PXI FlexRIO architecture integrates with Xilinx Kintex UltraScale technology

PXI FlexRIO digitisers and PXI FlexRIO co-processor modules, announced by National Instruments drive custom hardware solutions without the need for custom design.

National Instruments’ latest PXI FlexRIO architecture integrates mezzanine I/O modules with Xilinx Kintex UltraScale FPGAs. The first wave of products based on the architecture includes two high-resolution PXI FlexRIO digitisers, three dedicated PXI FlexRIO co-processor modules and a module development kit that helps with custom front-end development.

The FlexRIO line combines customisable I/O and user-programmable FPGAs into high-performance, reconfigurable instruments users can program with the LabVIEW FPGA module. With Kintex UltraScale FPGAs, the FlexRIO architecture offers more programmable resources than previous Kintex-7-based FlexRIO modules, confirms National Instruments (NI). In addition, the new mezzanine architecture fits both the I/O module and the FPGA back end within a single, integrated 3U PXI module. For high-speed communication with other modules in the chassis, the new FlexRIO modules feature PCI Express Gen 3 x8 connectivity for up to 7.0Gbyte per second of streaming bandwidth.

Implementing FPGAs and high-performance data converters in a custom design can be cumbersome, admits Steve Warntjes, NI vice president of R&D, modular instruments. “FlexRIO has consistently helped engineers and scientists bring ideas to fruition faster with an off-the-shelf solution that includes the latest FPGA and converter technology. The new FlexRIO architecture furthers this mission.”

The FlexRIO modules take advantage of the highest-performance FPGA and ADC technology, which makes them suitable for applications that require advanced capabilities like remote sensing, signals intelligence, communications and particle physics. New modules include digitiser modules to deliver high-speed sampling rates and wide bandwidth without compromising dynamic range. The PXIe-5763 and PXIe-5764 provide 500 Msample per second and one Gsample per second rates, respectively. Both modules offer 16-bit resolution and up to 400MHz of bandwidth on all four channels.

Co-processor modules add real-time signal processing capabilities to a system with dedicated Kintex UltraScale PXI FlexRIO co-processor modules. A chassis full of these modules is claimed to deliver the highest density of computational resources per U of rack space of any NI system, says the company.

The module development kit allows engineers to start with a FlexRIO FPGA back end, programmable by LabVIEW and then to design custom I/O modules to meet application requirements.



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