Control Engineers Benefit from NI LabVIEW FPGA, Reconfigurable I/O

5/21/2003 - National Instruments announces NI LabVIEW FPGA software and PXI-7831R reconfigurable I/O hardware to simplify the integration of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) into measurement and control applications. With LabVIEW graphical programming and commercially available FPGA technology, NI significantly reduces the complexity of developing sophisticated applications in areas such as hardware-in-the-loop testing, simulation, rapid control prototyping and custom digital protocol I/O.

Originally offered as part of the LabVIEW FPGA Pioneer System last fall, engineers now can purchase the PXI-7831R device separately to create customized measurement and control I/O hardware. Unlike measurement devices with fixed ASICs, engineers can configure the FPGA chip on this reconfigurable I/O device to control timing, triggering and counter behavior. With intuitive LabVIEW graphical structures and functions, engineers can modify hardware to deliver onboard decision-making, precise timing control and custom triggering and synchronization with resolution down to 25 nanoseconds. In addition, they can take advantage of FPGA benefits such as true, simultaneous execution of parallel loops without building custom hardware or using complex FPGA design tools or languages such as VHDL, dramatically reducing development time and cost of the overall solution.

The new PXI-7831R reconfigurable I/O device has eight independent, 16-bit analog input channels and eight independent, 16-bit analog output channels. It also offers 96 digital lines that can be configured as custom counters, pulse-width modulated (PWM) channels, encoder inputs or ports for user-defined communication protocols. Engineers can then store their custom-defined configuration in the onboard flash memory, so an application can start running immediately upon power-up.

About National Instruments
National Instruments ( is a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation -- a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists approach measurement and automation. Leveraging the PC and its related technologies, virtual instrumentation increases productivity and lowers costs for customers worldwide through easy-to-integrate software, such as the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, and modular hardware, such as PXI modules for data acquisition, instrument control and machine vision. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 3,000 employees and direct operations in 40 countries. In 2002, the company sold products to more than 25,000 different companies in more than 80 countries around the world. For the past four consecutive years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America. Readers may obtain investment information from the company's investor relations department at (512) 683-5090, by sending e-mail to or on the Web at

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