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NI Single-Board RIO FAQ

Publish Date: May 06, 2014

Table of Contents
1. How many NI Single-Board RIO products are available?
2. Which displays work with NI Single-Board RIO?
3. How do I add other I/O types to NI Single-Board RIO?
4. Where can I get the mechanical drawings for NI Single-Board RIO?
5. With which specifications and certifications does NI Single-Board RIO comply?
6. Does National Instruments provide any enclosures for NI Single-Board RIO?
7. How do I program NI Single-Board RIO?
8. Can I program NI Single-Board RIO in C/C++?
9. How much does NI Single-Board RIO cost?
10. How can I port code from NI CompactRIO to NI Single-Board RIO?

1. How many NI Single-Board RIO products are available?


The NI Single-Board RIO systems are differentiated by processor speed, field-programmable gate array (FPGA) size, amount of memory, expansion connectivity, and I/O combinations. For
more information on which models include specific features, see Table 1. All NI Single-Board RIO products share the NI RIO architecture, which includes a real-time processor, a reconfigurable
FPGA, and I/O.
Model

Processor Speed (MHz)

Memory(DRAM)

FPGA Size

3.3 V DIO

AI

AO

24 V DI/DO Lines

sbRIO-9601

266

64 MB

1M

110

sbRIO-9602

400

128 MB

2M

110

sbRIO-9605

400

128 MB

LX25

96

sbRIO-9606

400

256 MB

LX45

96

sbRIO-9611

266

64 MB

1M

110

32

sbRIO-9612

400

128 MB

2M

110

32

sbRIO-9623

400

128 MB

LX25

100

16

sbRIO-9626

400

256 MB

LX45

100

16

sbRIO-9631

266

64 MB

1M

110

32

sbRIO-9632

400

128 MB

2M

110

32

sbRIO-9633

400

128 MB

LX25

28

16

sbRIO-9636

400

256 MB

LX45

28

16

sbRIO-9641

266

64 MB

1M

110

32

32/32

sbRIO-9642

400

128 MB

2M

110

32

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Table 1. NI Single-Board RIO Systems

2. Which displays work with NI Single-Board RIO?


NI human machine interfaces (HMIs) are fully compatible with NI Single-Board RIO. This includes the NI TPC-2006 and the TPC-2012 touch panels. If you need a simpler, lower-cost display
for your embedded system, several serial-based (RS232) displays have been tested with NI Single-Board RIO. This includes simple character LCDs and more complex LCDs up to full-color
touch-panel interfaces. For instrument drivers and information about the RS232-based displays that have been tested with NI Single-Board RIO, view the Adding a User Interface to Your
Embedded System white paper.

3. How do I add other I/O types to NI Single-Board RIO?


In addition to built-in I/O, NI Single-Board RIO offers two primary methods for expanding the number and types of I/O available. The sbRIO-9605, sbRIO-9606, sbRIO-9623, and sbRIO-9626
feature a RIO Mezzanine Card connector, which is a high-bandwidth, high-density connector providing direct access to FPGA DIO lines and processor-specific functions. The RIO Mezzanine
Card connector is the primary method for interfacing custom RIO Mezzanine Cards, or daughter cards, with NI Single-Board RIO.
NI Single-Board RIO devices with no RIO Mezzanine Card connector contains three expansion slots for board-only versions of C Series I/O modules. The NI Single-Board RIO Product
Selection Guide features an updated list of board-only C Series modules. In addition to board-only C Series modules, all C Series modules for prototyping with CompactRIO are compatible with
NI Single-Board RIO. The C Series modules for CompactRIO are slightly larger than the board-only versions, so they overlap with neighboring slots on NI Single-Board RIO devices. Therefore,
if you are using any C Series modules for CompactRIO with NI Single-Board RIO, you can use only two of the expansion slots.

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Figure 1. NI Single-Board RIO with Three Board-Level C Series Expansion I/O Modules

Figure 2. NI Single-Board RIO with Two C Series Expansion I/O Modules Attached

4. Where can I get the mechanical drawings for NI Single-Board RIO?


You can find and download mechanical drawings of all NI Single-Board RIO products online. To access the mechanical drawings for NI Single-Board RIO products, navigate to
ni.com/dimensions and search for "sbRIO."

5. With which specifications and certifications does NI Single-Board RIO comply?


Visit ni.com/certifications for information on certifications and ratings for NI hardware.
NOTE: Packaged CompactRIO embedded systems from NI offer additional mechanical and safety certifications for industrially rugged and harsh environments.

6. Does National Instruments provide any enclosures for NI Single-Board RIO?


No. National Instruments does not have any enclosures for NI Single-Board RIO products. NI offers the CompactRIO industrial and embedded system, which is a packaged version of NI
Single-Board RIO. A variety of third-party companies, such as Hoffman, offer enclosures for extreme environments that you can use with any NI products including NI Single-Board RIO.
When choosing or building an enclosure for an NI Single-Board RIO device, you need to consider applicable safety and electromagnetic standards in all the countries you intend to sell your
end solution. To assist in that process, National Instruments has created a white paper regarding Electromagnetic Compatibility Considerations for NI Single-Board RIO .

7. How do I program NI Single-Board RIO?


NI LabVIEW is the development tool for programming all aspects of your NI Single-Board RIO embedded application. LabVIEW is a graphical programming language where functions are
represented as icons, and data flows between functions on wires. Programming NI Single-Board RIO requires the LabVIEW Real-Time Module for creating applications that run on the
embedded processor. It also requires the LabVIEW FPGA Module for customizing the hardware personality of the onboard FPGA. The NI Developer Suite with Real-Time and FPGA
Deployment Options includes all the minimum software development tools you need for NI Single-Board RIO.

8. Can I program NI Single-Board RIO in C/C++?


Yes. National Instruments provides an FPGA Interface C API. With this interface, you can program NI Single-Board RIO processors with C or C++ and program the FPGA with the
LabVIEW FPGA Module. The FPGA Interface C API is available for download.
If you have code in C, LabVIEW Real-Time also has the ability to call code compiled into shared libraries. A tutorial on using the GNU tool chain for VxWorks to create shared libraries
compatible with NI VxWorks targets, including NI Single-Board RIO, is available.

9. How much does NI Single-Board RIO cost?


NI Single-Board RIO is intended for OEM and high-volume quantities. At high volumes, OEM pricing for NI Single-Board RIO is very aggressive. For more specific pricing on any NI
Single-Board RIO devices at quantities applicable to your application, contact your local sales engineer or call National Instruments at (800) 531-5066.

10. How can I port code from NI CompactRIO to NI Single-Board RIO?


CompactRIO and NI Single-Board RIO share the same hardware architecture including a real-time processor, a reconfigurable FPGA, and analog and digital I/O. Because of this common
architecture, migrating code between CompactRIO and NI Single-Board RIO is easy. In most cases the only change needed to port a CompactRIO application to NI Single-Board RIO is
mapping the existing I/O used on the CompactRIO FPGA VI to the I/O now available on NI Single-Board RIO. All other LabVIEW Real-Time and FPGA code is automatically migrated and
reused when the existing application is targeted to NI Single-Board RIO in the LabVIEW project. After ensuring the I/O is correctly migrated in the project, the final step is to simply recompile
the FPGA VI. LabVIEW automatically handles all other potential changes between CompactRIO and NI Single-Board RIO.

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Figure 3. The NI RIO architecture is shared by a range of National Instruments hardware, including CompactRIO and NI Single-Board RIO. With the common RIO architecture, you can choose
hardware that best meets your specific application requirements while reusing existing code and experience and saving time and money.
For additional information on the ability to rapidly prototype embedded devices using CompactRIO and then deploy those devices in high volumes using NI Single-Board RIO, read this white paper
.

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