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Xilinx FPGAs improve RIO platform

Posted: 04 Aug 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:reconfigurable I/O? FPGAs? processing platform?

National Instruments Corp. (NI) has expanded its Reconfigurable I/O (RIO) advanced control product portfolio with the release of what it claims is the highest performance and first multicore CompactRIO systems and the smallest Single-Board RIO devices. The devices are built using Xilinx Inc.'s flagship Spartan-6 FPGAs.

Xilinx and NI have been working together more than decade and together have delivered 60 flagship NI RIO products. These products combine NI's LabVIEW system design software and RIO hadware systems with Xilinx's embedded FPGAs.

According to the companies, the productivity of LabVIEW FPGA allows any engineer or scientist to quickly leverage high-performance FPGAs with innovative control, measurement and test systems without the need to learn traditional electronic design automation tools and methodologies.

The new NI CompactRIO 908x systems offer designers the highest processing power of any CompactRIO product configuration for monitoring and control applications that require exceptional performance and ruggedness. The Spartan-6 FPGA enables complex signal processing performance and control for applications such as rapid control prototyping, advanced motion control and machine vision.

In addition, the new NI Single-Board RIO 9605/06 devices provide designers with a small, cost-optimized form factor sized from less than 102.87 x 96.52mm for high-volume and OEM applications, and offer greater customization and I/O support than previous versions for embedded monitoring and control in industries such as energy and medical. Together, the Spartan-6 FPGA and 400MHz processor provide reliability and performance at a low price point for OEMs, with built-in peripherals such as RS232, CAN, USB and Ethernet and the ability to add peripherals for further customization.

Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGAs are designed for cost-sensitive applications requiring high-speed connectivity and low-power operation with embedded serial transceivers and advanced power management. These devices provide a rich mix of integrated system features, including memory controllers, digital signal processing, and Endpoint block for PCIe, as well as RoHS-compliant lead-free package options for developing 'greener' electronics products.

"Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGAs play a critical role in the enhanced performance our customers will see from advanced NI RIO systems," said Eric Starkloff, vice president of embedded systems and test marketing at National Instruments. "The combination of NI LabVIEW and Xilinx FPGAs gives our customers the ability to design innovative embedded systems while significantly reducing their time-to-market. In the future, we look forward to enabling our customers' applications with Xilinx by delivering phenomenal NI RIO products based on the company's newest 7 series FPGAs and Zynq embedded processing platforms," Starkloff noted.

"National Instruments continues to drive engineering innovation by offering new high-performance solutions to domain experts using the intuitive LabVIEW graphical system design tools," added Vin Ratford, Xilinx senior vice president of worldwide marketing and business development. "We're delighted with the results of our longtime collaboration in delivering an easy-to-use rapid innovation platform to NI customers over many generations of the NI RIO product platform. Going forward, we're excited to see what engineering challenges customers can solve with next-generation NI products built with Xilinx's new flagship 28nm FPGA family and Zynq extensible processing platform," he said.

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