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In lack of a hardware idea exchange I'll post this here. I know composite ideas are not ideal either, but my main point is to voice the wish for a different kind of RT controller:
We basically use cFP-2220s as small, low power, rugged embedded computers in our systems. We've looked at sbRIOs, especially the newer ones like the 9606, but they do not have dual networking, nor the 4 in-built serial ports (yes you can use the mezzanine, but the power consumption, size etc. goes up). No FPGA is needed, nor any IO other than communication ports like Ethernet/Serial (USB and CANbus is nice though).
In an ideal world we would have a sbcFP version of the 2220, designed for embedded use, and at the price of a sbRIO withoyt an FPGA. The only thing we would miss then is lower power consumption. The cFP-2220 is specified to use around 6W. In real stand-alone use it typically draws around 3.2W (other applications might push that though), but that's still a lot for many types of embedded use.
Perhaps underclocking could be a solution to lower the power consumption of NIs controllers, when customers need a less power consuming device? Imagine beeing able to adjust this dynamically from the System Configuration API / NI MAX...An sb-cFP with 1-2W consumption would remove any reason to abandon LabVIEW RT and NI-hardware in favour of controllers running micro-linux e.g.