An all-in-one instrument that allows engineers to replace benchtop test equipment with a virtual set up has been released by National Instruments.
VirtualBench integrates a mixed-signal oscilloscope, function generator, digital multimeter, programmable DC power supply and digital input/output and allows users to interact through a software application that runs on a PC, with an iPad app due out this summer.
According to National Instruments, by working with consumer computing platforms the software allows users to take advantage of technologies like multitouch displays, multicore processors, wireless connectivity and intuitive interfaces.
“We are building on what NI does best, which is our software-based approach to test and measurement,” said Chad Chesney, Director of Data Acquisition Marketing at NI. “VirtualBench’s software user experience is more intuitive, creating efficiencies that go above and beyond simply having these five devices in a single device.”
The software will integrate seamlessly with LabVIEW system design software, according to the firm, and provides the most common functionality of physical instrumentation affordably while taking up minimal amounts of space.
“Before, I didn’t have the room or budget to buy a full setup for each bench,” said Russell Stanphil, Electronics Advisor at TechShop. “I can now park one laptop and a VirtualBench on each seat, replacing four to five boxes.”
An E&T Magazine review of National Instruments’ VirtualBench is available here.