2010 Version of LabView Implements Customer Ideas

The latest edition of National Instruments’ flagship graphical programming environment features faster compiler technology, pulls in customer ideas and enables integration of third-party FPGA designs.

National Instruments Corp. (NI, www.ni.com), the Austin, Texas, automation and data acquisition company, has launched the latest release of its flagship graphical programming environment for design, test, measurement and control applications—LabView 2010.

The latest version of the 24-year-old LabView product offers new features such as off-the-shelf compiler technologies that execute code an average of 20 percent faster than previous versions, the company says, and a comprehensive marketplace for evaluating and purchasing add-on toolkits for easily integrating custom functionality into the platform. For field-programmable gate array (FPGA) users, LabView 2010 delivers a new Intellectual Property (IP) Integration Node that makes it possible to integrate any third-party FPGA IP into LabView applications, and is compatible with the Xilinx CORE Generator. National Instruments also implemented more than a dozen new features suggested by lead users through the LabView Idea Exchange, an online feedback forum that marks a new level of collaboration between NI R&D and customers.

The compiler abstracts tasks such as memory allocation and thread management. The compiler hierarchy has evolved over the lifetime of LabView to become smarter and more optimized. With LabView 2010, the compiler data flow intermediate representation has been further optimized, and Low-Level Virtual Machine (LLVM), an open source compiler infrastructure, has been added to the software’s compiler flow to accelerate code execution. National Instruments has conducted benchmarks ranging from real-world customer applications to low-level functions, and the new compiler delivers an average improvement of 20 percent across these benchmarks.

Online market

The LabView Add-On Developer Program establishes an online marketplace as part of the updated LabView Tools Network for developers to offer their free and paid toolkits. It offers a comprehensive location for LabView users to browse, download, evaluate and purchase the add-ons. More than 50 add-ons from NI and third-party developers are available, including code reuse libraries, templates, user interface (UI) controls and connectors to other software packages. Additionally, LabView users can use the VI Package Manager from JKI (http://jki.net), San Francisco, to connect directly to the LabView Tools Network from their desktop and manage add-on installations and updates.

Additionally, National Instruments has partnered with leading technology providers such as Xilinx Inc. (www.xilinx.com) to further open up the LabView environment. One example is the new IP Integration Node, which makes it possible for users to integrate any third-party FPGA intellectual property, into the LabView FPGA Module and offers direct compatibility with cores created with the Xilinx CORE Generator.

During the development of LabView 2010, NI’s research-and-development team used the new LabView Idea Exchange on www.ni.com/ideas to solicit feature ideas from customers. In addition to submitting new ideas, customers can use the exchange to collaborate on suggestions submitted by others and vote on their favorite features. Fourteen popular submissions from the LabView Idea Exchange were implemented in LabView 2010, including many that improve code documentation and organization.

JKI
http://jki.net

National Instruments Corp.
www.ni.com

Xilinx Inc.
www.xilinx.com

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