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National Instruments: Offering virtual instrumentation-based solutions

Posted: 08 Jul 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:pxi? pci extensions for instrumentation? virtual instrumentation? measurement? automation?

In its bid to differentiate itself from other measurement solution providers, National Instruments pioneered the development of virtual instrumentation solutions for the measurement and automation sectors. The company, through NI Taiwan president Sung-Ping Chi, announced that that they will advance the PCI Extensions for Instrumentation (PXI) specification in the second half of the year.

PXI was developed to satisfy the needs of a variety of instrumentation and automation users who require ever increasing performance, functionality, and reliability from compact rugged systems that are easy to integrate and use. Existing industry standards are leveraged by PXI to benefit from high component availability at lower costs. Most importantly, by maintaining software compatibility with industry-standard personal computers, PXI allows industrial customers to use the same software tools and environments with which they are familiar.

Sung-Ping Chi says PXI is a modular instrumentation platform with mechanical, electronics and software-like features. PXI is not only built on the high-speed PCI bus architecture used in desktop PCs, it also extends the CompactPCI specification. He claims that PXI defines the industrial PCI bus architecture and offers superior mechanical integrity, easy systems integration. It also simplifies hardware module design for easy installation and removal.

Based on the PC platform, this virtual instrumentation solution uses the Windows operating system plus the I/O interface card from the peripheral system to replace the traditional test instrument devices such as oscilloscopes.

In addition to the hardware solution, the company has released a measurement and automation software called LabVIEW. Compared with the speed of traditional alphabet-based editing solutions, LabVIEW reputedly offers an intuitive, industry-standard graphic control environment.

? Mike Pan

Electronic Engineering Times ? Taiwan

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