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Simplified FPGA use, thanks to new IP

Posted: 16 Nov 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:software hardware IP? FPGA? LabVIEW?

National Instruments Corp. (NI) has come up with a new suite of software and hardware intellectual property to ease the task of using FPGAs in measurement, control, and signal processing.

Collaborating with its worldwide network of customers, integrators, and alliance partners, NI is now making available its FPGA IPNet to provide an open forum for sharing LabVIEW FPGA IP and hardware I/O modules for analog and digital I/O, communication buses/protocols and motion control. The newly available resources are intended to facilitate engineers and scientists without hardware design experience to integrate FPGA technology into their test and control applications.

Reducing development time
Engineers use FPGAs instead of custom hardware because of their reconfigurability, short development time, low cost, and high performance; however, programming and integrating FPGAs into control, acquisition, and test systems remains difficult. NI's IPNet offers engineers instant access to more than 100 FPGA IP functions for math and signal processing, data acquisition, signal generation, control, digital communication protocols, and sensor simulation. The idea is that engineers can reduce FPGA development time by using ready-to-run IP for tasks including digital filtering, proportional integral derivative (PID) control and serial peripheral interface (SPI) communication.

NI is also working with its alliance partners to create a family of C Series I/O modules to directly connect the FPGA within the CompactRIO Mechatronics hardware to real-world sensors, actuators, and communication protocols.

Readers can view CompactRIO I/O modules by visiting or get more information on the LabVIEW FPGA IPNet by visiting

- Clive Maxfield
Programmable Logic DesignLine

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