NI introduces LabView 8.20, 20th anniversary edition, today at NIWeek



LabView 8.20 is National Instrument’s 20 th anniversary edition, released as NI celebrates 30 years at NIWeek 2006. Shown is a screen shot of LabView Development Systems, one of many packages available.

Austin , TX — Celebrating the 20th anniversary of its flagship software, National Instruments introduced LabView 8.20 today, Aug. 8, the opening day of its NIWeek 2006 users' conference. NI, marking 30 years as a company, says the graphical power of LabView has “revolutionized the way thousands of engineers and scientists work, providing improved product quality, shorter time to market, and greater engineering and manufacturing efficiency. With a flexible, open platform, LabView continues to deliver productivity to engineers and scientists facing increasingly complex application needs.”

Objectives of the new release include ability to make common measurement tasks easy with any board, instrument, or bus;

Inventor tells it like it was

Jeffrey L. Kodosky, NI fellow (and LabView inventor), reminded Control Engineering that in 1986 an engineer’s world included proprietary instruments, controllers, sequential programming, calculators, Basic, Fortran, ASCII terminals, and costly infrastructure. In a June meeting with Control Engineering editors Kodosky said, “Our slogan was to make a tool that would make scientists and engineers productive in the way the spreadsheet made accounting productive.” Spreadsheets were good for a lot of things, “but you couldn’t represent a loop in a spreadsheet,” he noted. After seeing an Apple Macintosh mid-1984, Kodosky remarked that “we needed to use graphics for user interfaces. It was a nifty idea, but unclear if we could make it practical.”

So in summer 1985, the team took a bunch of ideas about how the software should work and mixed in a bunch of students right out of school who “didn’t know it was impossible.” By the end of October they had a program that could communicate with an instrument and show information on screen, but it took a year more to make it appropriate for an October 1986 release. The development team was shocked when the target market “basically ignored us,” despite being able to do control, simulation, modeling, test and measurement, without a programming team. More memory was needed. “We swallowed hard and invested in graphical compiler, released four years later,” Kodosky said.

Many upgrades have ensued since; development years total over 1,500 now. “It’s a solid long-lasting platform as opposed a niche language,” he observes, good for many years to come. With users totaling well over 400,000, Kodosky asked, “What other company’s development environment can withstand kids in third grade (Lego robotics software) to rocket scientists at the Jet Propulsion Lab?”

More on new LabView 8.20 features

LabView 8.20 product features include more attention to industrial measurements, simplified data sharing for distributed systems including handhelds, an FPGA wizard for custom control system development, 10x improvement in PID real-time control loop performance, FPGA for machine monitoring applications, quickly replicated realtime industrial control systems, open algorithm design with MathScript text-based math, and 9x performance improvements for LabView simulation mode.

Click here for more information about the new release, NI LabView 8.20.

Click here for more about NIWeek 2006.

Mark T. Hoske , Control Engineering editor in chief

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.