AUSTIN, USA: National Instruments announced the expansion of its NI FlexRIO product line with multiple forthcoming adapter modules, which provide engineers with application-specific I/O for RF, digital, time-domain and vision inspection systems.
The NI FlexRIO family is the industry’s first commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solution to provide engineers the flexibility of NI LabVIEW FPGA technology combined with high-speed, instrument-class, reconfigurable and user-defined I/O on the PXI platform.
All NI FlexRIO solutions require two distinct hardware pieces –- an I/O-specific adapter module and a PXI-based NI FlexRIO FPGA module, which features a Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA. With a variety of NI FlexRIO adapter modules, engineers can directly interface FPGAs to new types of I/O for measurements across automated test applications that require real-time performance.
The software-defined, reconfigurable I/O capabilities of NI FlexRIO make it possible for engineers to employ techniques such as in-line signal processing, hardware-in-the-loop control and protocol-aware test for designing and testing many complex electronic devices.
National Instruments has already released two NI FlexRIO adapter modules, the NI 6581 100 MHz digital I/O (DIO) adapter module and the NI 6585 200 MHz low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) DIO module.
In addition to these products, NI soon will release several new specialized adapter modules including a dual-channel, 100 MS/s, 14-bit input, 16-bit output baseband transceiver for radio prototyping and stimulus-response applications; a 3 GS/s, eight-bit digitizer for time-domain measurements and ultra-wideband spectral analysis; a four-channel, 250 MS/s, 14-bit digitizer for signal intelligence and other applications requiring high speed and resolution; and a full-configuration Camera Link interface for high-speed image processing and low-latency control.
As part of the open nature of the NI FlexRIO platform, NI also has been collaborating with several National Instruments Alliance Partner companies on third-party adapter modules, including the already-released NexFrontier NF1208 100 MHz vector rate pin electronics digital I/O adapter module and Averna IEEE 1394b adapter module.
Other companies, including SET, Prevas AB, Cosylab and Adsys Controls, are finalizing additional NI FlexRIO adapter module designs for future release.
For applications requiring highly customized I/O, engineers with PCB design and HDL experience can create their own adapter modules using the NI FlexRIO Adapter Module Development Kit (MDK).
The MDK features full documentation on electrical, firmware, software and mechanical design details, including CAD files and example HDL, as well as various metal adapter module enclosures.