NI-FGEN 16.0 Readme

August 2016

Thank you for using NI-FGEN. 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

NI Software Support for Microsoft Windows 7 RTM, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003

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

Using NI Software with Microsoft Windows 10

Using NI Software with Microsoft Windows 8.1

Legal Information

New Features

NI-FGEN 16.0 adds support for LabVIEW 2016 (32- and 64-bit).

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.

Supported Hardware

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

Hardware Product Supported Under Windows 10 (32-bit)/8.1 (32-bit)/7 (32-bit)1 Supported Under Windows 10 (64-bit)/8.1 (64-bit)/7 (64-bit)
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 10/8.1/7.

2Simulating these devices is also not supported on Windows 8.1/7, 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 8.1/7 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 16.0 and later supports the following operating systems:

  • Windows 10/8.11/7 SP12 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2012 R21 (64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP12 (64-bit)

1 NI software installs VC2015 Runtime and .NET 4.6.1. 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 an 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   NI-FGEN 16.0 and later 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 16.0 and later supports the following real-time operating environments:

Minimum Requirements

  • Processor—1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • RAM—1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • A screen resolution of 1,024 x 768
  • Windows 10/8.1/7 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 2013 SP1, 2014 SP1, 2015 SP1, or 2016
  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module 2013 SP1, 2014 SP1, 2015 SP1, or 2016 (no support for NI PXI/PCI-5401/5411/5431 devices)
  • LabWindows/CVI 2013 or later
  • LabWindows/CVI Real-Time Module 2013 or later (no support for NI PXI/PCI-5401/5411/5431 devices)
  • Microsoft Visual C++ (MSVC) 6.0 or later
  • Measurement Studio 6.0 or later

Installed Software, Documentation, and Examples

Installed Software

  • <NIDocDir> is an alias for the following National Instruments file folder location: Users\Public\Public Documents\National Instruments
  • <IVIROOTDIR32> is an alias for the following National Instruments file folder location:
    • (32-bit) Program Files\IVI Foundation\IVI\
    • (64-bit) Program Files (x86)\IVI Foundation\IVI\
      Note $(IVIROOTDIR32) is configured as an environment variable on the target system.
      If you upgraded an installation of IVI, your files may be located in the following location:
      • (32-bit) Program Files\IVI\
      • (64-bit) Program Files (x86)\IVI\
  • <IVIROOTDIR64> is an alias for the following National Instruments file folder location:
    • (64-bit) Program Files\IVI Foundation\IVI\
      Note $(IVIROOTDIR64) is configured as an environment variable on the target system.

File Locations

Item Installed Location
NI-FGEN <IVIROOTDIR32>\Drivers\niFgen
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 (32-bit) <IVIROOTDIR32>\Lib
NI-FGEN Import Library files (64-bit) <IVIROOTDIR32>\Lib_x64

Additional File Locations for 64-bit operating systems

Item Installed Location
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»FGEN Soft Front Panel to launch the NI-FGEN Soft Front Panel.


Documentation for NI-FGEN 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 primary help content 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 about 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 <IVIROOTDIR32>\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–FGEN 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»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.

NI-FGEN 16.0 Drops Support for Microsoft Windows 7 RTM, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003

With this release, NI-FGEN drops support for Microsoft Windows 7 RTM (with no service pack), Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003. NI-FGEN 16.0 and later will not install or run on an unsupported OS. You cannot deploy or distribute applications that use NI-FGEN 16.0 to an unsupported OS. Additionally, after installing NI-FGEN 16.0, you cannot use any installers built on this computer with any version of LabVIEW, LabWindows™/CVI™, NI TestStand™, or Measurement Studio on an unsupported OS.

For more information about the changes to our OS support for 2016, refer to KB 79UC78LS, Why Does my LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI, Measurement Studio, or TestStand Built Installer Fail on Windows XP/Vista and Server 2003?.

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 15.0 is the version released with LabVIEW 2015. 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 7, 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 16.0 from the dialog box that appears.
  6. Click Remove to uninstall the product; click Modify to change the components that are installed.

For Windows 10/8.1, complete the following steps:

  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. Select Control Panel.
  3. Select Programs»Programs and Features.
  4. Select National Instruments Software.
  5. Click the Uninstall button.
  6. Select NI-FGEN 16.0 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 16.0 installation, the following software is installed. To completely remove the NI-FGEN 16.0 installation from your system, you must also remove all of the following packages:

  • NI-FGEN Runtime 16.0
  • NI Hierarchical Waveform Storage 16.0
  • NI IVI Compliance Package 16.0
  • NI Measurement & Automation Explorer 16.0
  • NI-DAQmx 15.0
  • NI-DAQmx MAX Configuration Support 15.0
  • NI-DAQmx Runtime 16.0 with Configuration Support
  • NI-VISA 16.0
  • NI IO 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 16.0 Known Issues at and enter the Info Code exb3in for an up-to-date list of known issues in NI-FGEN 16.0.

Bug Fixes

The following items are the IDs and titles of a subset of issues fixed in NI-FGEN. This is not an exhaustive list of issues fixed in the current version of NI-FGEN. If you have a CAR ID, you can search this list to validate that the issue has been fixed.

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

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

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

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.

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:

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 National Instruments 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

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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