Managing FPGA Projects (FPGA Module)

LabVIEW 2013 FPGA Module Help

Edition Date: June 2013

Part Number: 371599J-01

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FPGA applications range from a single FPGA VI running on an FPGA target to large LabVIEW solutions that include multiple FPGA targets, the LabVIEW Real-Time Module and one or more RT targets, and LabVIEW running on a My Computer target.

Note  You can run only one top-level FPGA VI at a time on an FPGA target. If you attempt to download a second VI to the FPGA target while the first FPGA VI is still in use, LabVIEW reports an error and the download fails. To use multiple FPGA VIs, you can place them as subVIs within the top-level FPGA VI.

FPGA Projects

You must create a LabVIEW project before you can create an FPGA VI and build an FPGA application. Projects contain targets, VIs, build specifications, and other files.

FPGA Targets

You must add an FPGA target in the Project Explorer window to access the capabilities of the target with an FPGA VI. Use the Add Targets and Devices dialog box to add an FPGA target to a project.

Tip  If you do not have an FPGA target, you can select New target or device in the Add Targets and Devices dialog box to display the types of FPGA targets for which support is installed on the computer. You can add any of these targets to the project to use as a stand-in during development and assign an actual FPGA target later.


FPGA VIs are VIs that run on an FPGA target. To add items to an FPGA target, right-click the target in the Project Explorer window and select New»x from the shortcut menu, where x is the type of item you want to add, such as a VI, FPGA I/O item, or FIFO. The item appears in the Project Explorer window under the FPGA target.

When you add a VI to an FPGA target, the palette set shows only controls, indicators, VIs, and functions that the target supports.

You create FPGA VIs in the same way you create VIs that run on Windows. However, programming an FPGA effectively requires some knowledge of the target capabilities and basic FPGA hardware concepts. After you create an FPGA VI, you compile the VI into an application before downloading and executing it on the target.

Execution of FPGA VIs

After you create an FPGA VI, you can use LabVIEW to compile and download the FPGA VI to the FPGA target. Click the Run button in the VI to automatically create a build specification and compile the FPGA VI on the FPGA target. If the FPGA target you use supports interactive front panel communication, clicking the Run button also runs the FPGA VI. On some FPGA targets with flash memory, you can run an FPGA VI automatically when you load the FPGA VI to the FPGA target


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