Over 3,400 attendees greeted National Instruments’ CEO James Truchard, “Dr. T,” as he gave the opening keynote recounting the development of graphical design. At the 18th annual user group conference VP of Marketing Eric Starkoff announce NI has now exceeded $1 billion in revenue.

The key feature of NI Week is always the release of the latest “gee whiz” technology and product announcements. Following is a summary of three of the most important ones relevant to Automation World readers.

NI has released what it calls the worldπs first RF Vector Signal Transceiver

The NI PXIe-5644R RF vector signal transceiver (VST), the first software-designed instrument, combines a vector signal generator and vector signal analyzer with a user-programmable FPGA into a single PXI modular instrument. Not only that, but engineers can transform the vector signal transceiver into a new instrument or enhance its existing functionality using NI LabVIEW system design software.

“A quarter-century ago, NI redefined instrumentation with LabVIEW system design software, and now we are doing it again with our vector signal transceiver,” said Truchard. “When we first started our company, we envisioned the central role software would play in instrumentation, and now we are truly seeing LabVIEW revolutionize the way engineers approach RF design and test.”

LabVIEW 2012

NI released the new version of its core platform, LabVIEW 2012. With it users gain ready-to-run starting points for a breadth of LabVIEW applications and access to new training options that help improve the quality of their systems. These new features demonstrate NI’s ongoing commitment to provide a platform that accelerates the success of any measurement or control system and ensures that users can innovate with confidence.

“Building a system fast is important, but it’s equally important to build it right — that means using solid architectures and proven development practices,” said Truchard. “New features and resources in LabVIEW 2012 promote training and drive development practices to help our customers deliver high-performance and high-quality systems in less time, thereby minimizing development and maintenance costs.”

LabVIEW 2012 Features
Templates and sample projects
Self-paced online training
Improved stability
New tools for high-performance analysis and advanced image processing
Productivity enhancements powered by the user community
Mobile apps for display and control on an iPad

Stand-Alone NI CompactDAQ System for High-Performance Embedded Measurements and Logging

The new stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system, a high-performance embedded measurement and logging platform comes with a built-in dual-core Intel processor for running data acquisition, online analysis and logging software. With the NI CompactDAQ platform, engineers can customize a complete measurement system using LabVIEW or take advantage of over 600 companies in the NI Alliance Partner Network for a custom turnkey data-logging solution.

“We easily upgraded to the stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system with almost no changes to our LabVIEW code,” said Tim Carlier, president and founder of Integrated Test & Measurement. “With the new embedded data-logging platform, we can run our iTestSystem software and log synchronized sensor data directly to the device, eliminating the need for a separate PC and drastically reducing system costs and maintenance requirements.”

System Features
Intel Core i7 dual-core processor, 2 GB RAM and 32 GB nonvolatile storage.
Compatible with LabVIEW 2012.
8-slot chassis with more than 50 C Series I/O module options.
USB, Ethernet and serial ports.
Stream data to disk at up to 30 MB/s.

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