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LabVIEW goes embedded with CompactRIO

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article image Low cost embedded architecture.

NATIONAL Instruments has announced CompactRIO, an ultra high-performance embedded control and acquisition platform powered by reconfigurable I/O (RIO) technology for advanced applications where small size and reliability are crucial.

RIO technology gives LabVIEW developers the ability to define their own custom measurement hardware circuitry using reconfigurable FPGA chips and LabVIEW graphical development tools.

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.

The 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 delivers control and acquisition capabilities in a compact, rugged form factor.

A four-slot CompactRIO embedded system measures 7.07 in. by 3.47 in. by 3.47 in. and weighs just 3.47 lb. The dc-powered system typically consumes just 7 to 10W of power and can withstand temperatures ranging from -40 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 50g of shock.

CompactRIO I/O modules feature up to 2300V rms isolation (withstand) and 250V rms 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 multiloop analogue PID control systems at loop rates exceeding 100kS/s and digital control systems at loop rates up to 1MS/s and evaluate multiple rungs of Boolean logic in less than 25ns.

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.

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