The support engineers at Pickering are here to answer your frequently asked questions (FAQs), from "how do I get started?" to "how do I install software for our PCI or PXI switching?" This blog post will address questions related to our PXI/PCI shared memory driver.
PXI software available to download
Q: What is a shared memory?
A: Shared memory is an efficient means of passing data between programs. Depending on the context, programs may run on a single processor or multiple separate processors. Using memory for communication inside a single program, e.g., among its multiple threads, is also referred to as shared memory. Pickering has a driver that does not support shared memory (single thread) and a driver that does support shared memory (multiple threads).
Q: I noticed when looking at your PXI/PCI driver downloads that there was a shared memory driver. What does that mean for Pickering products?
A: The shared memory driver allows you to open multiple references to the same Pickering PCI or PXI switching hardware. The non-shared driver only allows you to open and access the switching hardware once without closing a session. Loading a second session will reset the card to the default conditions. The shared memory driver is useful when you want to, for example, control a card with your test program and, at the same time, monitor what your code is doing with the General Purpose Soft Front Panel.
Q: Are the shared and non-shared drivers functionally the same? Can I use the same code I developed using the non-shared driver?
A: Yes, all the same functions are supported with both drivers, and you can use the same code.
Q: I have security concerns and don’t want to allow multiple access. Can I turn multiple access (Shared Memory) off?
A: Yes, you can easily disable this. And if needed in the future, you can turn it back on. You also could simply uninstall the shared memory driver and install the un-shared driver. To change functionality, right-click on the “Pickering” icon on the taskbar and change the setting.
How to disable shared memory