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Ethernet Communication Capabilities

Where can I find details regarding data acquisition capabilities, such as poll rates, and LabView setup information for using a desktop PC's NIC for communication to a 3rd party Ethernet device and collecting data over this connection?

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There are TCP/IP functions to communicate with Ethernet devices.  You may also be able to use VISA (most instruments I can use VISA, I have ran into a couple where the TCP/IP functions made more sense).


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So is there a specific Labview manual I need to use to find this? There's just so many platform options and different hardware I seem to be just going in circles trying to find the exact manuals and details that are applicable to my exact setup, which will be a desktop PC running LabView for data acquisition and general communications to both an Ethernet device over the PC NIC and a another device using the serial USB adapter they offer. My main concern right now is being able to establish an estimate of what kind of data rates we can expect for the data acquisition needs to these devices. By the protocol capabilities we are plenty good but when it comes to managing this with the software and any limitations here I need to be aware of. Thanks

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For serial communication:

This is so slooow that every computer build in the last decade is fast enough to fully saturate that interface. Since the device itself has a serial interface, check for the maximum baud rate, that is your limit. The USB-serial interface can for sure handle that.

 

For ethernet:

Even here, PCs are quite fast, today. Almost any PC comes with 1Gbit/s NICs.

The question is what you are going todo with it. An 8K 60FPS video can be downloaded at max speed through that NIC, but if you plan to decode that video and process the frames, the CPU would be the limiting factor.

You can for sure poll a device every 500µs, but what for? This is not suitable for timing, since networks can always introduce some sudden delay, and if the device sends lots of data, the PC collects it as it comes, and LabVIEW can read it every 2 seconds, if you want.

Remember: LabView is a programming environment, and it is to the programmer, how fast programms are doing things. (And then, there are ways to accelerate data processing)

 

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@briabvh1 wrote:

So is there a specific Labview manual I need to use to find this? There's just so many platform options and different hardware I seem to be just going in circles trying to find the exact manuals and details that are applicable to my exact setup, which will be a desktop PC running LabView for data acquisition and general communications to both an Ethernet device over the PC NIC and a another device using the serial USB adapter they offer. My main concern right now is being able to establish an estimate of what kind of data rates we can expect for the data acquisition needs to these devices. By the protocol capabilities we are plenty good but when it comes to managing this with the software and any limitations here I need to be aware of. Thanks


Well your questions are rather vague and open to a lot of speculation.

 

I would start with your needs and go from there...

 

  1. What data acquisition rate do you need? 

 

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@briabvh1 wrote:

So is there a specific Labview manual I need to use to find this? There's just so many platform options and different hardware I seem to be just going in circles trying to find the exact manuals and details that are applicable to my exact setup, which will be a desktop PC running LabView for data acquisition and general communications to both an Ethernet device over the PC NIC and a another device using the serial USB adapter they offer. My main concern right now is being able to establish an estimate of what kind of data rates we can expect for the data acquisition needs to these devices. By the protocol capabilities we are plenty good but when it comes to managing this with the software and any limitations here I need to be aware of. Thanks


Your language is pretty generic and at times vague, ambiguous or possibly even flawed.

LabVIEW's TCP/IP functions are a rather thin (native TCP/IP nodes) and a little thicker (VISA TCP) layer around the normal Windows Winsock API. As such its data throughput limitations are mostly determined what Winsock and your actual NIC hardware can do. For most instrument device communication the limits are very close to what can be done with a C program trying to access the Winsock layer. For more advanced communication such as streaming video or similar, there are bigger differences due to the nature in which the LabVIEW interface is implemented. While it is using asynchronous access to the Winsock API under the hood, the application interface itself on the LabVIEW diagram level is synchronous, which is perfectly fine for device communication but not so ideal for high speed data streaming or server applications for multi-client handling. It can be done but won't be as high performance as what can be done on C level. But to get that high performance C level programming working is also an entirely different cup of coffee than writing a LabVIEW program.

Rolf Kalbermatter
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