PLCs, DCSs & Controllers


NI expands FPGA-enabled PXI family

July 2011 PLCs, DCSs & Controllers

New offering includes industry’s fastest 16-bit converter from Analog Devices.

National Instruments has introduced the expansion of its NI FlexRIO product line with six new adapter modules featuring FPGA-based reconfigurable I/O to deliver enhanced functionality for general purpose automated test and high-speed digital communication. The NI FlexRIO family is the industry’s first commercial off-the-shelf solution to provide engineers the flexibility of NI LabVIEW technology with user configurable I/O on the PXI platform. The new group of adapter modules includes four general purpose digitisers, a module for high-speed digital I/O and the industry’s fastest 16-bit analogue to digital converter from Analog Devices, optimised for modulated communications.

“The Analog Devices AD9467 is the fastest 16-bit A/D converter at 250 MS/s available today,” says Tom Gratzek, strategic marketing manager of data converters at Analog Devices. “By combining our high sample rate and resolution with the reconfigurable I/O of NI FlexRIO, engineers and scientists can now attain unparalleled flexibility when deploying algorithms onto acquisition hardware, prototyping communications systems and achieving extremely high-performance measurements.”

All NI FlexRIO solutions require two distinct hardware components – an I/O specific adapter module and a PXI-based NI FlexRIO FPGA module, which features a Xilinx Virtex class FPGA. With 15 different NI FlexRIO adapter modules now available, engineers and scientists can directly interface FPGAs to a broad variety of I/O for measurement applications requiring real-time performance, low latency processing and reconfigurable behaviour.

The six new adapter modules feature the following specifications:

* NI 5762: 16-bit, 250 MS/s digitiser, featuring the AD9467 ADC from Analog Devices.

* NI 6587: 16-ch, 1 Gb/s digital I/O module for high-speed LVDS interfaces.

* NI 5731: 12-bit, 40 MS/s general purpose digitiser adapter module.

* NI 5732: 14-bit, 80 MS/s general purpose digitiser adapter module, featuring typical SNR better than 69 dB.

* NI 5733: 16-bit, 120 MS/s high-resolution digitiser adapter module, featuring 37 MHz of alias-free bandwidth.

* NI 5734: 16-bit, 120 MS/s, quad channel, high-resolution digitiser adapter module.

The modules also integrate with the new NI FlexRIO instrument development library, a collection of LabVIEW host and FPGA code, designed to provide capabilities commonly found in instruments such as acquisition engines, DRAM interfaces and trigger logic, along with the associated host APIs. Additionally, the new NI-573xR example instrument driver builds on the code from the instrument development library to create a default FPGA personality and familiar host API for using an NI 573x adapter module as a basic digitiser. Together, these tools decrease the time to first measurement. Both software components are available for download through ni.com/labs.

Unlike other user-programmable FPGA hardware, NI FlexRIO FPGAs can be programmed with LabVIEW graphical system design software and the LabVIEW FPGA module. This approach helps domain experts to target their applications to FPGAs without requiring VHDL knowledge, while still providing an interface to import existing code directly into LabVIEW FPGA.





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