFgen.fp
NI-FGEN Examples<NIDocDir>\NI-FGEN\Examples
NI-FGEN Header files<IVIROOTDIR32>\Include
NI-FGEN Import Library files<IVIROOTDIR32>\Lib

Additional File Locations for Windows 8.1 (64-bit)/8.0 (64-bit)/7 (64-bit)/Vista (64-bit)

Item Installed Location on Windows 8.1 (64-bit)/8.0 (64-bit)/7 (64-bit)/Vista (64-bit)
NI-FGEN Function Panel <IVIROOTDIR64>\Drivers\niFgen\niFgen.fp
NI-FGEN Header files<IVIROOTDIR64>\Include
NI-FGEN Import Library files (64-bit)<IVIROOTDIR64>\Lib_x64


Select Start»All Programs»National Instruments»NI-FGEN to launch the NI-FGEN Soft Front Panel.


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

Document Format Description
NI Signal Generators Help HTML/Windows Help Contains complete reference material for NI-FGEN products. The help is an HTML version of a traditional user manual that includes the following information:
  • An introduction to NI-FGEN
  • Hardware device information
  • How to get started with application development
  • A complete reference for all NI-FGEN programming functions and VIs
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 Procedures for your device PDF Contains calibration instructions for your device.
NI-FGEN Readme HTML (this document) Contains information about supported hardware and operating systems, new features, fixed issues, and legal notices.
Introduction to niFgen HTML Contains information about driver documentation, examples, connecting to your instrument, configuring instrument settings, and known issues.
NI-FGEN IVI Compliance Document TXT Contains information about IVI compliance.

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

To use the .NET API, you must install the the .NET class libraries or the .NET Wrapper in addition to the NI device driver. For information on versions of the .NET Framework and the drivers each supports, as well as the download location of the installer files, refer to the National Instruments .NET Driver Support document at and enter Info Code NETAPIdriversupport.

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

Accessing VIs and Functions

To access the LabVIEW sample projects and templates from the New Project dialog, select Sample Projects in the left pane and navigate to the project that best matches your application requirements.

NI–FGEN palette VIs are available from the Functions»Measurement I/O»NI–FGEN palette.

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

Finding Examples

In LabVIEW, you can use the NI Example Finder to search or browse examples. NI–FGEN examples are classified by keyword, so you can search for a particular device or measurement function. In LabVIEW, select Help»Find Examples to launch the NI Example Finder. The NI Example Finder offers two ways to access all installed LabVIEW example VIs (including NI–RFSG and Modulation Toolkit examples) and their descriptions:

  • Click the Browse tab to locate modulation examples by task at Hardware Input and Output»Modular Instruments»NI–FGEN or by directory structure at instr»niFgen.
  • Click the Search tab to search all installed examples by keyword. For example, search for "FGEN" to locate all NI signal generator examples.

The NI Example Finder is also available in LabWindows/CVI by selecting Help»Find Examples.

You can also access all the installed NI–FGEN examples for LabVIEW and LabWindows/CVI at Start»All Programs»National Instruments»NI–FGEN»Examples.

Examples also are available online that demonstrate integrating NI signal generators with NI toolkit software including the Modulation Toolkit. Refer to for these examples and for more information.

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.

Driver Version Naming Changes

NI-FGEN versions are now aligned with the versions of major NI application software products. This alignment gives you information about the year the driver was released and the most recent software version the driver was designed to work with. Driver versions now start with a two-digit year indicator: <ProductName><Year-BasedVersion>. For example, NI-FGEN 14.0 is the version released with LabVIEW 2014. The last version released under the old numbering scheme is NI-FGEN 2.9.4. The first version released under the new numbering scheme is NI-FGEN 14.0.

Uninstalling/Modifying NI-FGEN

For Windows XP, complete the following steps:

  1. Launch the Control Panel by selecting Start»Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add/Remove Programs.
  3. Select National Instruments Software.
  4. Click Change/Remove.
  5. Select NI-FGEN 15.0 from the dialog box that appears.
  6. Click Remove to uninstall the product; click Modify to change the components that are installed.

For Windows 7/Vista, complete the following steps:

  1. Launch the Control Panel by selecting Start»Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Programs and Features.
  3. Select National Instruments Software.
  4. Click the Uninstall/Change button.
  5. Select NI-FGEN 15.0 from the dialog box that appears.
  6. Click Remove to uninstall the product; click Modify to change the components that are installed.

For Windows 8.1/8.0, complete the following steps:

  1. Right-click the Start screen.
  2. Select All apps and launch the Control Panel.
  3. Select Programs»Programs and Features.
  4. Select National Instruments Software.
  5. Click the Uninstall button.
  6. Select NI-FGEN 15.0 from the dialog box that appears.
  7. Click Remove to uninstall the product; click Modify to change the components that are installed.

As part of the NI-FGEN 15.0 installation, the following list of software was installed. To completely remove NI-FGEN 15.0 from your system, you must remove all of these packages:

  • NI-FGEN Runtime 15.0
  • NI Hierarchical Waveform Storage 15.0
  • NI IVI Compliance Package 15.0
  • NI Measurement & Automation Explorer 15.0
  • Traditional NI-DAQ 7.4.4 (Windows XP only)
  • NI-DAQmx Runtime 15.0 with Configuration Support
  • NI-VISA Runtime 15.0
  • NI I/O Trace 15.0

Caution  Several of the software packages listed above are shared with other NI software packages. If you attempt to remove a piece of software that something else is dependent on, a message launches to warn you about the software dependencies. You can choose to either uninstall all of the software or to leave the shared software installed. If you choose to uninstall the shared software, some of your other NI software may no longer function correctly.

Note  Do not attempt to uninstall by manually deleting files.

Upgrading Firmware

The NI PXIe-5442, NI PXIe-5450, and NI PXIe-5451 have upgradeable device firmware. It is highly encouraged and may be required that you upgrade the firmware on these devices; newer firmware contains new features and important bug fixes. To update the firmware, run the Firmware Updater application for your device (54xxFirmwareUpdater_X.Y.Z.exe, where 54xx is the name of the device and X.Y.Z is the firmware version) that is installed in the Program Files\IVI Foundation\IVI\Drivers\niFgen\ directory or the Program Files (x86)\IVI Foundation\IVI\Drivers\niFgen\ directory. This application upgrades your firmware to the latest available version that works with this driver. After the application runs, you are required to power down your computer and PXI Express chassis to complete the firmware update.

Known Issues

You can access the software and documentation known issues list online. Refer to the NI-FGEN 15.0 Known Issues at for an up-to-date list of known issues in NI-FGEN 15.0.

Bug Fixes

The following items are fixed in NI-FGEN 2.9.1 from NI-FGEN 2.9.

Bug IDFixed Issue
317520Fixed an issue in which an error occured when trying to build an installer in LabVIEW for an NI-FGEN 2.9 executable.

The following items are fixed in NI-FGEN 2.9 from NI-FGEN 2.8.1.

Bug IDFixed Issue
242645Fixed an issue in which NI-FGEN does not report the correct error when LabVIEW FPGA 2010 is installed. You must install LabVIEW FPGA 2010 SP1 for this bug fix.
240183Fixed an issue in which using dynamic FPGA interfaces in the LabVIEW FPGA Module were not supported when using peer-to-peer streaming. You must install NI-RIO 3.5.1 for this bug fix.
280577Fixed an issue in which NI-FGEN returns an incorrect error description when an invalid session handle is passed into NI-FGEN VIs.
314922Fixed an issue in which NI-FGEN returns an incorrect maximum waveform size after you call the niFgen Clear Arbitrary Memory VI on NI PXIe-5450 and NI PXIe-5451.
313189Fixed an issue in which LabVIEW could crash when reading the Gain DAC Value property.
N/AFixed an issue in which NI-FGEN could return an unrecoverable error when transitioning to the Committed state by calling the niFgen Commit VI, the niFgen_Commit function, or calling a create or write waveform VI or function. You must install NI-DAQmx 9.0 or later for this bug fix.

The following items are fixed in NI-FGEN 2.8 from NI-FGEN 2.7.4.

Bug IDFixed Issue
241656Fixed firmware to synchronize power supplies for improved phase noise performance.
199899Fixed an issue in which calling calibration utility functions in a normal NI-FGEN session affected output by disabling self-calibration constants.
182502Fixed an issue in which running test panels for the NI PXIe-5450 and NI PXIe-5451 using the LabVIEW Real-Time Module did not write waveform data. This issue caused the output signal to be random.
183093Fixed an issue in which waking from sleep mode could crash the operating system in some configurations, especially if the video, network, or other drivers were out of date.
187791An issue was fixed in which LabVIEW 2009 (64-bit) could crash if you created more than one session using the same resource name. You must install LabVIEW 2009 SP1 (64-bit) for this bug fix.

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. However, starting with the August 2012 releases (products using NI Installers version 3.1 or later), you may need to perform additional steps before or during a silent installation of NI software.

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:

How to Use NI Software with Microsoft Windows 8

When you install National Instruments software on Microsoft Windows 8.x, 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.

Using NI Launcher

NI Launcher helps you find and launch installed NI products. It provides you with a method of finding NI products similar to the Start menu in previous versions of Microsoft Windows. To use NI Launcher, click the NI Launcher tile in the Apps view. NI Launcher launches the desktop and opens a menu containing a list of NI products. Click any NI product to launch it.

Note  NI MAX does not appear as a desktop shortcut when installed on Microsoft Windows 8.x. You can launch NI MAX either from the Apps view or from within NI Launcher.

Pinning Frequently Used Applications

For convenience, you can pin your most-used NI applications, such as MAX, to either the Start screen or the Taskbar on the desktop, as necessary.

Current ApplicationIcon LocationPin to Action
Windows 8.x DesktopDesktop TaskbarRight-click application and select Pin to Taskbar
Windows 8.x Desktop Start screenRight-click application and select Pin to Start
Windows 8.x Start screenDesktop TaskbarRight-click application and select Pin to taskbar from the menu bar on the bottom of the screen

Finding All Programs

If you want to find a particular application or related files, such as documentation files, from the Start screen, you can access all installed files from the Apps view. To get to the Apps view, right-click anywhere on the Start screen and select All apps (Windows 8.0) or click the down arrow on the bottom left of the screen (Windows 8.1).

For more information about NI support for Windows 8.x, visit

NI-FGEN Drops Support for Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 in 2016

NI-FGEN will drop support for Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 as of July 1, 2016. Versions of NI-FGEN that ship after July 1, 2016 will not install or run on Windows Vista, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003. 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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