Connecting a NI USRP RIO to a Host Computer

Updated Sep 22, 2020

Reported In


  • USRP Software Defined Radio Device

Issue Details

  • How can I connect my NI USRP RIO to my host computer?
  • What real-time data bandwidth do the different interfaces provide?


You can connect to your NI USRP with one of the following options:
  • PXI Express Interface via MXIe x4 with 200 MHz BW, using PXIE - MXI EXPRESS INTERFACE KIT FOR USRP RIO (PN: 783488-01, including NI PXIe-8374)
  • Desktop via MXIe x4 with 200 MHz BW, using PCIe - MXI Express Interface Kit for USRP RIO (PN: 783487-01, including NI PCIe-8371)
  • Laptop with Thunderbolt-3 port via via MXIe x4 with 200 MHz BW, using Sonnet Echo Express SE I (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) and PCIe - MXI Express Interface Kit for USRP RIO (PN: 783487-01). A document explaining a verified way has been attached.
  • Laptop with ExpressCard slot via MXIe x4 to x1 with 50 MHz BW, using NI ExpressCard-8360 (PN: 779507-01)
  • Host PC via 1 Gigabit Ethernet with 25 MS/s
  • Host PC via 10 Gigabit Ethernet with 200 MS/s, with 10 Gigabit Ethernet Card for Desktop and SFP+ cable

Additional Information

The primary bus interface for the USRP RIO is PCIe x4 which provides an effective connection for high bandwidth and lower latency applications such as PHY/MAC research. The bus allows users to stream data at 800MB/s and customize the FPGA in LabVIEW FPGA. The interface is backwards compatible with programs written for the NI USRP-292x and NI USRP-293x devices.

The NI USRP-294x/295x devices with the NI-USRP driver in LabVIEW also support connectivity over 1G and 10G ethernet using the SFP+ ports on the back of the device, however it is not possible to modify the FPGA when connected over ethernet. The user can deploy the FPGA image over PCIe and then remotely control the USRP via ethernet.