New LabVIEW version

Taking advantage of Multicore, FPGA and Wireless Technologies National Instruments has launched LabVIEW 8.6, the latest version of the graphical system design software platform for control, test and embedded system development.

LabVIEW 8.6 takes advantage of the benefits of multicore processors, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and wireless communication to offer parallel programming.

Engineers now have a single platform to increase test and control system throughput with multicore processors, reduce the development time of high-performance FPGA-based advanced control and embedded prototyping applications and more easily create distributed measurement systems to acquire data remotely.

“To meet the performance and efficiency demands of cutting-edge applications such as controlling robotic systems, testing wireless devices and designing hybrid vehicles, users must have the ability to quickly incorporate the latest technologies such as multicore processors, FPGAs and wireless communication,” said Dr. James Truchard, president, CEO and cofounder of National Instruments. “LabVIEW offers the shortest path to apply these technologies using parallel programming while providing users the flexibility to define their solutions with application-specific optimisations.”

The new release expands on the built-in multithreading technology of the LabVIEW platform to offer supercomputing performance through multicore-optimised features increasing the amounts of measurement data processed to meet advanced control application challenges.

The new version also allows engineers to use the LabVIEW FPGA Module and FPGA-based commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware such as NI CompactRIO to customise measurement and control systems for increased performance in applications such as semiconductor validation and advanced machine control.

LabVIEW 8.6 further reduces FPGA-based development time with new features that engineers can use to program CompactRIO programmable automation controllers (PACs) directly without having to separately program the FPGA. In addition, new simulation features reduce the number of time-consuming compilations by validating an FPGA application on the desktop. Engineers can also easily import existing or third party IP into LabVIEW FPGA using the new component-level IP (CLIP) node.

As wireless technology advances, engineers have the opportunity to take measurements in isolated locations and using LabVIEW 8.6, engineers can extend applications into new areas of data acquisition, such as environmental and structural monitoring. The flexibility of LabVIEW graphical programming and the ubiquity of Wi-Fi network infrastructure make it easy to incorporate wireless connectivity into new or existing PC-based measurement and control systems.

With support for the latest wireless data acquisition devices and drivers for 22 third-party wireless sensors, LabVIEW 8.6 simplifies programming of distributed measurement systems with a single software platform. Engineers now can configure data acquisition applications easily to use NI Wi-Fi data acquisition (DAQ) hardware without making code changes. And new 3-D visualisation tools help engineers integrate remote measurements with design models to accelerate design validation.

LabVIEW 8.6 also allows engineers to convert LabVIEW applications into Web services on desktop and real-time hardware that they can access from any web-enabled device such as smart phones and PCs. Engineers can develop remote user interfaces for their LabVIEW applications using standard web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript and Flash.

You can download the evaluation software at:

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