National (Software) Instruments: The Biggest Product News & Announcements from NIWeek 2018 - Part 1

by Andre Girard | 06/01/2018

The VDC embedded team was recently in Austin, Texas to attend NIWeek 2018 – National Instruments’ 24th annual conference. For a broad overview of this show, please see the related VDC View from Dan Mandell “NIWeek 2018: Instrumenting Industries for Intelligence”. As always, the event brought together leading customers, thousands of engineers, and other industry experts to hear the latest announcements and highlights of NI’s role in supporting cutting-edge test and measurement deployments.

However, there has been a clear change over the past two years in NI’s product strategy, which is the increasing focus on software-based solutions. In 2017, the biggest news was the launch of LabVIEW NXG 1.0, bringing non-programming workflows for the acquisition and analysis of measurement data to customers making benchtop measurements. This year, keynote presentations were again dominated by software updates and introductions. These included updates to LabVIEW NXG, and the release of LabVIEW 2018, InstrumentStudio, FlexLogger, and SystemLink.This post examines some of the highlights of these recent software announcements.

LabVIEW 2018 and LabVIEW NXG 2.1

LabView

NI continues to actively invest in ongoing improvements to LabVIEW, the company’s venerable system-design platform and development environment. Updates for the LabVIEW 2018 release, announced at the show, aim to ease system integration and provide engineers with more control through improved hardware accessibility. Code support for Python that allows engineers to integrate and use Python applications and libraries, is a major new extension. Other additions include support for Vivado 2017.2 FPGA compile tools, an Azure cloud toolkit to allow utilization of the Microsoft cloud platform, and a 64-bit version of LabVIEW FPGA module.

Not content to rest of their laurels from last year’s debut, NI also announced updates to LabVIEW NXG, including the release of LabVIEW NXG version 2.1 and the beta availability of version 3.0. Among the important updates in NXG Version 2.1 is adding the capability to compile code to run in a web browser and partial compatibility with NI PXI and CompactDAQ hardware platforms. Broader support of the existing hardware lines will be necessary to enable the eventual merging of the two LabVIEW software platforms. NI plans to include more hardware support in each upcoming LabVIEW NXG release. Version 3.0 advances this goal by adding full support for the CompactDAQ platform.

FlexLogger

Flexlogger


FlexLogger is a new, stand-alone software product providing configuration-based workflows for the acquisition and logging of synchronized, mixed measurements that are often found in complex mechatronic systems. It enables rapid sensor configuration and mixed-signal data logging with CompactDAQ hardware without requiring programming. The offering will be particularly beneficial for engineers managing test configurations in industries such as automotive, aerospace, heavy equipment, and white goods that frequently need to verify system functionality in applications with multiple sensors. FlexLogger will also help organizations applying iterative design methodologies or building applications that face regulatory mandates by automatically logging test configuration metadata for easier change management and traceability.

View part 2 of our final roundup of NIWeek coverage highlighting National Instruments’ new InstrumentStudio and SystemLink offerings.



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