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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?

From the manufacturing test side of the semiconductor industry, we see modular and FPGA-based user-defined test systems being increasingly deployed instead of the big iron testers of the past. As mixed-signal products are being churned out, companies are faced with the decreasing unit price of their products but increasing test costs, so we predict the trend in 2010 is to step up their efforts in driving down the costs of test by adopting the FPGA-based modular instrumentation in the semiconductor industry.

Multicore utilization
As the growth rate in the adoption of multi-processor-based CPUs continues to accelerate, engineers and scientists will have to find innovative ways of exploiting these improvements in CPUs by adopting software frameworks that can handle parallel processing effectively. This is an area of growth that cuts across the boundaries of industry. We expect an upsurge in demand for software that can make fully utilize the multicore processing capabilities being offered in commercially available PCs.

After the painful economic crisis of 2008-2009 companies are looking to decrease R&D costs by quickly testing control models with real-world I/O so they can be quickly tweaked and refined. Rapid control prototyping (RCP) platforms typically provide a method to import mathematical models and run them on a controller with a real-time operating system connected to real-world I/O. For instance, automotive engineers can then test the models on a real engine or other component, or against a model of the vehicle or system on a simulator, known as hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation. HIL simulation helps companies lower their cost per test and increase their returns on investment (ROI). We expect to see a wide adoption of HIL in many different industries.

- Chandran Nair
??Managing Director
??National Instruments - SE Asia

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