LabVIEW FPGA Idea Exchange

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Have a LabVIEW FPGA Idea?

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0 Kudos

Currently, in LabVIEW you can right click a VI's icon at the top right of the front panel to find all instances including where the VI is referenced in a static reference node. Also, when you use have a "Open FPGA VI Reference" in "build specification" or "VI" mode, you can double click the node to open the referenced block diagram. Once the FPGA front panel is open, there's no easy way to get back up to the caller. It would be cool if we could extend the right-click-find-all functionality so that when you right clicked a top level FPGA VI, it would search where that VI was referenced in any "Open FPGA VI Reference" nodes. Currently, when you right click and search, it just says no instances found.

0 Kudos

When debugging FPGA code, I still like creating debug code right there in the FPGA code with FP debug indicators.  After some simulation I can then compile (the exact same code) and test with hardware.

 

The IDE, however, makes my life really hard.  In the background, each VI has a default build spec or bitfile associated with it.  When a tiny tiny change occurs in the source code (some of which seem overly sensitive BTW) the interactive mode will not start.

 

It would be nice if we had the option, assuming that the FP controls are identical, that we can start an interactive mode where the existing bitfile is used with the same FP of the VI source.  A visual indicator that the bitfile MAY NOT be identical with the code would by a good idea.  Sometimes changes are trivial, sometimes when fixing a bug, we might want to double-check old behaviour for a moment before starting a compile process.  The ability to maintain the option to execute the last compiled code seems like it would be a nice addition.

 

And yes, we could make a RT app which interacts with the FP elements but since debugging code changes often (including FP elements), this is a problematic maintenance issue.

0 Kudos

I know this is not easily possible, but if there is a way to emulate FPGA compilation and quickly show the maximum achievable frequency(even approx will do) during development, would be one hell of a feature

Why the "Stacked Sequence Structure" is still present in the FPGA palette? It has been removed from other targets palettes. I think it's better not be in the FPGA palette also.

0 Kudos

I find that I'm using large bit FXD to handle the dynamic range, but I only have 8 or 16 bit significant bits.  I have an I2S input of 24bit numbers that I store in memory as U16 with the following incoding Number = A*2^(B), where A is a FXD(+/-11,9) and B is a FXD(+/-5,5).  A and B are bit spliced array that form the U16.  This allows me a 33% memory reduction covering a greater dynamic range by trading off resolution.  Here the I2S input allows the counting of leading zeros or ones to create the number B and conversion back to 24bits is easy.  Three items would make this a great help: 1. a typedef, 2. a quick forward convertor from standard form to FP FXD, and 3. gain inputs on math elements such as FFT if they canhandle FP values.

FPGA registers would be more user friendly, if they could be quick dropped and also searchable (find caller as has been suggested before). This would be also great for handshakes.

0 Kudos

Labview FPGA development environment supports single precision datatype and nowadays with bigger FPGAs they are lot easier to fit in. I started using CLIP/IP integration node with Labview FPGA environment only to find out the single precision is not supported via this. It would helpful if this is supported in future Labview versions.

If I am choosing to offload multiple FPGA compilations to either a local or cloud compile farm, can we not at least do the itnermediate file generation in parallel?  Our current design takes approximately 10-15 minutes to generate intermediate files.  For 5 Cloud compiles, this blocks my IDE for around an hour.

 

Since the file creation processes are independent of each other, why can't we do them in parallel?

0 Kudos

In this thread, I learned that you can't change the sbRIO analog IO to Raw. I would like that functionality to help reduce FPGA resource usage.

raw sbrio2.png

0 Kudos

When instantiating case structures, the bit width of the selector has an influence on the efficiency of the code being produced.  Of course various compiler optimisations will (may?) do a lot of this lifting for us if we actually wire in an FXP (which LabVIEW again tries to coerce to I32, but that's another battle) but I'd like to have the ability to create, use and convert to and from enums with variable bit-widths.  Of course the only parameter of importance for this is the width of the FXP, the integer bits become essentially irrelevant.

 

I currently have to do a lot of U8 Enum FXP conversions in order to be able to force my case structures to adapt to a given width when supplying an enum to control some code.  Readability would benefit greatly if the enum itself could "simply" be an FXT to begin with.

I don't like static resource definitions FIFOs, Block RAMs or DMAs in my projects.  I prefer to have the code declare such entities as they are required because this makes scalability much easier to achieve.

For FIFOs, BlockRAM and so this is no problem, but there are two things we currently cannot instantiate in code:

DMA Channels

Derived clocks

 

To deal with the seond option: Why is it currently not possible to create a derived clock in code.  The ability to automatically have one piece of code accept a single clock reference and let one loop run at a multiple of the speed is something I've wanted to be able to do in the past but it is currently impossible in LabVIEW.

 

Please let us configure / define derived clocks in LV code.

0 Kudos

I don't like static resource definitions FIFOs, Block RAMs or DMAs in my projects.  I prefer to have the code declare such entities as they are required because this makes scalability much easier to achieve.

For FIFOs, BlockRAM and so this is no problem, but there are two things we currently cannot instantiate in code:

DMA Channels

Derived clocks

 

To deal with the first, why can't we define a DMA channel in the code?  When parsing the code before compiling, the presence of a DMA channel can be autodetected and added to the interface for the Bitfile. 

 

To try to decouple my code from static DMAs, I actually have started defining my core FPGA VIs as accepting FIFOs with Write functions (For DMAs to host) or Read functions (for writing to FPGA) required.  I can then, without having to change my project, wrap this FPGA VI in another VI which can then input wither a DMA channel (which unfortunately must be defined in the project) or a standard FIFO which cen then be used for debugging.

 

Please allow for the instantiation of DMA channels in code.

Currently, when you put a fixed point number into a case structure, it uses the next largest integer and you get a red cooercion dot:

Allow fxd point integers in case structures.PNG

 This is unfortunate because, you have to have a default case. It would be nice if the case structures could take the fixed point type since there's isn't any of the ambiguity that exits with floating point. Using a smaller number for the selector might also provide an optimization.

 

 

In correlation with another general idea I have posted, I have come to the conclusion that it would be nice to run an analysis of the Xilinx log in order to give feedback over which code has been constant folded by the Xilinx compiler.

 

Other aspects such as specific resource utilisation would be really cool also (SRL32 vs Regsiters for Feedback nodes).  This would obviously be a post-bitfile operation but could at least give some direct feedback as to what the Xilinx compiler has modified in the code (Dead code elimination, constant folding etc.).

NI has released an exciting new product with the High-Speed Serial board which is essentially a Kintex 7 with GTX transeivers exposed.

 

http://sine.ni.com/nips/cds/view/p/lang/en/nid/212693

http://sine.ni.com/nips/cds/view/p/lang/en/nid/212695

 

Some applications we are working on would benefit greatly from having some way to expose the GTP / GTX / GTH transceivers ont he various NI FPGA boards to enable high speed serial transmissions on a wider product palette.  Even the Virtex 5 supprts up to 16 GTP transceivers.  Having even 8 of these available for Aurora communication would be a complete game changer as we could move over to optical links between individual devices.

 

In order to be able to make proper use of this, NI needs to offer GTX / GTH / GTP options for many of their boards.  Imagine the power which could be unlocked by itnerfacing 8x Zynq 7010 boards with a single Kintex 7, each Zynq performing some aspect of pre-processing (Analog control, switching, some aspects of control) before sending results back to the Kintex 7..... For those of us working in Scientific areas, the prospects of a system like this is truly mouth-watering.

I hope the FPGA Register Function Could Add "Find Caller"....

 

1.png

 

2.png

0 Kudos

Currently, you can't put analog IO nodes in SCTLs because it takes more than one cycle to write them. Can we have a handshake interface to them? Here's an example of what an anlog output could look like:

 

AO SCTL2.PNG

When I use a FPGA Read/Write control to set a state from Windows to the FPGA target, I would like to be able to search for all the places where that is done.  If I do a search-Text for the FPGA Read/Write control variable names used to set the state, they are not found. The work-around suggestion from NI was "to include the text that you are looking for with each instance of the control, one way to accomplish this could be to label the wires going into or out of each terminal with the name of the control."  This would work, but it would be better in a future LabVIEW version to have the search function be able to find the variable names.

0 Kudos

Hello,

 

I simulate small FPGA code parts from time to time, and use these while doing it.

There are 2 helpers.

 

1) Simulation time estimate and progress: Module_SimulationProgress_Caller + Module_SimulationProgress_Popup

Here the idea is to just add the caller VI and it will call and display progress.

It has some "autotune" funtion to not call popup to often, but still update once in a while. It tries to hit around 0.5-1.5 sec in update.

This will minimize time spend on popup after some iterations. It also makes it possible to stop the main sim VI.

The estimator only works if  your code is fairly static.

 

2) Data collector while running: Module_FGV_DataCapture.vi

Here the idea is to collect data (in fast buffer) while simulating and use it to display while simulating.

It has 5 buffers that can have different number of elements in them, but all have same length.

Then in a "slow" loop I update graphs once every second, then i can abort if i see something wrong.

This is to avoid having graph plotting in highspeed loop or using graph after simulation is run.

 

3?) Maybe i will add a plot VI that can take data in from the buffer, just to clean up simulation VI, and make it generic.

 

Can i get some feedback if it is good or not? Any other sugestions are wellcome!

Or how you do your small FPGA simulations?

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

I would like to select which FPGA resources (DMA FIFOs, front-panel controls) are used by a host VI at run-time. This would make it possible to implement multiple copies of the same function on an FPGA and control them with the same driver, passing in a reference to the appropriate resources. For example, my FPGA might be communicating with several identical devices over SPI. I'd like to write one host/real-time driver, and then pass in a reference to which front-panel controls to use for that particular device.

 

It seems like NI has already done some work in that direction, with the FPGA Advanced Session Resources (appears to be LabVIEW 2014 only) and Software Defined Instruments (only on a limited set of boards). I'm looking for a simple interface that's available on all FPGA targets.