New NI controllers improve embedded performance

Three new National Instruments Compact FieldPoint controllers increase performance, processor speed, and Ethernet throughput; LabView Real-Time can help. One user says...


National Instruments Compact FieldPoint controllers that deliver increased performance, higher processor speed and significantly improved Ethernet throughput. The NI cFP-2220 , cFP-2210 and cFP-2200 controllers include a 400 MHz PowerPC processor, Wind River VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS) for greater processing power and faster data analysis, and Reliance file system support to protect data integrity. Engineers can create stand-alone embedded systems with these new programmable automation controllers (PACs) by using LabView Real-Time . “We use Compact FieldPoint and NI LabView for mobile oil field monitoring and control,” said Mike King, product development manager for Advanced Measurements Inc.

“As our systems continue to grow, we require more network bandwidth and processing power to manage the safety and control functionality as well as sending on-site data to the head office. When using the new cFP-2220 controller, we have found a 40% increase in processing performance and more than 10 times increase in Ethernet throughput in our application,” said King.

Compact FieldPoint platform is appropriate for high-vibration applications, withstanding 50 g of shock and 5 g of RMS vibration, even when mounted on heavy machinery or in vehicles, NI says. The platform also operates in temperatures ranging from -40 °C to 70 °C, so users can run embedded LabView applications where many industrial PCs fail.

The cFP-2200 features up to 128 MB of SDRAM and onboard storage, and the cFP-2210 delivers up to 256 MB of SDRAM and up to 128 MB of onboard storage. The cFP-2220 has dual Ethernet ports for connectivity to enterprise and dedicated I/O networks, as well as three RS-232 ports and one RS-485 port for serial devices. For logging and transferring data on external memory, the controller includes an additional USB port and a removable CompactFlash slot. The cFP-2220 also has two times the amount of onboard storage and SDRAM, up to 256 MB, for storing more data on the controller itself. Two new connector blocks provide removable connectors for easy front-panel access to the terminals for wiring sensors.

The cFP-22x0 controllers are the first release of RoHS-compliant products for the Compact FieldPoint product line. Other

Compact FieldPoint and FieldPoint modules are categorized in a new programmable controller option called PAC, an embedded industrial platform that combines the best features of the PC– such as the processor, RAM and powerful software – with the reliability, ruggedness and distributed nature of the PLC, according to the company. Readers may learn more about NI PAC offerings by visiting .

— Edited by Renee Robbins , senior editor
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