Development kit simplifies use of reconfigurable I/O hardware

Paul Boughton
National Instruments has unveiled the latest version of a module development kit that further simplifies the process for users, OEMs and system integrators designing custom C Series modules for NI Compactrio and add-on boards for NI Single-Board RIO. With the NI cRIO-9951 Module Development Kit (MDK), customers and third-party resellers can design custom systems for industrial and embedded applications based on common NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) architectures and in small form factors. The cRIO-9951 MDK also works with NI Labview 8.6 and includes updated electrical design requirements documentation.

Wolfram Koerver, program manager for Compactrio modules at SEA Datentechnik GmbH, a company that provides advanced products and systems in the field of industrial automation and measuring technology, comments: "The Compactrio Module Development Kit allows us to create complementary modules to serve our customers and build our business. The new MDK improves this process and enables us to implement our technology ideas even faster in new products and custom specific solutions."

Compactrio and NI Single-Board RIO devices, which are part of the NI FPGA-based deployment platform, feature the NI RIO architecture that is composed of a real-time processor, a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and integrated I/O connectivity. Using this standard architecture, engineers and scientists can rapidly design and prototype advanced control and embedded devices on hardware such as Compactrio and quickly deploy their systems on the lower-cost Compactrio integrated systems or NI Single-Board RIO to reduce development costs. Because engineers and scientists can program all NI RIO technology platforms with Labview, no recoding is needed when transitioning from Compactrio prototypes to volume deployment with NI Single-Board RIO, which increases system reliability and shortens design development time.

In addition to Labview, engineers and scientists can design custom C Series modules or NI Single-Board RIO breakout boards using NI Multisim and Ultiboard software. NI provides free Multisim design resource templates for schematic capture and Spice simulation and integrated layout drawings using Ultiboard. The ease of use of Multisim and flexibility of Ultiboard deliver an additional cost-effective option for designing custom hardware for NI RIO platforms.

The cRIO-9951 MDK also includes a technical design user manual, access to NI technical support during initial module development and connectors from NI cRIO-9952, cRIO-9954 and cRIO-9955 module shells. The website includes example programs and tutorials on developing custom modules for Compactrio.

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