PCIe-8237 cannot use Vision Assistant Express VI

Updated Dec 12, 2018

Reported In

Hardware

  • PCIe-8237

Software

  • LabVIEW
  • Vision Assistant
  • Vision Development Module

Driver

  • IMAQ Vision

Issue Details

I am currently attempting to acquire images using the PCIe-8237.
I want to write the FPGA code to configure the application. I accessed the target and confirmed that the connection was successful on MAX.
When trying to create a project and try to code FPGA, I got the error message which is "The FPGA target is not supported." when I tried to use 'Vision assistant Express VI' in block diagram.
Please see the picture below.
If you look at the LabVIEW FPGA Targets section at the bottom of the Vision Assistant code in the Vision Assistant software, the PCIe-8237 module is not shown. Can not use 'Vision assistant Express VI' in this module?

Solution

The PCIe-8237 has an FPGA onboard, a Spartan 6, but this FPGA is not set up to process images. It's what's called a Vision RIO card because the FPGA is available only for Reconfigurable I/O.

This means that you can use LabVIEW to write FPGA code for the 8237, but only for things like complex triggering schemes, generating custom pulse trains, network triggering (using the FPGA to build custom packets to send to the network adapter).
Similarly, you can use VBAI to create steps for the FPGA to run, but you'll be limited to the Vision RIO steps, rather than any image processing ones.

Vision Assistant will not run on the FPGA of the 8237 because it's not designed to process images, only handle the card's I/O. If you need a piece of hardware that can do FPGA processing, a real-time IC is going to be a better fit.

The key here is that the FPGA on the PCIe-8237 is not designed to process images. You can still access it just like any other FPGA, write code to it, start/stop it from your controller's program, etc. It's just designed to run code that is I/O based, rather than for image processing.

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