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How do I Disable the GPU in the NI cRIO Performance Controllers?

Hardware: CompactRIO>>Controllers>>cRIO-9034, CompactRIO>>Controllers>>cRIO-9031, CompactRIO>>Chassis (Backplanes)>>cRIO-9033, CompactRIO>>Chassis (Backplanes)>>cRIO-9030

I am using a NI cRIO-903X and want to decrease jitter in my application that uses control loops rates > 5 kHz. How do I disable the GPU to help with the jitter?

For NI CompactRIO Performance Controllers, the devices can sustain 5 khz rates without tuning. If higher rates are required, an option is to disable the GPU, since it is a component optimized for throughput, not for determinism. Disabling it can give you determinism at > 5khz rates; however this comes at the cost of higher CPU usage since video would be done via the software side without the presence of the GPU.

Note: Another option to be considered to help sustain rates above 5 kHz would be moving the code to FPGA.  Please see White Paper: Design and Deploy FPGA-Based Controllers for more information.

Attached to this KnowledgeBase is a compressed folder with the files needed to disable your GPU. Complete the following steps to disable the GPU on your Performance Controller:
  1. Download the Disable
  2. Unzip the file
  3. Open NI Measurement & Automation Explorer (NI MAX) and make sure your target is listed in Remote Devices
  4. Navigate to <Program Files> /National Instruments/RT Images
  5. Create a New Folder and name it Disable GPU and open the folder
  6. Create a New Folder and name it 1.0 for versioning
  7. Copy the unzipped Diable GPU files into the 1.0 folder
  8. Restart NI MAX
  9. Navigate to your target, expand the tree for your target, right click on Software, and select Add/Remove Software
  10. Select Custom Software Installation
  11. Select Yes when the prompt window appears
  12. Find Disable GPU usage 1.0.0 from the list of software then select Next to install

The files included in the Disable are 20-intel.conf and Disable_Graphics_Acceleration.cdf.  To determine if the file is correctly located on your target, you can navigate to the folder /usr/share/X11 on your controller and see if the file 20-intel.conf exists.

Note: Please note that disabling the GPU will not disable the embedded UI.

Related Links:
White Paper: NI CompactRIO Performance Controller: Performance and Throughput Benchmarks
White Paper: Design and Deploy FPGA-Based Controllers

Disable GPUDisable

Report Date: 08/08/2014
Last Updated: 02/23/2015
Document ID: 6O77S4PK

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