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Transmission Control Protocol (TCP/IP) in LabVIEW

Module by: Felix Annan. E-mail the author

Summary: This module discusses the use of the Trasmission Control Protocol virtual instruments in LabVIEW for inter-VI data transfer

TCP allows the developer to setup data communication between virtual instruments on a network using internet protocol addresses and port numbers. TCP sets up an end to end connection between the two communicating parties over which the data is sent. For each message sent, the receiver has to know the length of the package sent in order to use the correct number of bytes in determining the message that was sent. With the ability to send and receive messages of varying lengths, one can develop various complicated methods for the transfer of data with the use of state machines. TCP can be used with any protocol that is built with TCP as its base like http, ftp etc. It enables the developer to set up communications between clients where the clients can “negotiate” on the data to be transferred and how it will be transferred.

The Advantage:

  1. Variable length messages allows clients to negotiate the transfer of information
  2. Data that is transferred is buffered by receiver
  3. Servers can be built where desired

The Disadvantage:

  1. Can be complicated to setup

This method of data transfer can be used for most kinds of data. With a little extra knowledge one can be able to set up interesting communication models between applications.


A typical sender-receiver implementation is shown in the Figure. 1

Figure 1: The VI on the left writes to a port of a specified ip and the VI on the right reads from the port that is being written to
Transmission Control Protocol
Transmission Control Protocol (tcp.jpg)

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