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Using 987x Serial Modules with CompactRIO

Updated Dec 7, 2023



  • NI-9871
  • NI-9870


  • LabVIEW FPGA Module
  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module


  • NI-RIO

I would like to use one of the 987x serial modules with my CompactRIO. How do I get started with these serial modules?

If Using In Scan Interface
1. Make sure that you have the minimum required software:
  • LabVIEW 2010
  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module 2010
  • NI-RIO 3.6
  • NI-Serial 3.7 Driver​
2. Install the NI-Serial 9870 and 9871 Scan Engine Support and NI-Serial RT to your real time controller.
3. Add the module to your LabVIEW project (see example picture below).

If Using In FPGA Interface
1. Make sure you have the following minimum required software:
  • LabVIEW 8.5
  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module 2010
  • NI-RIO 3.0
  • LabVIEW FPGA Module
2. Follow the standard procedure for adding modules  to a FPGA target (see the picture below).

Additional Information

When using the module in Scan Interface Mode there will not be ports under the module in the hierarchy on Project Explorer. Although the ports do not appear in the project they will still show in VISA IO Nodes on the front panel and block diagram. You may configure the ports from Measurement & Automation Explorer or programmatically using NI-VISA.  

There is also a limitation on the maximum baud rate that can be achieved with these modules when used with Scan Engine.

The RIO Scan Interface is a FPGA intellectual property (IP) developed by NI that is downloaded to the CompactRIO FPGA and is responsible for I/O module detection, timing, synchronization, and communication. For more information on RSI requirements, refer to this article.