Network Interfaces expand I/O in any PC or PAC.

Press Release Summary:



Enabling engineers to integrate more than 30 Compact FieldPoint I/O modules into systems, 4-slot Model cFP-1804 and 8-slot Model cFP-1808 natively communicate with variety of protocols running on RS232 serial or Ethernet, including Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP, Modbus ASCII, Optomux, and NI's event-driven protocol. Operating from -40 to 70°C, Compact FieldPoint platform provides Class I, Div 2 industrial ratings and contains built-in diagnostics for network failures.



Original Press Release:



New Ethernet-Based Devices From NI Offer Expansion I/O For Any PC Or PAC



AUSTIN, Texas - March 21, 2006 - National Instruments (Nasdaq: NATI) today announced two new Ethernet-and serial-based NI Compact FieldPoint network interfaces that engineers and scientists can use to expand the I/O in any PC or programmable automation controller (PAC). The new National Instruments cFP-1804 four-slot and the cFP-1808 eight-slot interfaces offer five standard protocols for open connectivity with industrial platforms and make it even easier for engineers to integrate more than 30 Compact FieldPoint industrial I/O modules into their systems with industry standards including TCP/IP, Modbus and Optomux.

TheNI cFP-1804 and cFP-1808 natively communicate with a variety of protocols running on RS232 serial or Ethernet, including Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP, Modbus ASCII, Optomux and National Instruments event-driven protocol. Engineers and scientists can easily add expansion I/O to most software packages including National Instruments LabVIEW by selecting the correct Modbus register address and then accessing the I/O from the Compact FieldPoint bank. The Compact FieldPoint product line also includes a free OPC server that makes it simple to add I/O to any OPC-compliant software package.

Engineers can choose from a wide range of Compact FieldPoint modules including analog input and output, thermocouple, RTD, strain, high current relay and digital I/O. The Compact FieldPoint platform provides extended operating temperatures - from -40° to 70° C - and Class I, Division 2 industrial ratings. The system contains built-in diagnostics for network failures and provides a network watchdog to set values to a safe state and power-up states.

In addition, it is now even easier to add Ethernet-based communication to PAC systems by using the new NI LabVIEW 8 graphical programming environment. Engineers can add I/O - including Compact FieldPoint, NI CompactRIO and NI CompactVision System modules - with the LabVIEW Project, a new project-based environment for managing large applications in LabVIEW 8. By using the simple drag-and-drop FieldPoint API, engineers select the appropriate I/O channel from the cFP-1804 or cFP-1808 and then instantly add it to the LabVIEW block diagram targeted to a PC or Compact FieldPoint real-time controller. Engineers also can easily add expansion I/O from distributed NI PAC systems, including CompactRJO, with the LabVIEW shared variable.

About NI Compact FieldPoint
The Compact FieldPoint platform is ideal for high-vibration applications, withstanding 50 g of shock and 5 g of RMS vibration, even when mounted on heavy machinery or in vehicles. Compact FieldPoint operates in temperatures ranging from -40 °C to 70 °C, so users can run embedded LabVIEW applications in extreme environments where many industrial PCs fail. Compact FieldPoint and FieldPoint modules are categorized in a new programmable controller option called a PAC, an embedded industrial platform that combines the best features of the PC - such as the processor, RAM and powerful software - with the reliability, ruggedness and distributed nature of the PLC. Readers may learn more about NI PAC offerings by visiting http://www.ni.com/pac.

About National Instruments
For 30 years, National Instruments (www.ni.com) has been a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation - a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists in industry, government and academia approach measurement and automation. Leveraging PCs and commercial technologies, virtual instrumentation increases productivity and lowers costs for test, control and design applications through easy-to-integrate software, such as NI LabVIEW, and modular measurement and control hardware for PXI, PCI, PCI Express, USB and Ethernet. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 3,800 employees and direct operations in nearly 40 countries. For the past seven years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America. Readers can obtain investment information from the company's investor relations department by calling (512) 683-5090, e-mailing nati@ni.com or visiting http://www.ni.com/nati.

Pricing and Contact Information
NI cFP-1804 and cFP-1808 Priced from $599 Web: http://www.ni.com/pac

CompactRlO, FieidPoint, LabVIEW, National Instruments, NI and ni.com are trademarks of National Instruments. Other product and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

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