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Programming the FPGA on an NI EtherCAT Expansion Chassis

Updated Nov 29, 2017

Reported In


  • NI-9144
  • NI-9145


  • LabVIEW FPGA Module
  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module

Issue Details

I have a CompactRIO chassis with a Real-Time controller and a NI 9144/5 EtherCAT Chassis.  I am using the FPGA on my CompactRIO but also want to use the FPGA on the NI 9144/5.  Can I do this?


LabVIEW 2009 and Later
Yes, you can use the NI 9144/5 EtherCAT Expansion Chassis in FPGA mode as well as Scan Interface mode. Using FPGA mode on the NI 9144/5 allows all modules compatible with the CompactRIO to also be used in the NI 9144/5.

In order to transfer data from the FPGA to the master's real-time processor, you must write the data to user defined variables. Review the Programming EtherCAT I/O with FPGA Intelligence White Paper for more information on synchronizing data between a slave's FPGA and the master's real-time processor.

Before LabVIEW 2009
The NI 9144/5 can only be used with the CompactRIO Scan Interface.

Additional Information

NI-9144 and NI-9145 are abbreviated as NI 9144/5 in this article.