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FPGA, adapter modules offer interface with test apps

Posted: 18 Mar 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:FPGA  adapter module  PXI Express  base band  I/O 


National Instruments Corp. is beefing up its NI FlexRIO line to deliver optimised solutions for high-speed signal processing and other automated test and measurement applications. The new line offers the NI FlexRIO FPGA modules for PXI Express and a new base band transceiver adapter module.

The new products claim to represent the industry's first commercial off-the-shelf solution with the flexibility of NI LabVIEW FPGA technology and high-speed, reconfigurable I/O (RIO) for PXI and PXI Express systems.

FlexRIO solutions for PXI Express use two distinct hardware components: an FPGA module and an adapter module. The NI PXIe-796xR NI FlexRIO FPGA modules feature DSP-focused Xilinx Virtex-5 SXT FPGAs, which feature optimised DSP blocks to streamline operations. Engineers can programme FlexRIO FPGAs with LabVIEW graphical system design software and the LabVIEW FPGA module, the company said, helping engineers target their applications to the FPGAs without prior VHDL knowledge.

The PXIe-796xR FPGA modules incorporate the NI-STC3 ASIC, which facilitates peer-to-peer streaming to significantly increase test and measurement system throughput, according to NI. The ASIC powers direct data streaming between multiple NI FlexRIO FPGA modules or between PXI Express digitisers and FPGA modules without sending data through the host processor.

This technology enables engineers to add FPGA capabilities to NI digitizeisers, according to the company. For computationally demanding applications, engineers also can spread their algorithms across multiple FPGAs, implementing peer-to-peer streaming from one to another at more than 800MBps, or in both directions at over 700MBps per direction, for a total module throughput of more than 1.4GBps.

Using the other hardware component of an NI FlexRIO system—the NI FlexRIO adapter module—engineers can directly interface FPGAs to numerous types of I/O for measurements across test and measurement applications that require real-time performance or hardware signal processing, NI said.

The new NI 5781 base band transceiver adapter module incorporates dual 100MSps 14bit analogue inputs and dual 100MSps 16bit analogue outputs and is ideal for custom base band interfaces and ultra high-speed control applications.

- Programmable Logic DesignLine

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