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Incorporating reconfigurable I/O

21st February 2013


National Instruments is launching new NI Single-Board RIO devices that offer engineers and scientists a low-cost, integrated hardware option for deploying embedded control and data acquisition applications.

The eight new sbRIO-96xx devices combine an embedded real-time processor, reconfigurable field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and analogue and digital I/O on a single printed circuit board (PCB), making them suitable for applications that require flexibility, high performance and reliability in a small form-factor.

Engineers and scientists can use the NI Labview graphical system design platform to customise NI Single-Board RIO hardware as well as develop all aspects of their embedded systems for increased productivity and shorter time to market.

Jeremy Snow, president of Ventura Aerospace, which has deployed the devices in a fire-suppression system for Fedex Express, comments: "NI Single-Board RIO delivered all the components we needed for a reliable, high-performance embedded system on a single device, which streamlined development and drastically reduced costs. We were able to start with Labview and Compactrio for prototyping and quickly migrate our code to the new NI Single-Board RIO for deployment – all in less than a year."

NI Single-Board RIO devices expand the NI FPGA-based deployment platform offering which includes PXI, PC and the NI Compactrio embedded control and data acquisition system that share the NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) architecture. The NI RIO architecture is composed of a real-time processor, FPGA and I/O modules. Using this standard architecture and Labview, engineers and scientists can rapidly design and prototype advanced control and embedded devices on hardware such as Compactrio and deploy their systems to the lower-cost Compactrio integrated systems or the new NI Single-Board RIO devices to reduce deployment costs. Because engineers and scientists can program all NI RIO technology platforms with Labview, no recoding is needed when transitioning from prototype to deployment, which increases system reliability and shortens development time.

NI Single-Board RIO devices feature an industrial 266MHz or 400MHz Freescale MPC5200 processor built on Power Architecture technology, the Wind River VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS) and Xilinx Spartan-3 FPGA. The onboard analogue and digital I/O connects directly to the FPGA to provide low-level customisation of timing and I/O signal processing. Engineers and scientists can also expand the I/O capabilities using the devices' three expansion slots for connecting any NI C-Series I/O module or custom modules that they develop. There are more than 40 C Series modules for I/O and communication such as acceleration, temperature, power quality, controller-area network (CAN) and motion.

Additionally, the devices offer an operating temperature of -20 to 55 degrees C for use in thermally rugged applications as well as an integrated 19-30V DC power supply input and real-time clock with battery backup for increased reliability. All the NI Single-Board RIO products comply with the Rohs Directive, demonstrating the NI commitment to eliminating certain hazardous substances from products to benefit the environment.

NI Single-Board RIO

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