NI-RFSA Instrument Driver FPGA Extensions

NI RF Vector Signal Analyzers (NI-RFSA 18.1) Help

Edition Date: June 2018

Part Number: 372058U-01

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NI-RFSA instrument driver FPGA extensions for VSTs enable you to use precompiled FPGA bitfiles to customize the behavior of the VST FPGA while maintaining the functionality of the NI-RFSA instrument driver.

Before you begin using NI-RFSA instrument driver FPGA extensions, you must install NI-RFSA and LabVIEW. You must also download a precompiled bitfile to use NI-RFSA instrument driver FPGA extensions. Visit ni.com/info and enter the Info Code ex6h8h, then select your hardware, and browse the download page to download an NI-RFSA FPGA extensions precompiled FPGA bitfile.

Note Note  Certain NI-RFSA instrument driver FPGA extensions might require you to install the instrument design libraries. Refer to the installation requirements of individual NI-RFSA instrument driver FPGA extensions located on the download page for more information.

The precompiled bitfiles are included in examples that illustrate how to use the precompiled bitfiles. These examples contain three parts—a precompiled bitfile featuring application-specific IP, a host-based example that uses NI-RFSA, and IP dependencies, such as source code. These examples are distributed through the VI Package Manager, which installs with LabVIEW.

When you install NI-RFSA, a model-specific folder for your VST device is created in the following location:

  • Windows 10/8.1/7: Users\Public\Documents\National Instruments\FPGA Extensions Bitfiles

The instrument driver searches for precompiled bitfiles in this model-specific folder. For the instrument driver to recognize your precompiled bitfile, ensure that the precompiled bitfile is located in the model-specific folder that corresponds to your device.

Note Note  The PXIe-5624 is supported by NI-RFSA only as part of the PXIe-5668 VSA. Refer to NI IF Digitizers Help, located at ni.com/manuals, for more information about using the PXIe-5624 as a stand-alone device.

PXIe-5668 Pre-Installed FPGA Bitfiles

NI-RFSA includes two FPGA bitfiles for use with the PXIe-5668 in a separate directory from the directories listed in the previous section. The PXIe-5668 default 400 MHz bitfile and the optional 800 MHz bitfile are located in the following directory:

  • Windows 10/8.1/7: Program Files\National Instruments\IF Digitizer Support\Bitfiles\NI PXIe-5624R
  • Windows 10/8.1/7 (64-bit): Program Files (x86)\National Instruments\IF Digitizer Support\Bitfiles\NI PXIe-5624R

Loading an FPGA Bitfile

To use NI-RFSA instrument driver FPGA extensions, you must specify the precompiled bitfile you want to use when you initialize the instrument driver session. If you want to access additional FPGA functionality provided by the precompiled bitfile, you must also obtain an FPGA reference to use with the LabVIEW FPGA host interface.

Note Note  You can only load one bitfile on a VST device at a time. If you are using both NI-RFSA and another device driver such as NI-RFSG or NI-RIO to simultaneously access the same instrument, both sessions must initialize with the same bitfile.

Complete the following steps to open an instrument driver session that uses a precompiled bitfile:

  1. Call the niRFSA Initialize with Options VI.
  2. Wire the Driver Setup string to the options string input.
  3. Include the Bitfile tag in the Driver Setup string, and set the value of the Bitfile tag to the name of the bitfile you want to load, as shown in the following example string:

    DriverSetup=Bitfile:filename.lvbitx

    where filename.lvbitx is the file name of the bitfile you want to load.

Obtaining an FPGA Reference

Complete the following steps to obtain an FPGA reference to use with the LabVIEW FPGA host interface:

  1. Read the niRFSA FPGA Bitfile Path property. The FPGA Bitfile Path property returns the absolute path to the bitfile as a string.
  2. Wire the output of the FPGA Bitfile Path property to the String input of the String to Path function.
  3. Wire the Path output of the String to Path function to the Bitfile Path input of the Open Dynamic Bitfile Reference function.

The following figure illustrates how the code might look after completing the preceding steps.

Related Topics

Visit ni.com/info and use the Info Code ex6h8h to download precompiled NI-RFSA instrument driver FPGA extensions bitfiles.

Visit ni.com/info and enter the Info Code exkt9h to learn more about instrument driver FPGA extensions.

NI-RFSA Driver Setup Options—Refer to this topic for more information about using the NI-RFSA Driver Setup string.

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