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Controller’s architecture ‘breaks barriers’

07 August, 2014

National Instruments has announced an industrial controller for advanced applications in harsh environments. The four-slot CompactRIO performance controller is supported by the latest (2014) version of NI’s LabView software and by its Linux Real-Time OS (operating system), allowing engineers to use a single environment to develop a system while taking advantage of the enhanced hardware performance.

“The LabView RIO architecture breaks the barriers of traditional embedded system design and provides the best off-the-shelf platform to solve any demanding control and monitoring task,” says Jamie Smith, director of embedded systems at NI. “Our platform-based approach gives small design teams the confidence to build innovative embedded systems without wasting development time and cost.”

The software-designed controller incorporates the latest embedded technologies from Intel and Xilinx. It provides high-performance processing, custom timing and triggering, and data transfer from modular C Series I/O.

“The Intel and NI collaboration allows industrial customers to benefit from the latest processing technologies while meeting their rugged performance requirements,” says Shahram Mehraban, global head of energy and industrial segments at Intel’s Internet of Things Group. “By working closely with NI during early phases of product development, we are able to rapidly bring the latest Intel Atom processor to this segment.”

According to Intel, this dual-core processor will allow loops to be closed faster, more tasks to be tackled, and data to be processed with more precision, accuracy and speed.

By supporting NI’s Linux-based real-time OS, the controller provides access to a large library of applications and IP. The OS also allows vision acquisition to be integrated into an application using cameras that support USB3 or GigE Vision, and to use a new Vision IP that turn the controller’s Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA into a high-performance vision coprocessor.

NI's CompactRIO performance controller can support local HMIs

The FPGA also allows the controller to process more channels and implement more complex filtering and control algorithms.

An embedded UI (user interface) supports local HMI devices and allows the control system to handle HMI tasks, thus cutting component costs as well as development and integration time.

NI plans to release an eight-slot version of the controller later this year.

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