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NI Introduces Prototyping Hardware Suite

March 3, 2009

The new CompactRIO controller and five FPGA-based chassis are well suited for prototyping renewable energy, medical, and robotics applications and promise to reduce development time and costs.


AUSTIN, TX /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- National Instruments (NI) announces a new suite of prototyping hardware that makes it possible for engineers and scientists to prototype industrial and embedded projects faster, reduce time to market, and lower development costs. The five new NI CompactRIO reconfigurable chassis feature a Xilinx Virtex-5 field-programmable gate array (FPGA), the "largest and fastest FPGA available today in NI hardware." Additionally, the new NI cRIO-9022 controller features a Freescale 533-MHz industrial real-time processor that delivers faster real-time processing for time-critical control applications. The new suite of hardware, along with NI LabVIEW graphical programming tools, are ideal for engineers and startup companies prototyping industrial and embedded projects in areas such as renewable energy, medical device design, and robotics.

With graphical system design tools from NI, engineers can use a single, high-level graphical programming tool with off-the-shelf hardware, including FPGAs, processors, and I/O to design and prototype a project faster and with lower development costs. This approach makes it possible for small teams of engineers to quickly build a prototype to evaluate and prove the value of their next project.

"Initially, we began our design process using a custom embedded solution and worked with a third-party company to commercialize the treatment. When it became clear that the cost was too high, we decided to bring the development in house," said Barry Price, Director of Business Development at KCBioMedix, a medical device company that developed an innovative device to help feed premature babies. "With LabVIEW and CompactRIO, we were able to reduce our development cost by $250,000. In addition, we were able to reduce our development time from four months to four weeks."

The new NI cRIO-911x reconfigurable chassis, combined with the LabVIEW FPGA module, helps engineers and scientists take advantage of FPGA technology with off-the-shelf hardware for rapid prototyping without the burden of custom hardware design. Additionally, LabVIEW FPGA technology features hundreds of pre-built graphical intellectual property (IP) blocks for signal processing, communication protocols, control, and interfacing to analog and digital I/O, as well as the ability to integrate existing VHDL code or IP for even faster development. The cRIO-911x chassis are available with four or eight slots that can be filled with any assortment of the more than 65 third-party and NI C Series I/O modules for quick connectivity to a variety of digital and analog sensors and actuators during the prototyping process.

The new cRIO-9022 controller is programmed with the LabVIEW real-time module, which provides more than 600 built-in function blocks for quick implementation of floating-point signal processing and control operations, data logging, and communication, as well as the ability to integrate existing ANSI C/C++ code. The controller features dual Ethernet ports for high-speed networking and deterministic expansion I/O, which is ideal for high-channel-count applications. The cRIO-9022 also accepts 9 to 35 VDC power supply inputs on power-up and 6 to 35 VDC power supply inputs during operation and can operate for long periods of time in remote applications, using a battery or solar power. For additional storage capability, the controller features a Hi-Speed USB port to connect to an external USB-based flash or hard drive. The cRIO-9022 connects to any of the four- or eight-slot cRIO-911x chassis.

Because of the ruggedness and small size of CompactRIO, engineers and scientists are able to deploy their prototypes directly into harsh environments and machines. With the ability to deploy the hardware and software, engineers and scientists can reuse their entire designs from the prototyping phase and greatly reduce time to market. Readers can visit the company's Web site to learn more about CompactRIO hardware and view videos featuring an overview and demonstrations of CompactRIO. The Web site also includes technical white papers, example programs, case studies, application notes, and other developer tools.

About NI
National Instruments is transforming the way engineers and scientists design, prototype, and deploy systems for measurement, automation, and embedded applications. NI empowers customers with off-the-shelf software, such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware, and sells to a broad base of more than 25,000 different companies worldwide, with no one customer representing more than 3% of revenue and no one industry representing more than 10% of revenue. Headquartered in Austin, TX, NI has more than 5000 employees and direct operations in more than 40 countries. For the past 10 years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America. Readers can obtain investment information from the company's investor relations department by calling 512-683-5090, e-mailing nati@ni.com, or visiting the company's Web site.

Contact Information and Pricing
11500 N Mopac Expwy, Austin, TX 78759-3504; 800-258-7022, fax 512-683-9300, email info@ni.com.

cRIO-9022 Priced* from $3199; €2799; 404,000 yen

cRIO-9111 Priced* from $999; €879; 126,000 yen

cRIO-9112 Priced* from $1299; €1149; 164,000 yen

cRIO-9113 Priced* from $1999; €1749; 252,000 yen

cRIO-9114 Priced* from $2299; €2049; 290,000 yen

cRIO-9116 Priced* from $3299; €2,899; 416,000 yen

* Prices subject to change without notice.

CompactRIO, LabVIEW, National Instruments, NI, and ni.com are trademarks of National Instruments. Other product and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.


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