National Instruments releases LabView 2009

National Instruments announced LabView 2009, the latest version of its graphical system design software platform, with more than 100 new or enhanced features. Get an inside look here.


National Instruments announced LabView 2009, the latest version of its graphical system design software platform. With more than 100 new or enhanced features, the software lets engineers use virtualization technology to reduce system cost and size, streamline algorithm design and deployment to embedded systems with real-time math, deploy distributed custom measurements across vast physical hardware systems with the new NI wireless sensor network (WSN) platform , and more.

Among LabView2009 features: Create code from VI Snippet images, globally manage probes, visualized data on new 3D graphs, reduce memory use with data value references.

National Instruments LabView 2009

LOOKING INSIDE the new version

Arun Veeramani, LabView product manager at National Instruments, talked to Control Engineering about how the new edition of LabView 2009 can lead to higher personal and production efficiency. Distributed intelligence, parallel computing, advanced control, and digital prototyping are among tasks addressed by more than 100 new or improved features in LabView 2009 graphical design and control software, says Veeramani.

"Knowing LabView, one engineer with one tool can do what a group of engineers can do with fragmented tools," he adds. His summary of key advances includes:

- Distributed intelligence designs, with local sensors, logic, and actuators, are helped significantly by wireless technology, since cutting wires cuts costs and enables a large channel count over large areas. Wireless connections into hazardous areas can lower risk to personnel, reducing the need to put people near hazards. Engineers can use LabView and NI's Wireless Sensor Network platform to drag and drop I/O points for more efficient setup.
- Parallel computing via a field programmable gate array (FPGA) puts faster processing closer to the I/O connections, allowing the system to return information to another controller or the network, rather than just data. Taking advantage of dual- and multicore processors, the NI Real-Time Hypervisor partitions I/Os, shares some CPU and RAM elements, and runs two or more operating systems in one computer.
- Advanced control: Optimized control algorithms have new real-time math capabilities, allowing high-speed PID and custom, text-based algorithms to be deployed to real-time systems for machine control, says Veeramani. MathScript support eases the transition from design to deployment.
- Digital prototypes: In cooperation with Dassault Systemes SolidWorks, NI tools visualize and simulate operating machines and their control code, allowing faster component selection for the designed motion control task. That puts the physical prototype much closer to the finished product, minimizing risk and speeding time to market.


With LabView 2009, the NI 9144 expansion chassis for C Series modules becomes a LabView FPGA target that can run custom timing, inline processing and time-critical control as distributed I/O.

Additionally, technology advances have made it possible to deploy WSNs to perform distributed measurements across physical systems.

Enhancing wireless sensors with custom software logic traditionally has required knowledge of complex, low-level embedded programming. New LabView Wireless Sensor Network Module Pioneer, however, lets users program individual NI WSN measurement nodes via graphical programming.

Engineers and scientists can use LabView to extend node battery life, increase acquisition performance, and create custom sensor interfaces. Virtualization technology makes it possible to run multiple OSs side by side on the same multicore processing hardware. New NI Real-Time Hypervisor software combines the LabView Real-Time Module with general-purpose OS capabilities to reduce system cost and size while maintaining the determinism of the real-time application.

It works with dual- and quad-core NI PXI controllers, as well as the NI 3110 industrial controller. NI is adopting an annual release cycle for LabView, with version names based on the year of release.

NI says the software can be used for acquiring data and processing signals, instrument control, automating and validating test systems, industrial measurements and control, designing embedded systems, and teaching and research. Examples are provided at the LabView URL below.

The company made the announcement today, Aug. 3, kicking off its NIWeek conference week of activities and learning.

Support for NI Wireless Sensor Network (WSN)

NI WSN platform has the drag-and-drop programming environment of LabView and new reliable, low-power wireless measurement nodes that simplify the development of distributed measurements, says National Instruments.

For additional perspective, read "Think Again: Engineer more, faster," August 2009 North American print edition.

National Instruments

- Edited by Renee Robbins, senior editor, and Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering

National Instruments Wireless Sensor Network

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