National Instruments picks ARM target

National Instruments has extended the code generation support for its LabView graphical programming tool to the ARM family of processors.

Ian Bell, technical marketing manager for National, said the embedded module is the first product in an ongoing collaboration between the tools provider and the UK-based designer of microprocessors. Using the module, users can create embedded applications in LabView and then generate code for the many different microcontrollers that incorporate an ARM core made by companies such as Analog Devices, Atmel, Luminary Micro, NXP, Freescale Semiconductor, Intel and Texas Instruments. Targets for the LabView before now included the PowerPC and the Analog Devices Blackfin.

To ship in mid-May, the tool currently supports two boards without needing additional peripheral drivers, Bell said. One is supplied by ARM subsidiary Keil and the other is made by Luminary Micro. “There is a set of tools to create the equivalent of a board support pack,” said Bell. There are template virtual instrument files that can be customised for simple peripherals with C templates for creating more complex drivers.

Once the drivers are in place, users can graphically program all the components of the ARM microcontroller including the analogue and digital I/O, the company claimed.

A simulation mode allows users to experiment with software on a virtual board. “The tool will do cycle-accurate simulation without have to have the hardware there. You can take data acquired from the real world and apply it to the simulation to see what the real-world response would be,” Bell explained.

Reinhard Keil, director of MCU tools at ARM, said: “The intuitive, graphical design capabilities of LabVIEW make it an ideal platform for developers with limited C/C++ programming experience who need to develop applications around ARM processor-based microcontrollers.”

Image: ARM microcontrollers are now the target for National Instruments

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