LabVIEW Real-Time Idea Exchange

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USB Support for RT

Status: New

The only functionality of RT USB is mass storage. It would be helpful to add at least RAW Data USB support to use USB port for connecting i.e. USB / RS232 adapter. Many analyzers use integrated serial/USB converter chips to transfer data to PC, because no need of specialized driver (you get the driver with the chip). The ability of RAW USB support allows to connect these analyzers to cRIOs and RT PC Targets. 

NI Employee (retired)

For VxWorks-based cRIO devices, we do support a USB-Raw functionality.  You configure the USB device through MAX and you are then able to use NI-VISA to communicate with the device; it then requires the end-user to write a "driver" to communicate with the device using NI-VISA.  It's fairly easy to do, but can be a support nightmare if you don't have the detailed spec sheet on the device.  We're currently looking into options for providing this for PXI and Desktop RT systems.


I am not sure how "no specialized driver" fits in with "you get the driver with the chip" - USB/RS232 adapters generally use a USB-Serial bridge inside them, usually an FTDI or Prolific chipset.  FTDI does not provide open source drivers, though someone reverse-engineered the device and wrote a driver in Linux that "supports" it - we would not be able to support FTDI devices under RT because there are no available open-source drivers for it (that's intentional on the part of FTDI).  Prolific devices could be supported, at extra cost and development effort to port the Prolific drivers to RT.  Just because a driver is "included" with a device for Windows doesn't mean it's not a "specialized driver" or that we can even use it on a platform not supported by the manufacturer (like RT).  


We are always looking at ways we can improve LabVIEW Real-Time, and due to common request this is one of the areas we're investigating.




LabView RT supports USBTMC instruments which probably use a FTDI-Chip inside. Would it be possible to tell RT to use this driver and just use different commands?



Active Participant

I just plugged an FTDI into my Linux sbRIO (2015sp1) and it magically workedUSB FTDI.PNG