Running FPGA VIs on the Host (FPGA Module)

LabVIEW 2018 FPGA Module Help


Edition Date: March 2018
Part Number: 371599P-01
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LabVIEW 2016 FPGA Module Help
LabVIEW 2017 FPGA Module Help
LabVIEW 2018 FPGA Module Help
LabVIEW 2019 FPGA Module Help
LabVIEW 2020 FPGA Module Help

Complete the following steps to run an FPGA VI on the host computer.

  1. Create a new project or open an existing project.
  2. Add an FPGA target to the project.
  3. Create a new VI or open an existing VI under the FPGA target.
    Note Note  If an FPGA VI uses I/O variables, you cannot execute that FPGA VI on the host computer. If you place an I/O Variable node on the block diagram of an FPGA VI on the host computer, LabVIEW breaks the Run button.
  4. Right-click the FPGA target in the Project Explorer window and select Properties from the shortcut menu. The FPGA Target Properties dialog box appears.
  5. Select Execution Mode from the Category list to display the Execution Mode page.
  6. Select one of the following options:
    • Simulation—If you select this option, select Use Simulated I/O or Use Custom VI for FPGA I/O from the pull-down menu.
      Note Note  Selecting Use Simulated I/O is not compatible with CLIP.
    • Simulation with Real I/O—Some FPGA targets do not support this option.
  7. If you select Use Custom VI for FPGA I/O in the previous step, specify the path to the custom VI or create a New VI from Template using the VI Path control. LabVIEW calls the VI you specify whenever FPGA I/O Nodes, FPGA I/O Property Nodes, or FPGA I/O Method Nodes execute on the block diagram on the FPGA VI.
  8. Click the OK button.
  9. Click the Run button on the FPGA VI.
Tip Tip  You also can change where the FPGA VI executes by right-clicking the FPGA target in the Project Explorer window and selecting an option from the Select Execution Mode shortcut menu.

Considerations for Running FPGA VIs on the Host Computer

You can use a host VI to communicate with an FPGA VI executing in simulation mode using simulated I/O. However, you must be aware of special considerations when using the host VI.

If you include a digital I/O resource in a single-cycle Timed Loop, each synchronization register introduces a delay corresponding to one iteration of the single-cycle Timed Loop. In some cases, delays outside the FPGA may be significant for the system. If accurate modeling of the delays between the LabVIEW diagram and the FPGA is important for testing the logic of the application by executing the FPGA VI on the host computer, delay simulation data for the I/O by the number of calls to the I/O node, equivalent to the number of synchronization registers.

Verifying the FPGA VI Compiles for the FPGA

When you debug an FPGA VI using test benches, you execute the FPGA VI on the host computer multiple times. However, FPGA VIs are subject to special considerations when compiled for an FPGA target. In addition to testing the logic of the FPGA VI, you must consider whether the FPGA VI compiles with all of the constraints enforced by the FPGA design. Design considerations include whether the application utilizes more FPGA resources than available and whether the logic meets timing constraints set by the FPGA clocks.

NI recommends that you compile the FPGA VI periodically to make sure the FPGA VI satisfies all of these requirements. In addition, you can generate intermediate files and estimate FPGA resource utilization using commands in the build specification shortcut menu. The generation of intermediate files is a relatively short step in the process, and it often reports a large percentage of errors.

Creating Test Benches to Debug and Test FPGA VIs

Introduction to Debugging FPGA VIs on the Host

FPGA Target Properties Dialog Box

Communicating with an FPGA VI Running in Simulation

Compiling, Downloading, and Running FPGA VIs

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