Hardware Reliability - Datasheet Terms Explained

Updated Feb 23, 2018

Reported In


  • Multifunction I/O Device
  • CompactDAQ Chassis
  • CompactRIO Chassis
  • Analog Output Device
  • PXI Analog Input Module
  • Digital I/O Device
  • PXI Digital I/O Module

Issue Details

How do I calculate the reliability of my NI hardware? What do all the terms on NI's datasheets mean? For example, what do terms like: 
  • Typical Specification 
  • Characteristic
  • Absolute Accuracy
actually mean?

Example Scenario:
My NI 9264 Voltage output module has a typical current of ±4mA per channel at 5V. What does typical current mean? Am I able to draw ±5mA? And if so, will this affect the reliability of the module?



There are a lot of terms used on NI datasheets, and there are a lot of articles which explain them. Below is a list of the white papers which describe the terms in the most concise way:
In order to calculate the reliability, follow the link below:
Example Scenario Answer:
To find the correct information for the Example Scenario, look in the above links:


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