Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Double processing power

Embedded Controller Offers Double the Processing Power and Data Throughput Compared to Previous Models
National Instruments has announced the NI PXIe-8133 high-performance embedded controller, which features the quad-core Intel® Core™ i7-820QM processor. The new controller is the first PXI Express quad-core controller in the industry. By combining the latest technology from Intel and advancements in the PCI Express bus, the new controller helps engineers greatly reduce test time with double the processing performance and data throughput compared to previous NI controllers.

The Intel Core i7-820QM processor offers a 1.73 GHz base clock frequency and uses Intel® Turbo Boost Technology to automatically increase the clock frequency based on the application type. For example, when running applications that generate only a single processing thread, the CPU places the three unused cores into an idle state and increases the active core’s clock frequency from 1.73 GHz to 3.06 GHz. This feature removes the requirement that software applications need to be multithreaded to use the latest CPU developments. As a result, engineers and scientists can use the new NI controller to significantly reduce test times for applications that require intensive data processing such as RF protocol testing and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulations.

This embedded controller uses the advancements of PCI Express technology to offer four x4 Gen 2 PCI Express links for interfacing to the PXI chassis backplane. Using the NI PXIe-8133 embedded controller with a PXI Express chassis, such as the NI PXIe-1082, doubles the total system data throughput from 4 GB/s to 8 GB/s. With this feature, engineers can simultaneously stream a larger set of I/O channels, giving them the ability to create larger and more complex data record-and-playback applications.

The NI PXIe-8133 embedded controller comes standard with 2 GB of DDR3-1333 MHz RAM and the option of Windows XP or Windows 7 32-bit OSs. For memory-intensive applications, engineers can upgrade to 8 GB of system RAM and the Windows 7 64-bit OS. The NI PXIe-8133 controller is also available with an extended temperature option and solid-state hard drives for harsh environments.

The controller provides industry-leading support for the LabVIEW graphical development environment and their LabVIEW Real-Time Module. With the new controller, engineers can use LabVIEW to allocate multiple CPU cores for running time-critical test sections while delegating noncritical services to the remaining cores. By doing so, they can build sophisticated real-time and deterministic systems that take advantage of the increased performance and throughput of the new controller. The NI PXIe-8133 controller also supports the use of NI LabWindows™/CVI software, C/C++, and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET for test, measurement, and control applications.

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