National Instruments have introduced the NI PXI-8110 embedded controller, which is a 3U quad-core embedded controller for PXI systems. The NI PXI-8110 embedded controller features a 2.26 GHz Intel Core2 Quad processor Q9100, up to 4 GB 800 MHz DDR2 RAM and a high-performance 7200 rpm drive. It is also a fast embedded controller in the 3U PXI class. The NI PXI-8110 embedded controller is an alternative to dual-core controllers with similar CPU clock frequencies for applications that are optimised to use the controller’s four processing cores.
According to National Instruments, engineers and scientists depend on the performance and reliability of the NI PXI-8110 embedded controller to solve challenging test, measurement and control applications. The new NI PXI-8110 quad-core embedded controller provides engineers and scientists with advanced embedded computing solutions using high-performance processors such as the Intel Core™2 Quad.
Computer processor manufacturers continue to add more CPU cores to their processors as a way of enhancing computing power. When using traditional text-based programming languages, engineers who want to harness this computing power for developing advanced test, measurement and control applications regularly face the challenges of using complex software primitives and programming models. However, engineers and scientists can capitalise on multithreaded application development by combining the multicore support and parallelism of National Instruments LabVIEW graphical system design software with the NI PXI-8110 embedded controller’s advanced functionality.
As the NI PXI-8110 embedded controller features a platform on which an application can distribute processing loads across four CPU cores simultaneously, it can significantly reduce test times for applications that require intensive signal and data processing such as RF protocol testing and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulations. These applications also can replicate specific tests or processes to run on separate CPU cores and effectively double system throughput.
The NI PXI-8110 embedded controller can process up to 215,000 1K fast Fourier transforms (FFTs) per second, which is faster than the NI PXI-8108 dual-core embedded controller. Earlier, this type of performance could be achieved only by using a bulky workstation. The PXI-8110 embedded controller offers this same capability in a compact, 3U form factor that fits seamlessly inside a PXI chassis.
According to Intel, by integrating Intel Core2 Quad processors in a compact 3U form factor, National Instruments deliver the benefits of Intel architecture to scientists and engineers requesting more cores for creating powerful and efficient parallel test and control systems.
The NI PXI-8110 embedded controller is also available in a version that supports the NI LabVIEW Real-Time and LabWindows/CVI Real-Time modules to deliver a flexible and rugged platform for deterministic and real-time measurement and control. With dual-core real-time systems, engineers are limited to a single CPU core to execute time-critical application segments because the other core is used for executing non-critical background services. With the new NI PXI-8110 quad-core embedded controller, engineers can allocate multiple CPU cores for running time-critical test sections while delegating non-critical services to the remaining cores. This capability helps engineers create powerful real-time and deterministic systems.