National Instruments Adds Options for Extending NI RIO Technology Platform With Custom Electronics
NI CompactRIO Module Development Kit and RIO Mezzanine Card Expand Possibilities for Custom I/O
National Instruments today announced a new version of the NI CompactRIO Module Development Kit (MDK) and the introduction of the RIO Mezzanine Card (RMC) specification for NI Single-Board RIO. These additions expand the options for adding specialized or custom I/O to packaged and board-level embedded control and monitoring systems. With these technologies, system integrators and OEMs now can fully integrate custom electronics with the proven and reliable NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) hardware systems and provide their users with the same experience that scientists and engineers expect from NI products.
“The new CompactRIO Module Development Kit improves our ability to create complementary embedded modules to serve our customers and build our business,” said Wolfram Koerver, program manager for CompactRIO modules at S.E.A. Datentechnik GmbH, a company that provides advanced products and solutions in the field of industrial automation and measuring technology. “We designed a RIO Mezzanine Card and NI Single-Board RIO into our BMX Embedded Measurement and Control Platform in a much shorter timeframe than a full-custom solution. With the RIO Mezzanine Card feature, we now can provide cost-effective solutions for higher volume applications which require specialty I/O and communication features.”
Incorporating updates based on customer feedback, version 2.0 of the CompactRIO MDK provides engineers and scientists additional time-saving resources that simplify the processes of creating any custom module. The 2.0 version features a new field-programmable gate array (FPGA) communication core that automatically implements NI technology best practices and low-level housekeeping tasks including module detection, identification, data transfer and other common functions. By starting with the NI communication core, engineers can access years of NI research, development and optimization to accelerate their design process and maximize compatibility of custom modules within the RIO ecosystem. The new MDK also includes slot-agnostic code generation and an elemental I/O node paradigm, making it possible for module designers to provide the same user experience whether engineers and scientists use third-party modules or NI modules.
Additionally, NI Single-Board RIO devices now feature an expansion connector for an RMC. The RMC connector provides a method for adding application-specific custom circuitry to NI Single-Board RIO, including a combination of analog or digital I/O or processor-based peripheral ports, including CAN, UART and USB. The high-density, high-bandwidth RMC connector exposes up to 96 digital I/O lines from the reconfigurable FPGA, making it an ideal platform for building high-speed electronics applications.
An integral part of the NI graphical system design approach, NI RIO technology combines NI LabVIEW system design software with commercial off-the-shelf hardware to simplify development and shorten time to market when designing advanced control, monitoring and test systems. NI RIO hardware, which includes CompactRIO, NI Single-Board RIO, R Series boards and PXI-based NI FlexRIO, features an architecture with powerful floating-point processors, reconfigurable FPGAs and modular I/O. All NI RIO hardware components are programmed with LabVIEW to give engineers the ability to rapidly create custom timing, signal processing and control for I/O without requiring expertise in low-level hardware description languages or board-level design.
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About National Instruments
National Instruments (www.ni.com) is transforming the way engineers and scientists design, prototype and deploy systems for measurement, automation and embedded applications. NI empowers customers with off-the-shelf software such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware, and sells to a broad base of more than 30,000 different companies worldwide, with its largest customer representing approximately 4 percent of revenue in 2010 and no one industry representing more than 15 percent of revenue. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has approximately 6,100 employees and direct operations in more than 40 countries. For the past 12 years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.
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