Large turnout greeted NI Week presenters, exhibitors


Austin, TX - At a time when many trade shows struggle to entice attendees, a near record number of engineers and technicians numbering over 1,400 greeted National Instruments president and ceo, James Truchard, as he kicked off the 2002 edition of NI Week August 14 in Austin.

Dr. Truchard outlined the company's long-standing commitment toward leveraging PC technology for instrumentation and control. Noting the abundance of processing power on that platform today, he noted, ''Like a tree sows millions of seeds for only a few to fall on fertile ground, we want to find fertile ground for all those MIPs available now.''

''The original concept of 'virtual instrumentation' has expanded beyond what many would have imagined at the company's founding,'' he continued. ''A virtual instrument these days may be not only a waveform analyzer, but it may also include machine control, motion control, vision, human-machine interface, and interface to enterprise databases and reporting.''

Surely one of the most significant announcements with implications for the future was LabView FPGA, a plug-in module for the National Instruments graphical development environment. This new module will expand the realm of applications that engineers can solve with virtual instrumentation. The product enables user-defined hardware for a wide spectrum of applications that can benefit from high-speed custom hardware logic and tightly integrated real-time systems.

In a demonstration of a hardware-in-the-loop tester, NI engineers showed how LabView FPGA block diagrams can execute on a FPGA in closed loop with real I/O up to 80 times faster that what could be done before.

The company also will integrate its LabView graphical measurement software with Texas Instruments' Code Composer Studio development tools. Working together, these two software packages will cut development time for TI-based DSP systems.

PCI-6013 and PCI-6014 are the company's lowest priced 16-bit data acquisition (DAQ) products, which combine off-the-shelf analog component technology with years of analog design expertise to measure within 0.0127 percent of the actual signal for optimal measurement accuracy.

The devices feature 16-bit resolution on 16 single-ended or eight differential analog inputs at sampling rates up to 200 kS/s. Both the PCI-6013 and PCI-6014 offer eight digital I/O lines and two 24-bit counter/timers, while the PCI-6014 also includes two 16-bit analog outputs.

PXI-4070 FlexDMM is a full-featured 6

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor

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