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VERSION 27  Click to view document history
Created on: Oct 28, 2011 8:46 AM by Hueter - Last Modified:  Feb 11, 2016 2:02 PM by Hueter

Please note that the content contained in this document is out-of-date for the current competition season. Please feel free to use it as a reference moving forward.

Note: FRC will be using the new roboRIO controller starting in 2015.

FRC used the NI cRIO-FRC II controller for the FRC 2010-2014 seasons.
The cRIO-FRC II was lighter, smaller, and less expensive than the previous 8 slot cRIO-FRC. FRC-II controllers shiped in rookie kits and will include three modules (a 9403, a 9201, and a 9472).

How do the technical specifications of the new cRIO-FRC II compare to the legacy cRIO-FRC controllers?


cRIO-FRC (Legacy)


FRC2-Full small.png


400 MHz 5200B PPC

400 MHz 5125 PPC


64 MB

128 MB


128 MB

256 MB


Spartan-3 2000

Spartan-6 LX45





2 x 10/100

1 x 10/100

Weight (Chassis Only)



Input Power




Also note that the cRIO-FRC II does not have any DIP switches, featuring software switches instead. The legacy model allows teams to configure it using physical switches on the device. The physical switches have presented a risk of introducing debris into the case.  Also, some switches were damaged via misuse – a problem solved with software switches.

When will the cRIO-FRC II be distributed?

The cRIO-FRC II controllers are distributed with rookie kits at Kickoff.

When can we purchase the cRIO-FRC II?

cRIO-FRC II is available for purchase now!

Call NI Sales - Tel: (888) 280-7645

Email NI Sales

How much will the cRIO-FRC II cost?

Discounted pricing for FRC teams.  These prices should be reflected in all quotes without the need for additional discounts.

Part NumberDescriptionPrice
780405-02For FIRST Only - cRIO FRC II Controller and I/O Kit$ 525.00
780406-02For FIRST Only - FRC II Controller Only$ 285.00
780407-01For FIRST Only - NI 9472 25 Pin DSUB 8 Ch 24V DO$ 89.10
780408-01For FIRST Only - NI 9403 w/DSUB 32Ch DIO$ 174.50
780409-01For FIRST Only - NI 9201 25 Pin Dsub 8Ch AI$ 151.60

Who gets the cRIO-FRC II?

Any team can purchase an cRIO-FRC II, but they will be distributed in kits to rookie teams only.

Will the cRIO-FRC II be the required controller for 2013?

Teams may use either the cRIO-FRC or the cRIO-FRC II on their 2013 competition robots.

Will the veteran teams be retrofitted with an cRIO-FRC II?

No, but veterans will have the option to purchase an cRIO-FRC II chassis or a complete chassis/module kit.

Is there an opportunity to trade in a legacy cRIO-FRC for an cRIO-FRC II?

Not currently. 

Can we still buy a Legacy cRIO-FRC if it’s more appropriate for our needs? 

Units are no longer available as of Nov, 2011.

So we can’t buy a cRIO-FRC 1 after fall 2011, but will NI support the hardware? 

Yes! There will be no change in the level of support, including phone support, for the current cRIO-FRC. Visit the support forum at for details.

If there are only three modules shipping in the cRIO-FRC II kit, what’s the fourth slot for?

You can use a second 9201, 9403, or 9472 in the fourth slot, or just leave it empty. The cRIO-FRC II image supports each of the 3 modules in the 4th slot and will load the appropriate FPGA image on boot. If you leave the fourth slot empty, make sure to leave the rubber gasket in place to keep debris out of the chassis backplane.

If we use a legacy 8-slot cRIO-FRC, can we use more than three modules?

You can use up to 6 modules.

What programming languages are supported on the FRC - II?

     The cRIO-FRC II supports C++, Java, and LabVIEW.

Will the rules treat teams using a legacy cRIO different from teams using a cRIO-FRC II (i.e. weight allowance, etc.)?

We don’t know all the details until Kickoff 2013 with the rest of the rules.

Can a veteran team register as a rookie, pay the higher registration fee, to get an cRIO-FRC II in their kit?

     No. The production forecasts are based on rookie/veteran distinction.

If a team has been inactive, do they get an cRIO-FRC II?

It depends on how long they’ve been inactive. Depending on when the team received their last kit, they will receive an upgrade kit customized for the components they’ve missed. 

Last kit received…

Upgrade kit


Rookie kit items (cRIO, etc)


Relevant Driver Station components





       2012        N/A                                                 

Is the FPGA in the cRIO-FRC II programmable, or locked, like the previous model?

To ensure safe operation of robots in a competitive environment, and because the WPILib APIs depend on a specific FPGA interface to function properly, the FPGA is still locked for competition use. However, there is nothing technical about either the legacy RIO-FRC or the new cRIO-FRC II that limits the use of the FPGA. Teams wanting to experiment with LabVIEW FPGA in a non-competition environment can do so using either controller.

Is there an exact NI equivalant to the FRC II cRIO?

The FRC II cRIO is almost the same hardware (minus USB, the FIRST logo, and pricing) as the NI 9076 which will support the FRC Image.

Does the cRIO-FRC II mean a change in any of the other control system hardware?

No, the cRIO-FRC II is compatible with all current control system hardware. 

Will old modules still work?


If there’s only one Ethernet port, where does the camera get connected?

Teams will need to use an external Ethernet switch, like the DLink radio.

Where can I find Dimensional Drawings for the cRIO-FRC II?

     The cRIO-FRC II is the same dimensions as the cRIO-9075 so you can use the drawings found here.

Does it have integrated CAN?

No, but it will be equally compatible with CAN as the legacy cRIO.

I lost my 2 pin power connector for my cRIO, what can I buy another.

     You can purchase the connectors from NI or AndyMark. (Connector Specs)

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