Getting Started With NI FPGA Devices in NI VeriStand

Updated Dec 30, 2021

Environment

Software

  • VeriStand
  • LabVIEW FPGA Module

Driver

  • NI CompactRIO
  • NI R Series Multifunction RIO
  • FlexRIO

NI VeriStand is a software environment for configuring real-time testing applications, including hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulators and test cell control and monitoring systems. When adding real-time I/O interfaces to NI VeriStand, you can quickly configure a variety of standard analog, digital, and communication bus interfaces. However, you can also use NI VeriStand to create user-defined I/O hardware using FPGA-based I/O interfaces. This article explains how you can use NI FPGA devices (compactRIO, R Series Multifunction RIO or FlexRIO) in NI VeriStand.
 

Hardware Requirement

 

Software Requirement

 

Prerequisites

Prior to reading this article ensure that you are familiar with LabVIEW FPGA programming . Refer to the Everything You Need to Know About LabVIEW FPGA for more information.

Using FPGA Addon Custom Device


For new development, NI recommends you to use FPGA Addon Custom Device. FPGA Addon is installed with the recent version of VeriStand by default. If it is not available, download the installer from Release page in Github and install using NI Package Manager.

This addon allows users to pull an existing FPGA bitfile (*.lvbitx) into NI VeriStand with little or no modification. Refer to the Quick Start Documentation located in %Public%\Documents\National Instruments\NI VeriStand (Year)\Custom Devices\FPGA Addon\Windows\Quick Start Documentation for more information. See FPGA Addon Quick Start Guide.md for the online version.

To create the FPGA bitfile for the specific model of the hardware you are using, you can start from shipping examples. You can also move the examples created for another FPGA target. Examples of how to use the Speciality IO, controls/indicators, and DMA are available at Github .


Note: While this add-on supports providing timing for the VeriStand PCL, it does not provide a way to synchronize data acquisition/generation with the VeriStand PCL, as supported by the standard NI VeriStand FPGA framework. See the next section to learn more about the NI VeriStand FPGA Framework
 

Using NI VeriStand FPGA Framework

To use the native FPGA in VeriStand, you would need to implement NI VeriStand FPGA personalities using the LabVIEW FPGA Module. FPGA configuration file for some hardware are shipped with VeriStand. You can locate them at %Public%\Documents\National Instruments\NI VeriStand (Year)\FPGA. If the hardware you are using is not listed there, or you need functionality beyond what is provided by the shipping example, refer to the following resource to create your own custom FPGA configuration file: Once .lvbitx and .fpgaconfig file are generated, you can now configure NI FPGA Target in VeriStand.

Note: as an alternative to modifying or creating the FPGA XML Configuration File manually, you can use the NI VeriStand Add-On: FPGA XML Builder Node. Please be aware that, like the NI VeriStand FPGA-Based I/O Interface Tools, National Instruments does not support this code or guarantee its quality in any way. THESE EXAMPLE PROGRAMS ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND AND SUBJECT TO CERTAIN RESTRICTIONS AS MORE SPECIFICALLY SET FORTH IN NI.COM'S TERMS OF USE (http://ni.com/legal/termsofuse/unitedstates/us/). Use the following channels for feedback and support related to these tools:

Next Steps

Refer to Getting Started With NI VeriStand 2020 to learn more about deployment and other features of VeriStand.