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I worry about NI hardware controller release


Thang Nguyen

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Our company used NI RT controller CVS-1459 RT. Without any information, they discontinued this controller and suggest us about IC-3121. And we just found out it will discontinue the end of this year. All of this happen in one year. I contacted NI for replacement product and they suggest IC-3120 which has 2 ethernet ports instead of 2 USB 3.0 which we use to connect our cameras. NI engineer then suggest IC-3171 which is $1,700 higher than IC-3121 which is $3,000. What I am worry is we don't have any information ahead. I work with LabVIEW for 15 years. I used to have connection with NI sell representative. Now I don't have any information about the product timeline at all. I contacted with NI sale and they are now Newark company and they cannot answer me about controller replacement. What should I do in this case? Is there any person in NI should I contact with?

Edited by Thang Nguyen
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  • Thang Nguyen changed the title to I worry about NI hardware controller release

I understand your concern, NI's commitment to industrial vision has always been a bit loose I think.

RT vision controllers come and go a bit fast. And there was the fiasco of the EVS, whose long term replacement was the IC-31xx, but when was the last update of that line? Many years ago and there's no communication around the future of this product.

My advice is to find a different hardware supplier for "vision industrial computer" and use Windows 10 iot, otherwise NI will soon tell you to use a PXI!

At some point NI was considering allowing to install NI Linux RT on non NI hardware, but I seriously doubt they'll ever to that, it would be in huge contradiction with their business model.

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8 hours ago, Antoine Chalons said:

At some point NI was considering allowing to install NI Linux RT on non NI hardware, but I seriously doubt they'll ever to that, it would be in huge contradiction with their business model.

If they do not do this they need to beef up their offerings. Right now the 9047 is the most powerful cRIO platform (-40C) and we are reaching limitations with it, but the only more powerful platform is a PXI controller. Lettings us put Linux RT on hardware we source would also help with the current lead times that are stretching out past 6 months for some of this hardware.

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Indeed the IC line of product was supposed to stand between the cRIO and PXI in term of perf - without offering the modularity that cRIO and PXI offer of course, but for Vision application it was ok with usb3 and GigE.

But even then, the perf was disappointing for heavy vision application. I use to use Advantech IPC range, updated every 6 month with new CPUs etc.

 

Supporting 3rd party hardware with NI Linux RT would probably require a huge effort for NI, not sure they're ready for that.

And where NI is disappointing me a bit more is by not telling us what their plan is for Hardware between cRIO and PXI, at least if they were to say they are only going to maintain cRIO and PXI in the future at least we'd stop hopping a find a different solution.

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10 minutes ago, Antoine Chalons said:

Indeed the IC line of product was supposed to stand between the cRIO and PXI in term of perf - without offering the modularity that cRIO and PXI offer of course, but for Vision application it was ok with usb3 and GigE.

But even then, the perf was disappointing for heavy vision application. I use to use Advantech IPC range, updated every 6 month with new CPUs etc.

 

Supporting 3rd party hardware with NI Linux RT would probably require a huge effort for NI, not sure they're ready for that.

And where NI is disappointing me a bit more is by not telling us what their plan is for Hardware between cRIO and PXI, at least if they were to say they are only going to maintain cRIO and PXI in the future at least we'd stop hopping a find a different solution.

I agree with all of this.

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Thanks @Tim_S for the lifecycle page

Thanks @Antoine Chalons and @Jordan Kuehn for sharing expert knowledge about vision controller.

@Antoine Chalons May I ask if Advantech IPC with Win 10 iot is a good option? Currently, we use only one camera for processing but we plan to update to dual cameras very soon. Can I use LabVIEW with Win 10 iot?

 

Edited by Thang Nguyen
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Well "good option" is a bit broad... it was great for my application

There production line was producing 60 part par minute

There were 3 C-Link camera, therefore 2 PCIe-1430 frmaegrabbers

Each cam was acquiring 10 images of each part

The time available for image acquisition + processing was ~800ms so the acquisition was done in parallel to the processing for each camera.

At the time (3 years ago almost) we were getting the most powerfull IPC-720 available with 32Gb of RAM and Windows 10 IOT.

 

The application did not require fanless or RT and it was working 24/7.

 

We also had similar application with GigE cameras but I never liked GigE.

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On 12/3/2021 at 4:19 PM, Thang Nguyen said:

Can I use LabVIEW with Win 10 iot?

It depends what Windows IoT you are wanting to use. There are 2 different versions I believe. 

- IoT Core, only supports UWP applications, no Win32 applications. Also used on ARM platforms. LabVIEW as a x86/64 Win32 application can NOT run on this at all, independent if you try the IDE or built EXEs.

- IoT Enterprise, full Windows platform with streamlined distribution and settings, only available for x86/64 hardware, LabVIEW applications can run on this

Edited by Rolf Kalbermatter
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Indeed, Advantech offers Win 10 IoT Enterprise.

If you take a look at this product : https://advdownload.advantech.com/productfile/PIS/AIMB-587/file/AIMB-587_DS(082721)20210827160444.pdf

This is the equivalent up-to-date version of what I was using, it does mention Win 10 IoT Ent (not sure about the difference HL and VL though.

image.png.41d67e980a0413533e93e4487cc61eb8.png

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13 hours ago, Antoine Chalons said:

Indeed, Advantech offers Win 10 IoT Enterprise.

If you take a look at this product : https://advdownload.advantech.com/productfile/PIS/AIMB-587/file/AIMB-587_DS(082721)20210827160444.pdf

This is the equivalent up-to-date version of what I was using, it does mention Win 10 IoT Ent (not sure about the difference HL and VL though.

image.png.41d67e980a0413533e93e4487cc61eb8.png

Microsoft sells three levels of Windows IoT Enterprise: Entry Level, Value Level and High Level.

They supposedly have to do with the CPU performance, so I guess number of supported cores and maybe other things like hyperthreading, amount of supported memory etc. The exact details seem only available under NDA.

Edited by Rolf Kalbermatter
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  • 2 weeks later...

@Antoine Chalons  I am at the phase making decision on specific hardware and OS to run with so I am need to clear up on some information. After doing more research about Windows IOT, specifically Windows IOT Enterprise and Windows Enterprise, I wonder if you choose to use the Windows IOT Enterprise because it comes pre-install on the controller you want to work with? Or because it has some specific features which make you choose to use it?

 

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If I remember well, windows 10 iot was the default option with the industrial computer from Advantech, at least that's what the reseller told me.

We ordered one to try (with a return option if it didn't work), we tested for a few days, we were happy.

We were only interested in in having something that worked like windows 10, came pre-installed and didn't have all the media/game nonsense that comes on "normal" computers.

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