The cRIO Hardware Platform
The cRIO system is a rugged form factor which incorporates a realtime controller with a Xilinx FPGA to give a high performance reconfigurable system.
A cRIO system is often described as headless - this means that it can operate without a user interface and given the realtime OS & FPGA control you can be sure that the system will be reliable. It won't be subject to windows updates or operators using the machine to browse the internet - it's a ruggedised industrial IO platform and it excels in this field.
Similar to the cDAQ chassis a cRIO platform is available in 4 and 8 slot variations - or even 0 when used as a standalone ruggedised PC.
The CPU is integrated into the chassis unlike the PXI platform where a separate controller can be added therefore it is not possible to update along the way. However for most applications the PC is designed to run a RTOS and therefore performance is often not such an issue.
Like the cDAQ platform there are many different modules available including:
- Accelerometers (for acceleration and vibration measurements)
- Analogue Voltage Signals (for DC and AC voltage measurements)
- Analogue Output Signals (for generating DC and AC voltages)
- Current Signals (for current measurements and 4-20 mA current loops)
- Digital Input Signals (for TTL and industrial digital logic levels)
- Digital Output Signals (for TTL and industrial digital logic levels)
- Quadrature Encoders (for position measurements)
- Strain Gages (for stress, strain, and other bridge-based measurements)
- Thermocouples (for temperature measurements)
When combined with the CRIO chassis these can be used in a deterministic manner allowing deterministic code operation and safety critical systems to be developed. Including the a reprogrammable FPGA further extends the possibility of this already very versatile platform.