NI FlexRIO adapter modules for general-purpose applications

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NI FlexRIO adapter modules for general-purpose applicationsNational Instruments is introducing six new NI FlexRIO adapter modules featuring FPGA-based reconfigurable I/O to deliver enhanced functionality for general-purpose automated test and high-speed digital communication. The NI FlexRIO family is described as the industry's first commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) system to provide engineers with the flexibility of NI LabVIEW FPGA technology with high-speed, user-configurable I/O on the PXI platform. The new group of adapter modules includes four general-purpose digitisers, a module for high-speed digital I/O and what is claimed to be the industry's fastest 16-bit analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) from Analog Devices, Inc (ADI), which is optimised for modulated communications.

Tom Gratzek, Strategic Marketing Manager of Data Converters at Analog Devices, states: "The Analog Devices AD9467 is the fastest 16-bit A/D converter at 250MS/s available today. By combining our high sample rate and resolution with the reconfigurable I/O of NI FlexRIO, engineers and scientists can now attain unparalleled flexibility when deploying algorithms onto acquisition hardware, prototyping communications systems and achieving extremely high-performance measurements."

Broad choice of modules

All NI FlexRIO systems require two distinct hardware components: an I/O-specific adapter module and a PXI-based NI FlexRIO FPGA module featuring a Xilinx Virtex-class field-programmable gate array (FPGA). With 15 different NI FlexRIO adapter modules now available, engineers and scientists can directly interface FPGAs to a broad variety of I/O for measurement applications requiring real-time performance, low-latency processing and reconfigurable behaviour.

The six new adapter modules feature the following specifications:

  • NI 5762: 16-bit, 250 MS/s digitiser, featuring the AD9467 ADC from Analog Devices
  • NI 6587: 16-ch, 1 Gb/s digital I/O module for high-speed LVDS interfaces
  • NI 5731: 12-bit, 40 MS/s general-purpose digitiser adapter module featuring typical SFDR better than -87 dBc
  • NI 5732: 14-bit, 80 MS/s general-purpose digitiser adapter module featuring typical SNR better than 69 dB
  • NI 5733: 16-bit, 120 MS/s high-resolution digitiser adapter module featuring 37 MHz of alias-free bandwidth
  • NI 5734: 16-bit, 120 MS/s, quad-channel, high-resolution digitiser adapter module

These modules also integrate with the new NI FlexRIO Instrument Development Library, which is a collection of LabVIEW host and FPGA code that is designed to provide capabilities commonly found in instruments such as acquisition engines, DRAM interfaces and trigger logic, along with the associated host APIs. Additionally, the new NI-573xR Example Instrument Driver builds on the code from the Instrument Development Library to create a default FPGA personality and familiar host API for using an NI 573x adapter module as a basic digitiser. Together, these tools reduce the time to first measurement. Both software components are available for download through

Unlike other user-programmable FPGA hardware, NI says its NI FlexRIO FPGAs can be programmed with LabVIEW graphical system design software and the LabVIEW FPGA Module. This approach helps domain experts to target their applications to FPGAs without requiring VHDL knowledge, while still providing an interface to import existing VHDL code directly into LabVIEW FPGA.

Find out more about the new NI FlexRIO adapter modules at or use the form on this page to request further information.

02 June 2011

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