The National Instruments Compact

An advanced embedded data and control acquisition system created for applications that require high performance and reliability equals RIO programmable automation controller. The system has open, embedded architecture, extreme ruggedness, small size, and flexibility, that engineers and embedded planners can use with COTS hardware to instantly build systems that are custom embedded. NI CompactRIO is powered by National Instruments LabVIEW FPGA and LabVIEW Real-Time technologies, it gives engineers the ability to program, design, and customize the CompactRIO embedded system with handy graphical programming tools.

This controller fuses a high-performance FPGA, an embedded real-time processor, and hot-swappable I/O modules. Every I/O module that grants low-level customization of timing and I/O signal processing is directly connected to the FPGA. The embedded real-time processor and the FPGA are connected via a high-speed PCI bus. A low-cost architecture with direct access to low-level hardware assets is shown by this. LabVIEW consists of built-in data transfer mechanisms that pass data from both the FPGA and the I/O modules to the FPGA to the embedded processor for real-time post-processing, analysis, data logging, or communication to a networked host CPU.


A reconfigurable, high-performance chip that engineers may program with LabVIEW FPGA tools is the installed FPGA. FPGA designers were compelled to learn and use complex design languages such as VHDL to program FPGAs, and now, any scientist or engineer can adapt graphical LabVIEW tools to personalize and program FPGAs. One can implement custom triggering, timing, control, synchronization, and signal processing for an analog and digital I/O by using the FPGA hardware installed in CompactRIO.

C Series I/O Modules

A diversity of I/O types are accessible including current, voltage, thermocouple, accelerometer, RTD, and strain gauge inputs; 12, 24, and 48 V industrial digital I/O; up to ±60 V simultaneous sampling analogue I/O; 5 V/TTL digital I/O; pulse generation; counter/timers; and high voltage/current relays. People can frequently connect wires directly from the C Series modules to their actuators and sensors, for the modules contain built-in signal conditioning for extended voltage ranges or industrial signal samples.

Weight and Size

Demanding design requirements in many embedded applications are size, weight, and I/O channel density. A four-slot reconfigurable installed system weighs just 1.58 kg (3.47 lb) and measures 179.6 by 88.1 by 88.1 mm (7.07 by 3.47 by 3.47 in.).

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