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NI tips trend toward FPGA-based systems, HIL simulation

Posted: 14 Jan 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:HIL simulation? FPGA? wireless data acquisition? rapid control prototyping?

Chandran Nair

Nair: Companies are looking to decrease R&D costs by quickly testing control models with real-world I/O.

South East Asia is beginning to see a rebound in the economy in late 2009. Looking forward to 2010 from a business perspective, the energy, telecommunications, defense, and infrastructure sectors are forecasted to project strong growth rates. Electronics manufacturing is also expected to show modest gains. 2010 will definitely be a year of cautious optimism. The strengthening of the economy in late 2009 cannot be taken for granted and hence we will be monitoring our progress carefully. All the indicators currently lead us to expect a strong expansion of business across ASEAN.

Zooming in from a technology perspective, we foresee tremendous interest in the implementation, research and monitoring of alternative or green energy technologies. A related area of growth we expect is that of wireless data acquisition systems or wireless sensor networks that provide critical data for smart grid integration.

FPGA-based control
In addition to reliable monitoring systems, we are now seeing FPGA-based real-time control systems being deployed in the power sector. We anticipate this trend to strengthen in 2010. For many years, the power sector has been a laggard in the industryrelying on the outdated, non-intelligent Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) as their main control systems rather than keeping up with technology advancements to adopt modern control systems. We envisage this to change. With the need for real-time measurement and control applications along with the requirements to put intelligence in control nodes in smart grids, we will be seeing a tremendous adoption of intelligent programmable automation controllers (PACs) in the power sector.

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