Embedded controllers expand with development kit, plug-in card

RIO Module Development Kit and RIO Mezzanine Card from National Instruments are designed to expand custom I/O options for users.


National Instruments (Nasdaq: NATI) 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 NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) hardware systems.

Over 50 modules, advanced processing, and several communication options help NI CompactRIO address concerns caused by an I/O system upgrade. Courtesy: National InstrumentsIncorporating 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.

National Instruments cRIO-908x system is NI's first multicore CompactRIO with an Intel Core i7 Processor. Also announced at NIWeek are the smallest NI single-board RIO Devices. Courtesy: NIAdditionally, 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.


National Instruments (NI)

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com

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