NI Extends LabVIEW FPGA and C Series I/O with New High-Channel-Count Expansion Chassis

Three New Reconfigurable I/O (RIO) Chassis Deliver C Series to High-Speed Cabled and Wireless Buses

Aug 10, 2010 – National Instruments has announced the NI 9157 and NI 9159 MXI-Express RIO chassis and NI 9148 Ethernet RIO chassis, which in addition to the existing NI 9144 EtherCAT chassis, extend the company’s offering of high-channel-count expansion chassis on a variety of buses. Built on NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) technology, these chassis deliver the benefits of field programmable gate array (FPGA)-based hardware and C Series I/O to applications requiring hundreds, or even thousands, of channels. Each expansion chassis contains a Xilinx FPGA that is programmable with the NI LabVIEW FPGA Module, giving engineers the flexibility of high-speed and customisable I/O timing, inline processing and control.

The new MXI-Express RIO 14-slot expansion chassis with onboard Virtex-5 FPGAs offer a high-end solution for large applications that require high channel counts, mixed I/O for a variety of measurements and custom signal processing and control algorithms. The MXI-Express link delivers high bandwidth for streaming data to and from multiple chassis from a single controller, offering hundreds of C Series module slots and thousands of channels of analogue, digital and communication I/O including strain, acceleration, channel-to-channel isolated voltage input and simultaneous voltage. The new chassis are ideal for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing, industrial machine monitoring and complex research applications.

“Using the MXI-Express RIO chassis, we can build highly customisable, high-channel-count conditioned measurement systems,” said Albion Knight, Vice President of Green Mountain Research Inc. “We now use LabVIEW FPGA to program the FPGA within the chassis and add custom signal processing, control and timing to solve a variety of high-channel-count control and acquisition applications.”

The NI 9148 8-slot Ethernet expansion chassis adds flexible distributed I/O to RIO systems. With standard CAT 5 Ethernet cabling, it communicates with NI CompactRIO, real-time PXI controllers, the NI industrial controller or any networked Windows PC. The flexibility of the NI 9148 chassis makes it an ideal choice for seamlessly adding expansion I/O to an existing network. With an onboard FPGA and LabVIEW FPGA software, engineers can implement custom signal analysis, control and safety interlocks local to each chassis to create a truly modular system. Engineers can also use more than 50 third-party C Series I/O modules with these new chassis, including wireless modules based on 802.11, GPS, Edge, and other technologies. When combining the new NI 9148 Ethernet chassis with wireless modules from S.E.A. Datentechnik GmbH., engineers can turn the NI 9148 chassis into wireless expansion systems for application with difficult or impossible cabling.

These expansion chassis are an extension of the NI RIO platform, which delivers a wide variety of solutions at different prices and performance levels for control, design and test applications. The common NI RIO architecture consists of a processor, customisable FPGA and modular I/O, which combine to create a flexible system that solves complex application problems. Engineers can use the LabVIEW graphical development environment to program the processor, FPGA and I/O of their RIO system to create an embedded system that rivals the performance and optimisation of custom hardware.

Readers can learn more about RIO expansion chassis options by reading the “NI C Series Expansion I/O for RIO Systems” white paper on www.ni.com.

About National Instruments
National Instruments (www.ni.com) is transforming the way engineers and scientists design, prototype and deploy systems for measurement, automation and embedded applications. NI empowers customers with off-the-shelf software such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware, and sells to a broad base of more than 30,000 different companies worldwide, with no one customer representing more than 3 percent of revenue and no one industry representing more than 15 percent of revenue. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 5,000 employees and direct operations in more than 40 countries. For the past 11 years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

Pricing and Contact Information
MXI-Express RIO Chassis
Priced* from £3,449; €4,149
Ethernet RIO Chassis
Priced* from £779; €929
Web: www.ni.com/mxiexpressrio
*All prices are subject to change without notice.