NI Week 2004: LabView goes embedded with CompactRIO platform

Austin, TX—National Instruments (NI) announced its ultra high-performance embedded control and acquisition platform, CompactRIO, at NI Week 2004.


Austin, TX— National Instruments (NI) announced its ultra high-performance embedded control and acquisition platform, CompactRIO , at NI Week 2004. This new platform is powered by reconfigurable I/O (RIO) technology for advanced applications, where small size and reliability are crucial. NI's RIO technology gives LabView developers the ability to define their own custom measurement hardware circuitry using reconfigurable FPGA chips and LabView graphical development tools.

'Because of their performance and flexibility, FPGA chips have gained wide market adoption among digital design engineers. RIO technology delivers these benefits to a broader range of engineers and scientists by eliminating the steep learning curve traditionally required to program FPGAs,' says Tim Dehne, NI's senior VP of R&D. 'Graphical programming of FPGAs extends virtual instrumentation by empowering LabView users to synthesize their own custom measurement circuitry that rivals the performance and optimization of vendor-defined hardware.'

There are two configurations for CompactRIO: an embedded system and an R Series expansion system. The new CompactRIO embedded system features a real-time embedded processor, four- or eight-slot reconfigurable chassis, containing a user-programmable FPGA and 10 hot-swappable industrial I/O modules. Each I/O module includes built-in field wiring connectivity, signal conditioning, conversion circuitry, and an optional isolation barrier. By integrating the connector junction box into the modules, CompactRIO significantly reduces the space requirements and cost of field wiring. This low-cost embedded architecture delivers open access to low-level hardware resources for rapid development of custom stand-alone or distributed control and acquisition systems.

CompactRIO R Series expansion system provides high-performance signal conditioning and industrial expansion I/O for PCI or PXI/CompactPCI R Series FPGA devices. Engineers can install an R Series FPGA device in any desktop or industrial computer running Windows or LabView Real-Time operating systems. In this configuration, an R Series expansion chassis connects directly to one of the digital ports on the R Series FPGA device. The expansion system adds custom measurement capabilities to applications that include traditional plug-in data acquisition, vision, motion and modular instrument devices.

By taking advantage of the extreme performance and small size of reconfigurable FPGA chips, CompactRIO reportedly delivers unprecedented control and acquisition capabilities in a compact, rugged form factor. A four-slot CompactRIO embedded system measures 7.07 in. x 3.47 in. x 3.47 in. and weighs just 3.47 lb. The dc-powered system typically consumes just 7 to 10 W of power, and can withstand temperatures ranging from -40 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 50 g of shock. CompactRIO I/O modules feature up to 2,300 Vrms isolation (withstand) and 250 Vrms isolation (continuous). Each component comes with a variety of international safety, electromagnetic compatibility and environmental certifications and ratings.

The RIO FPGA circuitry at the heart of the CompactRIO system is a parallel processing reconfigurable computing engine that executes embedded LabView applications deterministically at rates up to 100 times faster than previously possible. With CompactRIO, engineers can implement multi-loop analog PID control systems at loop rates exceeding 100 kS/s and digital control systems at loop rates up to 1 MS/s, and evaluate multiple rungs of Boolean logic in less than 25 ns.

CompactRIO is designed for advanced developers who will use LabView graphical development tools to adapt the reconfigurable hardware for a wide variety of industries and applications. Early access customers such as MTS, Roush, Goepel, Process Automation, and Virginia Tech have already successfully developed CompactRIO embedded systems for heavy machine control, in-vehicle data acquisition, acoustics and vibration analysis, and electric motor drive characterization.

'Using our existing powertrain control and LabView expertise, we prototyped a full-authority engine control system with CompactRIO to control a high-performance motorcycle engine in just three man months. In past projects, it took us at least two man years to develop similar ECU systems with custom designed hardware,' says Carroll Dase, president of Drivven Inc., an automotive control and data acquisition solutions provider. 'With CompactRIO, we ran deterministic loops on the order of milliseconds and performed FPGA-based fuel and spark timing on the order of microseconds. In addition, we could easily add sensors and actuators, or otherwise modify our system, with minimal time investment.'

CompactRIO's product line includes cRIO-9002 and cRIO-9004 real-time controllers with industrial 200 MHz floating-point processors; the cRIO-910x family of four- and eight-slot reconfigurable chassis featuring 1 million or 3 million gate FPGAs, and a wide variety of I/O types, from

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Controller programming; Safety networks; Enclosure design; Power quality; Safety integrity levels; Increasing process efficiency
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me