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NI focuses on software design and test tools
29 October 2014, Test & Measurement

National Instruments has released a new version of its LabVIEW system design software, in addition to new software-designed instrument types.

The company’s LabVIEW 2014 system design software, the heart of the NI platform, features upgrades to help users acquire, analyse and visualise data sets to make informed decisions fast. The new release standardises the way users interact with hardware through reuse of the same code and engineering processes across systems, which scales applications for the future.

LabVIEW 2014 also simplifies purchasing through the LabVIEW suites, which offer relevant, essential LabVIEW add-ons and complementary software specific to automated test, embedded control and monitoring, and hardware-in-the-loop and real-time test.

In addition, the latest version provides access to cutting-edge acquisition hardware such as the rugged and flexible 4-slot CompactDAQ system and CompactRIO system, software-designed instruments such as the PXI Express 8-channel high-resolution oscilloscope and the software-based VirtualBench all-in-one instrument.

New capabilities introduced to enhance decision making include DataFinder Federation technology, allowing users to intuitively search data on a local drive, network or around the world; a richer deployment of analysis including .m files to NI Linux Real-Time and vision functions to FPGAs; and Data Dashboard for LabVIEW, with which mobile interfaces can be easily and securely created to visualise acquired data and make informed decisions on the go without the expertise of a mobile developer.

The latest version of LabVIEW includes 13 user-driven features to optimise coding productivity, expanded online training for LabVIEW RIO applications included with active software service and new tools from the LabVIEW Tools Network, such as the LabSocket System by Bergmans Mechatronics LLC. This system provides remote access to LabVIEW applications from desktop or mobile web browsers, without the need for browser plug-ins or a client-side run-time engine.

National Instruments has also delivered the power and flexibility of software-designed instrumentation to new instrument types and automated test applications, in an effort to relieve engineers and organisations of the costs and limitations of vendor-defined instruments.

The instruments contain a user-programmable FPGA customised with the familiar graphical data flow of LabVIEW system design software, eliminating the need for specialised languages such as VHDL and Verilog, costly digital design experts or payments to instrument vendors each time a customisation is needed.

Two years ago, the company introduced the first software-designed instrument, the vector signal transceiver. Some of the success stories for this solution include Qualcomm Atheros, which improved test speeds by more than 200 times, and Hittite Microwave which reduced test times by more than 30 times.

The latest software-designed instruments address automated test and research applications across wireless and mobile devices, semiconductor, automotive and aerospace/defence industries. They comprise a 14-bit, 250 MSps, 250 MHz, 8-channel oscilloscope; 26,5 GHz high-performance RF vector signal analyser; 12-bit, 2 GSps, 2 GHz intermediate frequency digitiser; and 12,5 Gbps, 8 TX/8 RX lane high-speed serial instrument.

For more information contact National Instruments, 0800 203 199, sales@natinst.co.za, http://southafrica.ni.com


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