NI launches LabView 7 Express

Austin, TX—To give users accelerated virtual instruments (VIs) that encapsulate measurement functions and run on PDAs and FPGAs, National Instruments Inc. (NI) launched May 20 its LabView 7 Express following a four-year engineering effort.


Austin, TX— To give users accelerated virtual instruments (VIs) that encapsulate measurement functions and run on PDAs and FPGAs, National Instruments Inc. (NI) launched May 20 its LabView 7 Express. Billed as a major upgrade to its LabView graphical development environment following a four-year engineering effort, NI adds that LabView 7 Express simplifies creation of measurement and automation applications, and extends LabView to more settings, such as embedded field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to Palm OS and Microsoft Pocket PC personal digital assistants (PDAs).


"In the 10 years that I have used LabView, I have never seen such a large leap in productivity in one version upgrade," says Albert Geven, engineering manager at Royal Phillips Electronics' measurement and automation group. " Not only did features, such as Express VIs and the new data acquisition framework, help us reduce development time, they made it easy for colleagues, who had never used LabView, to step in and begin programming immediately."


Express VIs encapsulate measurement functions in interactive virtual instruments for the common measurement and automation applications. More than 40 Express VIs streamline development for tasks ranging from data acquisition to signal analysis to file I/O, delivering advanced measurement functions in easily configured diaglogs requiring little or no programming.


"Before LabView, engineers and scientists had to make a tradeoff between the power, flexibility and scalability of traditional programming languages, and the ease-of-use and interactivity of function-based tools," says Dr. James Truchard, NI's president and CEO. "With the release of LabView 7 Express, we are closing the gap between easy and powerful, and bringing an exceptional level of productivity and performance to engineers at all experience levels and in all areas of measurement and automation."


To redefine and accelerate how users take measurements and analyze data, LabView 7 Express has a redesigned NI-DAQ (data acquisition system) driver framework and two new interactive assistants for data acquisition and instrument control. For computer-based acquisition systems, the DAQ Assistant helps users configure and define sophisticated acquisition tasks in just a few clicks.


For GPIB, serial, VXI and other traditional instruments, users can employ the Instrument I/O Assistant to prototype instrument control systems; take quick measurements; and even develop simple instrument drivers. Instrument I/O Assistant also provides interactive instrument control, autoparsing of data, and automatic LabView code generation.


Release of LabView 7 Express includes the LabView base, full and professional development systems, and the following add-on modules:


  • New LabView 7 FPGA module for developing applications to run on FPGAs on NI's reconfigurable I/O hardware;

  • New LabView 7 PDA module for creating portable, handheld measurement and control applications on Microsoft Pocket PC or Palm OS PDAs;

  • Upgraded LabView 7 Real-Time module for developing deterministic, real-time and embedded control applications; and

  • Upgraded LabView 7 Datalogging and Supervisory Control module for developing distributed monitoring and control applications.


Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor


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