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 from National Instruments are designed to expand the options for adding specialised or custom I/O to packaged and board-level embedded control and monitoring systems
With these technologies, system integrators and OEMs can now 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,” says Wolfram Koerver, program manager for CompactRIO modules at S.E.A. Datentechnik, 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 optimisation to accelerate their design process and maximise 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 analogue 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 a suitable 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.