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LabVIEW 8 promoted at NI conference

Posted: 15 Mar 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LabVIEW 8? NIDays? virtual instrumentation? National Instruments?

The Southeast Asian leg of National Instruments' NIDays virtual instrumentation conference ended recently in Makati City, Philippines. The conference focused on promoting LabVIEW 8, a graphical programming environment used for data acquisition, instrument control and industrial automation.

Chandran Nair, managing director of NI Southeast Asia, observed that products todayfrom cars to shoesare becoming more complex due to the increased integration of electronics. "Distributed intelligence is our future. People like you and me, and other scientists and engineers have to enter this field if we want to be competitive. We can meet these challenges by providing a common platform for virtual instrumentation," said Nair.

A hands-on introduction to LabVIEW was given while presentations were under way. Participants took part in simple exercises that showed them the basics of the instrumentation software.

Virtual instrument
A LabVIEW program, also referred to as a virtual instrument (VI), consists of two windows: the front panel and block diagram. The front panel is where the VI's user interface is created, and is simultaneously seen in the block diagram. VIs are created by simply dragging and dropping specific controls and indicators onto a screen.

According to Teo Boon Chen, applications engineering manager at NI, LabVIEW 8 involved almost twice the development effort of LabVIEW 7 Express, and it comes with new technologies, such as a project-based system for managing codes, sharing code with source-code control, a diagram disable structure, an instrument driver finder and a utility for creating plug-and-play instrument drivers.

The software also includes updates to the LabVIEW Real-Time, FPGA, PDA, and Datalogging and Supervisory Control Modules.

Other speakers focused on the use of LabVIEW in development, such as in the analysis, design and implementation of a microscopic position control system; development of an IC handler; designing an RF and wireless communications system; and developing an automated test system from start to finish.

NI also demonstrated its other product offerings, including an automated ball-bearing sorting system, data acquisition devices, programmable automation controllers for factory automation and a PCB testing system.

- Michael Martin Lea?o
Electronics Engineering Times-Asia

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