NI Week 2003: Software makes hardware ‘disappear’

Good software makes hardware disappear, contends National Instruments' (NI) CEO and co-founder Dr. James Truchard, in his recent NI Week 2003 keynote presentation. Truchard explains that instrumentation is increasingly used via software, and that a good software experience makes connected hardware transparent.

By Staff September 1, 2003

Good software makes hardware disappear, contends National Instruments’ (NI) CEO and co-founder Dr. James Truchard, in his recent NI Week 2003 keynote presentation. Truchard explains that instrumentation is increasingly used via software, and that a good software experience makes connected hardware transparent. “When LabView was introduced, the front panel of instruments disappeared,” Truchard says. “Each time we add a VI [a grouping of LabView code called a “virtual instrument”], we replace another instrument. Complex functionality is easier to use … digital control will replace ladder logic. Wait until we have diagrams behind controls. I’m told it’s coming.”

NI Week 2003’s attendees increased slightly to around 1,500, and exhibitors increased to 142 from 85 last year. The event also included more than 140 sessions. New product introductions at the event included:

  • NI-DAQ 7 is the next generation of NI’s data acquisition driver software. NI-DAQ 7 and LabView 7 Express allow simultaneous operations to be performed 100 to 1,000 times faster than with the previous version.

  • Spectral Measurements Tookit, the Order Analysis Toolkit, and the Sound and Vibration Toolkit have more than 400 functions and 16 new Express VIs (virtual instruments) for analysis, signal processing, and mathematical functions.

  • A suite of 100 MS/s PXI instruments that aims to increase flexibility and system performance for rapid prototyping and test of mixed-signal devices and systems.

  • NI TestStand 3.0 test management software reportedly helps engineers build and deploy automated prototype, validation, and manufacturing test systems 75% faster.