Industrial Automation & Sensors Blog

National Instruments Adds Time-based Synchronization to Industry-leading DAQ Solutions

by Jared Weiner | 06/06/2017

I recently attended National Instruments’ annual customer conference, NI Week. Each year, NI augments hands-on training sessions, partner showcases, and customer success stories with a series of announcements regarding new or enhanced product offerings. This year, as detailed by my colleague Dan Mandell, the focal point of these announcements was very clearly the unveiling of LabVIEW NXG. However, NI also revealed some important enhancements within its suite of CompactDAQ solutions, centered on the concept of Time Sensitive Networking (TSN).

TSN is a set of standards under the governance of the IEEE Standards Association intended to address the transmission of time-sensitive data over Ethernet networks. The key components of TSN – which include time synchronization, scheduling and traffic shaping, and the selection of communication paths, path reservations, and fault-tolerance – represent the requirements for a real-time communication system. Critical within systems containing mission-critical functions, TSN will play a heightened role in industrial networks as the breadth of the IIoT continues to expand, encompassing a substantially greater number of systems with mission- and time-critical responsibilities.

Not surprisingly, NI sits on the leading edge of this trend. In addition to its contributions to the development of the TSN standard itself, NI has rolled out TSN-related functionality within its CompactRIO controllers, NI-DAQmx software, and now its CompactDAQ hardware. NI’s new CompactDAQ chassis leverage TSN to enable accurate synchronization for distributed systems operating over extended distances. The goal, as always, is to empower engineers to quickly and efficiently collect and analyze data in support of their test and measurement applications.

NI has long been the overwhelming share leader within The Global Market for Data Acquisition Solutions, its dedication to embracing cutting-edge IIoT technologies such as TSN having enabled it to strengthen its leadership position despite constant challenges from other leading suppliers.