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Parade of Products at NI Week

Integrators and users converge on hot Austin, Texas, to hear about hot technologies.


National Instruments’ Senior Vice President of Research and Development Tim Dehne gave his usual rousing keynote address to kick off the Austin, Texas-based instrumentation and automation company’s 11th annual NI Week user conference Aug 16-18. As has come to be expected, Dehne unveiled many new products and technologies.

Second-day keynoter James Truchard, NI president and chief executive officer, focused his remarks on embedded systems. In recent years, NI has released tools for design, prototype and deployment of embedded systems on several platforms. Coupling embedded LabView programming with its Compact RIO (for reconfigurable input/output) platform, integrators have found many applications not imagined by the designers.

The Conference calendar called for several technology “Summits.” The Wireless Summit went before a standing-room-only crowd, reflecting great interest in the technology by conference attendees.

Math semantics

NI Week announcements included the unveiling of the Numerical Mathematics Consortum. Leading mathematics software suppliers and interested individuals from industry and academia are working together to define a consistent and manageable foundation for numerical programming. According to the announcement, the organization is committed to establishing an open mathematical semantics standard for numerical algorithm development to enable portability and reuse among tools, platforms and disciplines.

Numerical Mathematics Consortium founding members include INRIA (the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Computing), Maplesoft, Mathsoft and National Instruments.

New products unveiled at NI Week included:

• ExpressCard MXI (for Multisystem eXtension Interface) and PCMCIA (for Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) Cardbus interfaces for laptop computers can directly control a CompactPCI (for Compact Peripheral Component Interconnect) or PXI (for PCI eXtensions for Instrumentation) system. This new capability is useful for portable and mobile applications, such as in-vehicle data logging, machine condition monitoring and field tests including Radio Frequency (RF) spectral monitoring, in a variety of industries including automotive and military/aerospace.

• MXI-Express kits enable PCI Express control of PXI and CompactPCI computer systems. PCI Express, an evolution of the PCI bus, is the next-generation personal computer (PC) input/output (I/O) bus offered as a standard option on most new PCs. The increased throughput of MXI-Express makes it useful for applications such as signal intelligence and mixed-signal test in industries including communications, consumer electronics and military/aerospace.

• National Instruments now integrates Analog Devices’ ADIsimADC analog-to-digital converter (ADC) modeling software with NI SignalExpress to provide engineers with a virtual benchtop for device simulation and evaluation. With ADIsimADC and SignalExpress, mixed-signal design engineers can reach their design milestones more quickly by accurately simulating and verifying converter performance to select the most effective converters for their designs.

• Analog Devices (ADI) and National Instruments announced availability for the public a beta version of the NI LabView Embedded Module for ADI Blackfin Processors, which provides design engineers early access to a seamless, graphical dataflow development paradigm to directly target Blackfin Processors.

• Said to be the industry’s first PC-based multifunction data acquisition (DAQ) devices for PCI Express, the PCIe-6251 and PCIe-6259 DAQ devices combine the high-performance PCI Express bus with the technology advancements of National Instruments M Series DAQ. The new devices feature up to 32 analog channels with 16 bit, 1.25 MS/s sampling speed and 10 MHz digital I/O on up to 32 lines.

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