Compiling, Downloading, and Running an FPGA VI

NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT® 17.6 Help

Edition Date: November 2017

Part Number: 372626P-01

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You must compile an FPGA VI before you can download and run the FPGA VI on the FPGA target.

Note Note  Before downloading an FPGA VI to the FPGA target on the NI 9144/9145, ensure that you deploy the NI 9144/9145 item and that you switch the NI Scan Engine to Configuration Mode.

You can compile and download FPGA VIs in the following ways:

  • Click the Run button on the front panel or block diagram. LabVIEW compiles the FPGA VI and downloads the bitfile to the FPGA target automatically after the compile completes. LabVIEW does not compile the FPGA VI if you have already compiled the VI. LabVIEW does not download the FPGA VI if the VI is already on the FPGA target.
  • Right-click the FPGA VI in the Project Explorer window and select Create Build Specification from the shortcut menu. LabVIEW generates a build specification item with the same name of the FPGA VI under the Build Specification container in the Project Explorer.
  • Right-click the generated build specification and select Build to Compile the FPGA VI. If there are no updates on the FPGA VI since the last compile, LabVIEW does not recompile the VI unless you force LabVIEW to compile the VI by right-clicking the build specification, and selecting Rebuild.

After compilation, right-click the build specification and select Download to download the bitfile. LabVIEW does not download the FPGA VI if you have already downloaded the VI.

  • You also can use the NI 9144 Online State Panel or NI 9145 Online State Panel to download a precompiled bitfile to the FPGA target under the NI 9144/9145 item by completing the following steps:
    1. Right-click the NI 9144/9145 item in the Project Explorer and select Online Device State.
    2. In the EtherCAT:Online:State page, change the device state to Bootstrap and click the Download Firmware button.
    3. In the Download Firmware dialog box, navigate to the bitfile and click Download.

After successfully downloading the bitfile to the FPGA target on the NI 9144/9145, the VI begins executing.

Tip Tip  Add a blinking LED indicator to the FPGA VI to indicate whether the VI is running, because the NI 9144/9145 hardware chassis cannot indicate whether the VI is running.

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