The NI 9144 expansion chassis, from National Instruments, now offers new field-programmable gate array (FPGA) capabilities. By downloading the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT 1.1 driver, engineers and scientists can now run National Instruments LabVIEW FPGA code directly on the NI 9144 chassis to execute custom triggering, inline processing and control within an application. By embedding hardware-level FPGA logic directly on the expansion I/O, engineers and scientists can offload processing power from the controller and reduce response time by making decisions directly at the node. The NI 9144 is priced from $999 (euro 879; 126,000 yen).
NI 9144 Deterministic Ethernet Expansion Chassis Features
- High-speed distributed I/O over deterministic Ethernet
- 8 slots for C Series I/O modules
- Integrated 2M gate reconfigurable I/O (RIO) FPGA for custom timing, inline processing, and control
- 2 Ethernet ports for daisy chaining additional expansion chassis
- -40 to 70 °C operating temperature, 50 g shock, 5 g vibration
The NI 9144 offers the ability to create highly distributed real-time systems that need synchronized control across multiple machines, high-speed waveform measurements and processing at the node and hardware-in-the-loop simulations and feedback. Each expansion chassis has a 2M gate Xilinx Spartan FPGA that can react immediately to measurement data, conduct high-speed analysis and pass the final results back to the programmable automation controller via EtherCAT, an open real-time Ethernet protocol. In addition, the FPGA and I/O data can be synchronized across multiple distributed NI 9144 chassis with less than 100 ns of jitter for highly deterministic performance in time-critical applications.
With the new FPGA capabilities, the NI 9144 chassis is ideal for providing intelligent, synchronized extension I/O to NI CompactRIO, NI industrial controllers, and NI PXI real-time systems.
The NI 9144 is compatible with all NI C Series I/O modules for high-accuracy measurement quality, including the new NI 951x C Series motion modules that offer direct connectivity to hundreds of servo and stepper drives. The expansion chassis can be programmed with the LabVIEW Real-Time Module for fast and easy real-time expansion and with the LabVIEW FPGA Module for hardware-level timing, signal manipulation and onboard analysis.
More information: NI 9144 Deterministic Ethernet Expansion Chassis (pdf)