The folks at National Instruments (NI)
have announced a new suite of software
and hardware intellectual property (IP) to ease the task of using field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) in measurement, control, and signal processing.
Collaborating with its worldwide network of customers, integrators, and Alliance Partners, NI is now making available its FPGA IPNet to provide an open forum for sharing LabVIEW FPGA IP and hardware I/O modules for analog and digital I/O, communication buses/protocols and motion control. The newly available resources are intended to facilitate engineers and scientists without hardware design experience to integrate FPGA technology into their test and control applications.
Engineers use FPGAs instead of custom hardware because of their reconfigurability, short development time, low cost, and high performance; however, programming and integrating FPGAs into control, acquisition, and test systems remains difficult. NI's IPNet offers engineers instant access to more than 100 FPGA IP functions for math and signal processing, data acquisition, signal generation, control, digital communication protocols, and sensor simulation. The idea is that engineers can reduce FPGA development time by using ready-to-run IP for tasks including digital filtering, proportional integral derivative (PID) control and serial peripheral interface (SPI) communication.
NI is also working with its Alliance Partners to create a family of C Series I/O modules to directly connect the FPGA within the CompactRIO Mechatronics hardware to real-world sensors, actuators, and communication protocols.
NI recently hosted the first CompactRIO Plugfest event, where CompactRIO module developers tested their modules for compatibility within the CompactRIO platform. There were more than 10 companies represented at the CompactRIO Plugfest – and there are now more than 25 third-party modules for CompactRIO and more than 60 C Series modules total for analog and digital I/O, communication buses and protocols, motion control and more. Some new third-party modules include:
- S.E.A. Wireless LAN and Ethernet Switch Module
- S.E.A. Wireless ZigBee Networking Module
- Comsoft PROFIBUS Master/Slave Module
- S.E.A. LIN Module
- Mindready MIL-STD-1553 Module
- SET ARINC-429 Transmit Module
- SET ARINC-429 Receiver Module
- DSM Linear Piezo Amplifier Module
Readers can view CompactRIO I/O modules by visiting www.ni.com/compactrio or get more information on the LabVIEW FPGA IPNet by visiting www.ni.com/ipnet.
About NI LabVIEW FPGA and CompactRIO
The National Instruments LabVIEW FPGA Module uses LabVIEW embedded technology to extend LabVIEW graphical development to target FPGAs on NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) hardware. Engineers and scientists can use LabVIEW FPGA with NI FPGA-based hardware for unique timing and triggering routines, ultrahigh-speed control, interfacing to digital protocols, digital signal processing (DSP), and many other applications requiring high-speed hardware reliability and tight determinism. For more information on LabVIEW FPGA, go to www.ni.com/fpga.
CompactRIO is an embedded control and acquisition platform powered by graphical system design targeted at advanced applications where small size, low cost and reliability are crucial. CompactRIO is powered by NI LabVIEW FPGA and LabVIEW Real-Time technologies that give engineers the ability to design, develop and deploy custom embedded systems for a variety of industries such as automotive, mil/aero, industrial and machine control and embedded systems prototyping. For more information on CompactRIO, readers can visit www.ni.com/compactrio.