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FPGA-powered frame grabber and motion drive help create custom solutions

24 October 2011

National Instruments has introduced two new additions to its NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) technology, including a reconfigurable Camera Link frame grabber for embedded vision applications and a motion module for use with the NI CompactRIO platform.

The NI PCIe-1473R frame grabber is a PC-based embedded vision board that combines field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology with a Camera Link interface to help engineers create high-performance embedded imaging and inspection applications. The NI 9502 brushless servo drive C Series module makes it possible for engineers to drive brushless servo motors, including six new custom NI motor options, directly from the reconfigurable CompactRIO system to address advanced motion control challenges.

The NI PCIe-1473R frame grabber is said to be suitable for use on advanced inspection and imaging applications that require image preprocessing and high-speed control such as medical imaging, web and surface inspection and high-speed sorting. Engineers and scientists can program the new frame grabber’s onboard FPGA with the NI LabVIEW FPGA Module for custom image processing and analysis in real time, with little to no CPU intervention. The frame grabber combines the onboard FPGA with a high-bandwidth 850 MB/s Camera Link bus, which supports a range of Camera Link configurations up to 10 taps and 80 bits. The NI PCIe-1473R also supports Power over Camera Link (PoCL) to directly power cameras with no additional cables or external power supply. With such features, the frame grabber is an off-the-shelf solution that makes it possible for engineers to create high-performance imaging applications without spending substantial time and money to develop a custom design.

With the addition of the NI 9502 motion drive module for CompactRIO, engineers can now power brushless, stepper or brushed servo motors directly with NI C Series modules to provide a compact, customisable solution for integrating motion into advanced control, monitoring and test systems.

An integral part of the NI graphical system design approach, NI RIO technology combines LabVIEW system design software with commercial off-the-shelf hardware to simplify development and shorten time to market when designing advanced control, monitoring and test systems. NI RIO hardware, which includes CompactRIO, NI Single-Board RIO, R Series boards and the PXI-based NI FlexRIO, features an architecture with powerful floating-point processors, reconfigurable FPGAs and modular I/O. All NI RIO hardware components are programmed with LabVIEW to give engineers the ability to rapidly create custom timing, signal processing and control for I/O without requiring expertise in low-level hardware description languages or board-level design.


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