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NI LabVIEW 8.6 Meets Parallel Programming Challenge to Drive Performance

2008-08-04 09:00:00

NI LabVIEW 8.6 Meets Parallel Programming Challenge to Drive Performance

New Version of Software Empowers Users to Take Advantage of Multicore, FPGA

                         and Wireless Technologies

    AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 4, 2008 /EMWNews/ -- NIWeek --

National Instruments (Nasdaq: NATI) today announced LabVIEW 8.6, the latest

version of the graphical system design software platform for control, test

and embedded system development. Building on the inherent parallel nature

of graphical programming, LabVIEW 8.6 delivers new tools to help engineers

and scientists take advantage of the benefits of multicore processors,

field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and wireless communication.


    To take advantage of these technologies, engineers currently are forced

to work with multiple tools which are not designed for parallel

programming. By using the latest version of LabVIEW, engineers now have a

single platform to increase test and control system throughput with

multicore processors, reduce the development time of high-performance

FPGA-based advanced control and embedded prototyping applications and more

easily create distributed measurement systems to acquire data remotely.

    "To meet the performance and efficiency demands of cutting-edge

applications such as controlling robotic systems, testing wireless devices

and designing hybrid vehicles, users must have the ability to quickly

incorporate the latest technologies such as multicore processors, FPGAs and

wireless communication," said Dr. James Truchard, president, CEO and

cofounder of National Instruments. "LabVIEW offers the shortest path to

apply these technologies using parallel programming while providing users

the flexibility to define their solutions with application-specific


    Achieve Supercomputing with Multicore Processors

    The opportunity for breakthrough performance in test and measurement

systems increases as standard systems gain more processing cores. Expanding

on the built-in multithreading technology of the LabVIEW platform, LabVIEW

8.6 offers supercomputing performance through multicore-optimized features

which can help engineers process increasing amounts of measurement data to

meet advanced control application challenges and increase test system


    To increase performance, LabVIEW 8.6 includes more than 1,200 advanced

analysis functions optimized for faster math and signal processing on

multicore systems for control and test applications. Vision applications

can benefit from multicore systems by using innovative image processing

functions included in the NI Vision Development Module for LabVIEW 8.6 that

automatically distributes data sets across multiple cores. Also using new

multicore features, test engineers can develop applications to test

wireless devices up to four times faster with the latest version of the NI

Modulation Toolkit for LabVIEW, and control system engineers can execute

simulation models in parallel up to five times faster with the LabVIEW 8.6

Control Design and Simulation Module. Additionally, engineers now can

better identify parallel sections of code using a new feature that

reorganizes LabVIEW diagrams.

    Add FPGA Technology to an Application -- No Digital Design Expertise


    With the intuitive dataflow paradigm of LabVIEW, engineers can use the

LabVIEW FPGA Module and FPGA-based commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware

such as NI CompactRIO to customize measurement and control systems for

increased performance in applications such as semiconductor validation and

advanced machine control. LabVIEW 8.6 continues to make FPGAs more

accessible to domain experts without experience in low-level hardware

description languages or board-level design.

    LabVIEW 8.6 further reduces FPGA-based development time with new

features that engineers can use to program CompactRIO programmable

automation controllers (PACs) directly without having to separately program

the FPGA. In addition, new simulation features reduce the number of

time-consuming compilations by validating an FPGA application on the

desktop. LabVIEW 8.6 also offers new IP development and integration

features including the new fast Fourier transform (FFT) IP core to offload

spectral analysis functions which increases the performance in applications

such as machine condition monitoring and RF test. Engineers easily can

import existing or third-party IP into LabVIEW FPGA using the new

component-level IP (CLIP) node.

    Acquire and Analyze Data From Remote Systems With Wireless Technology

    As wireless technology advances, engineers have the opportunity to take

measurements in isolated locations. Using wireless technology with LabVIEW

8.6, engineers can extend applications into new areas of data acquisition,

such as environmental and structural monitoring. The flexibility of LabVIEW

graphical programming and the ubiquity of Wi-Fi network infrastructure make

it easy to incorporate wireless connectivity into new or existing PC-based

measurement and control systems.

    With support for the latest wireless data acquisition devices and

drivers for 22 third-party wireless sensors, LabVIEW 8.6 simplifies

programming of distributed measurement systems with a single software

platform. Engineers now can configure data acquisition applications easily

to use NI Wi-Fi data acquisition (DAQ) hardware without making code changes

in LabVIEW 8.6. New 3-D visualization tools in LabVIEW 8.6 help engineers

integrate remote measurements with design models to accelerate design


    Interact with LabVIEW Applications Using Any Web-Enabled Device

    As constant connectivity between people and systems becomes more

prevalent, engineers are using the Web to interact with systems from any

location on a variety of devices. With LabVIEW 8.6, engineers now can

convert LabVIEW applications into Web services on desktop and real-time

hardware that they can access from any web-enabled device such as smart

phones and PCs. With this feature, engineers can develop remote user

interfaces for their LabVIEW applications using standard web technologies

such as HTML, JavaScript and Flash.

    Readers interested in learning more about LabVIEW 8.6 and downloading

the evaluation software can visit LabVIEW

platform now comes on DVD for easier installation and includes an

evaluation mode for the entire LabVIEW platform. Members of the LabVIEW

service maintenance and support program will automatically receive LabVIEW

8.6 in the mail or can download the new version at the Services Resource

Center at Readers whose software is part of a

company-wide Volume License Agreement (VLA) should contact their VLA

administrators for installation instructions.

    About National Instruments

    National Instruments ( is transforming the way

engineers and scientists design, prototype and deploy systems for

measurement, automation and embedded applications. NI empowers customers

with off-the-shelf software such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective

hardware and sells to a broad base of more than 25,000 different companies

worldwide, with no one customer representing more than 3 percent of revenue

and no one industry representing more than 10 percent of revenue.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 4,800 employees and direct

operations in nearly 40 countries. For the past nine years, FORTUNE

magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

Readers can obtain investment information from the company's investor

relations department by calling (512) 683-5090, e-mailing [email protected] or


Pricing and Contact Information LabVIEW 8.6 priced* from $1,199; euro 1,149; 170,000 yen Web: * All prices are subject to change without notice. 11500 N Mopac Expwy, Austin, Texas 78759-3504 Tel: (800) 258-7022, Fax: (512) 683-9300 E-mail: [email protected] NI CompactRIO, LabVIEW, National Instruments, NI, and NIWeek are trademarks of National Instruments. Other product and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies. Editor Contact: Julia Betts, (512) 683-8165 Reader Contact: Ernest Martinez, (800) 258-7022

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Blake Masterson

Freelance Writer, Journalist and Father of 5

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