National Instruments (NI)announced a collaboration with CERN, an intergovernmental research organization building the world’s largest and most advanced scientific instruments. The objective is to push the standardization of all CERN control systems to Linux 64-bit OSs, with goals to boost system performance, design cost-effective distributed embedded control systems and enlarge opportunities for small and medium enterprises with expertise in NI and open-source technologies.
NI has been working with the European Organization for Nuclear Research, more commonly known as CERN, since the early 1990s on applications that help explain what the universe is made of and how it began. Notable collaborations include the Large Hadron Collider collimation system, where applications developed with LabVIEW system design software control stepping motors on approximately 120 NI PXI systems, and the MedAustron ion beam cancer therapy center, for which CERN received three awards at NIWeek 2013. These common developments have resulted in valuable training for engineers in the fast-growing embedded systems market, and have led to long-term maintainable systems in mission-critical applications.
A recent collaboration between CERN and NI concentrated on CERN’s infrastructure improvement plans. Prior to the public release of LabVIEW support for 64-bit Linux, the Engineering Department (EN) Industrial Controls and Engineering (ICE) Group at CERN, acted as a lead user to help NI define and refine the software features needed to ensure CERN’s success in continuing to use NI tools. By working with CERN early on to learn about its upgrade requirements, NI was able to prioritize key deliverables and gain valuable feedback from CERN to increase the quality of support for 64-bit Linux.
“The EN-ICE Group appreciates the engagement of NI to develop 64-bit software for CERN in a collaborative way,” said Adriaan Rijllart, section leader of the EN-ICE Group. “This very successful initiative is paving the way for exemplary partnerships between fundamental research organizations and industry.”
Shelley Gretlein, director of platform software at NI said “NI is pleased to have advanced lead users like CERN apply their extensive Linux experience in helping NI continue to release leading-edge products.”
In 2014, LabVIEW 64-bit for Linux was officially released to the public. The support for this OS ensures that CERN, as well as a vast majority of other leading-edge research laboratories and projects around the world, can continue to benefit from the increased productivity of LabVIEW in an open and sustainable operational environment.
“NI values the significance and benefits of Linux and continues to invest in R&D to ensure the compatibility of customizable commercial off-the-shelf technologies with open-source platforms,” said Stefano Concezzi, vice president of the scientific research segment at NI.
NI and CERN are committed to accelerating scientific innovation and discovery. “The vision of NI and CERN overlap very much. That vision is to improve society with our technologies,” said Johannes Gutleber, a CERN staff member and senior scientist.