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RIO guide


Introduction to the NI RIO platform.

Photograph of NI Compact RIO highlighting various features

Photo credit: http://www.ni.com/white-paper/52251/en/

RIO fast facts

RT processor:


LabVIEW RIO programming compared to desktop environment

You likely have experience creating LabVIEW applications to run on a desktop computer. Coding for the RT target is quite similar because the RT target is also a processor – think of the RT target as a special-purpose computer tailored for embedded systems. The real-time operating system (RTOS) distinguishes the RT target from a conventional OS by offering precision loop timing and high reliability (low down-time).

Programming the FPGA is similar to the desktop computer in the sense that you create LabVIEW code, however, the similarity stops there. The FPGA requires a bitstream file (or bitfile) to establish its myriad circuit connections. This bitfile is obtained by compiling the LabVIEW VI: the G code (graphical block diagram code) is translated into VHDL and then the Xilinx tools take over from there. The FPGA-targeted VI appears to “run” on the FPGA, but does not run in the same way as code executed by the RT target.

RIO embedded control and monitoring applications

For more information

  1. Compact RIO (http://www.ni.com/compactrio/)
    Complete information on the CompactRIO platform including components, I/O devices, application areas and technical resources.
  2. Single-Board RIO (http://www.ni.com/singleboard/)
    Complete information on the Single-Board RIO product including application areas and technical resources.
  3. Learn RIO (http://www.ni.com/academic/students/learn-rio/)
    Five introductory video tutorials: (1) "What is RIO?", (2) "Setting up Your CompactRIO System"', (3) "Embedded Programming with LabVIEW and CompactRIO", (4) "Create an Embedded State Machine with CompactRIO", and (5) "Learn to Use myRIO".
  4. NI LabVIEW for CompactRIO Developer's Guide (http://www.ni.com/compactriodevguide/)
    From the webpage: 'The National Instruments CompactRIO Developers Guide provides an overview of recommended architectures and development practices when programming NI CompactRIO controllers. Intended as complementary material to standard LabVIEW Real-Time Module and LabVIEW FPGA Module training, this guide features documentation and examples as a framework for designing industrial control and monitoring applications.'