National Instruments big on progress
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - National Instruments big on progress
National Instruments big on progress
25 August 2005
NATIONAL Instruments used the centre stage of its recent annual instrumentation conference,
NIWeek 2005, to make a number of major product announcements.
1. MXI-Express delivers PCI Express control of PXI MXI-Express with a 40 percent performance
increase and a 33 percent price reduction, compared to PCI remote control of PXI with MXI-4.
2. NI’slaunchof whatit claimsis the industry’s first PC-based multifunction data acquisition (DAQ)
devices for PCI Express.
3. The beta release of the NI LabView embedded technology for directly targeting Analog Devices
Inc. (ADI’s) Blackfin processors.
4. The integration of ADIsimADC analogue-to-digital converter modelling software with NI
SignalExpress to improve component simulation and evaluation.
In addition,concurrentlywithNIWeek,the PXISystemsAlliance officially announced its PXI Express
specification, which integrates PCI Express and CompactPCI Express technology into the PXI
NIWeek2005 – heldinmid-AugustinAustin,Texas,USA where NI has its headquarters – attracted a
record number of over 2500 attendees from 47 countries including Vietnam, Uruguay and Iceland.
Also attending were editors from 20 countries, including representation by Process & Control
There were over250 technical sessionsandthree summits: on RF and wireless communications, on
sound and vibration, and on embedded engineering and control design.
More on the announcements follows.
MXI-Express kits allow PCI Express control
ENGINEERSnow can use NIMXI-ExpresskitsforPCIExpress control of PXI and CompactPCI systems.
PCI Express, an evolution of the PCI bus, is the next-generation PC I/O bus offered as a standard
option on most new PCs.
With 250 MB/s of dedicated bandwidth available in each direction per lane, PCI Express delivers
throughputforhighspeedandhigh-channel-count applications. Based on PCI Express, MXI-Express
delivers real-world sustained bandwidth of up to 110 MB/s to PXI systems, a more than 40 percent
increase compared to PCI remote control of PXI with MXI-4.
The increasedthroughputof MXI-Express makes it ideal for applications such as signal intelligence
and mixed-signal test in for manufacturing, communications, consumer electronics, and
military/aerospace industries.MXI-Expressisavailable intwoconfigurationsdesignedtoreduce cost
33-40 percent compared to prior-generation solutions.
NIPXI-PCIe8361kit includesaPCIExpressboardwithone x1 (“by one”) cabled PCI Express link. This
kit,whichincludesthe PCIExpresshostboard,PXIsystemcontrollermoduleand cable, represents a
33 percent reduction in the price of PXI remote control compared to prior generation MXI-3 and
NI PXI-PCIe8362 kit provides two x1 PCI Express links from the host PC, each of which can cable to
individual PXI chassis. This gives engineers control of two PXI systems from one PCI Express slot in
the PC, saving a slot and reducing cost by 40 percent for a two-chassis system.
MXI-Express link is transparent to software applications and drivers, so industry-standard desktop
computers, servers, and workstations can control PXI systems without additional programming.
PCI eXtensions for Instrumentation (PXI) is an open specification governed by the PXI Systems
Alliance that defines the CompactPCI-based platform, said to be ruggedly optimised for test,
measurementandcontrol.Itissupportedbymore than65 membercompanies,and more than 1150
products are available. PXI products are compatible with the CompactPCI industrial computer
standardand offeradditional features,suchasenvironmental specifications,standardised software,
and built-in timing and synchronisation.
PCI Express multifunction DAQ devices
NI has released the industry’s first PC-based multifunction data acquisition (DAQ) devices for PCI
The newNI PCIe-6251 and NIPCIe-6259 DAQ devicesreportedlycombine the high-performance PCI
Expressbuswithtechnologyadvancementsof NIMSeriesDAQto offerfastanalogue and digital I/O
with the dedicated per-slot bandwidth of PCI Express. The new devices feature up to 32 analogue
channels with 16 bit, 1.25 MS/s sampling speed and 10 MHz digital I/O on up to 32 lines.
“National Instruments is helping drive the adoption of PCI Express bus technology in the
measurement and automation market with this announcement of the industry’s first PCI Express
multifunction data acquisition devices to complement our existing PCI Express products for image
acquisition, GPIB and remote control of PXI systems with MXI-Express,” said Tim Dehne, NI senior
vice president of R&D. “PCI Express provides dedicated, high speed bandwidth for measurement
devices, while also delivering software compatibility with existing PCI products. This combination
opensupnewapplicationsfor virtual instrumentation and continues to take advantage of the high
performance and low cost of PC technology.”
PCIExpressisa highperformance,point-to-pointserial interconnectwithascalable architecture that
providesbandwidthfromtwoto30 timesthat of traditional PCI. The NI PCIe-6251 and NI PCIe-6259
devices use a x1(“by one”) PCI Express connector that provides 250 MB/s bandwidth per device. In
addition, these and other PCI Express devices from NI are completely software-compatible with
traditional PCI, helping vendors and users preserve investments in existing driver and application
As withotherNIM SeriesDAQdevices,the new NIPCIe-6251and NIPCIe-6259 DAQ devices feature
the NI-STC 2 system controller, the NI-PGIA 2 amplifier, and NI-MCal calibration technology for
increased performance, accuracy, and I/O connections. The two new devices are part of the high-
speed M Series family, offering up to 32 analogue input channels with 16-bit, 1.25 MS/s sampling
speed;upto fouranalogue outputchannelswith16-bit,2.8 MHz sampling speed and 32 high-speed
digital I/O (DIO) channels with 10 MHz sampling speed.
The devices also include additional static DIO lines and two 32-bit counter/timers. The new PCI
Express M Series multifunction data acquisition devices include time-saving NI measurement
servicessoftware,includingNI-DAQmx driver software and VI Logger Lite data-logging software. In
addition,all examplesandapplicationsoriginally written for PCI-based MSeries devices are said to
be compatible with these new PCI Express counterparts.
LabView embedded module for ADI Blackfin processors
ANALOG Devices Inc. (ADI) and NI announced availability for the public beta version of the NI
LabView embedded module for ADI Blackfin processors, which provides design engineers early
access to a seamless, graphical dataflow development paradigm to directly target Blackfin
With this new intuitive software, more engineers can take advantage of embedded technology to
increase productivity and reduce time to application, the companies say.
“Analog Devices is excited to collaborate with National Instruments to significantly increase the
productivityof embeddeddesignersby combiningLabView graphical programmingwithourBlackfin
processorsanddevelopmenttools,”saidJerryMcGuire, general manager, convergent platform and
services group at Analog Devices.
“The new LabView Embedded technology provides a development environment that is at the
forefront of the industry,” said McGuire. “This LabView module offers simplified embedded
programmingfordomainexpertsanda high-level graphical tool for traditional design engineers as
well as low-level optimised algorithms, on-chip peripherals and component drivers, helping
companies deliver products to market in record time.”
The beta version builds on LabView Embedded technology and includes Blackfin-specific, hand-
optimisedanalysisandsignal processing functions; integrated I/O devices, such as audio and video
DACs, ADCs, and CODECs; and on-chip debugging.
Engineers can completely design applications using intuitive LabView graphical dataflow
programming paradigm and integrate legacy C code within LabView diagrams for extended
functionality.The newLabViewsoftwarereducestimetoapplicationbyseamlessly integrating with
ADI’s VisualDSP++ development and debugging environment for real-time, interactive debugging
and deployment directly to Blackfin processors.
The beta version also is said to provide easy connectivity to the extensive range of NI test and
measurement hardware for deploying external stimulation and test methodologies early in the
“Traditionally, engineers have relied on a limited number of experts to program their embedded
applications through low-level, text-based programming languages, such as assembly and C,” said
Tim Dehne,NIseniorvice presidentof R&D. He expects the collaboration will increase productivity
among engineers, giving them time to develop more embedded design ideas.
ADI’s Blackfin processors are called the first in a new breed of 16/32-bit embedded processors,
combining a 32-bit RISC-like instruction set with 16-bit dual multiply accumulate (MAC) signal
processing functionality and ease-of-use attributes found in general-purpose microcontrollers.
DynamicPowerManagementenablesbreakthroughpowerconsumptionrequiredfor many battery-
operated applications by allowing simultaneous adjustment of operating frequency and voltage
underapplicationcontrol.Because of code compatibility, all Blackfin processors are said to provide
portability of design.
The expected launch of the NI LabView embedded module for ADI Blackfin processors is later in
ADIsimADC converter models in SignalExpress
NIannouncedthat itcan integrate AnalogDevices’ ADIsimADC analogue-to-digital converter (ADC)
modelling software with NI SignalExpress to provide a virtual benchtop for device simulation and
With these tools, engineers can take advantage of a seamless transition between simulating and
physicallyevaluatingacomponentsignal chainto verify real-world performance against simulation
In the past,engineersseekingnewcomponentsspentone ormore weeksreviewingdata sheets and
convertersamplestoselectthe correct chips for their designs. With ADIsimADC and SignalExpress,
mixed-signal design engineers can reach their design milestones more quickly by accurately
simulating and verifying converter performance to select the most effective converters for their
designs. These tools help engineers reduce time spent selecting and evaluating converters from a
scale of weeks to days.
“Analog Devices and National Instruments have worked together to deliver a solution for
comprehensivelyassessingADIconverterperformance quickly through NI SignalExpress software,”
said Brad Brannon, systems applications engineer in the High Speed Converter group at Analog
Devices. “WithSignalExpress,engineerscandefine complex signal inputs forourADC models.Thisis
particularlyuseful forsimulatingthe performance of ADCsincellularCDMA and OFDMwireless data
NI SignalExpress is an interactive software environment that provides a virtual benchtop for
acquiring, comparing, automating and storing measurements from standalone and PC-based
With SignalExpress, engineers can easily take mixed-signal measurements to characterise and
validate their prototypes without programming. By integrating ADIsimADC with SignalExpress,
engineerscanapplycustominputstothe models and perform interactive signal chain analysis on a
large selection of ADI’s ADCs.
“Reviewing data sheets and setting up evaluation boards in the lab occupies priceless time in the
design cycle,” said Richard McDonell, senior product manager at National Instruments. “In fact,
designteams often avoid updating their existing designs with higher-performance and more cost-
effectivecomponentsbecauseof the time requiredforevaluatingandselectingnew converters.The
ADIsimADCconvertermodelling capabilities in NI SignalExpress give engineers the ability to more
accurately and fully characterise components for their new and updated designs.”
Withthe virtual evaluationboardandvirtual benchtop capabilitiesof SignalExpress and ADIsimADC,
engineers can go from simulation to prototyping with minimal or no time spent characterising
physical evaluation boards, the companies suggest. This helps engineers eliminate a step in the
product development process, resulting in a shorter time to market with minimal risk.