Package offers control-by-Net
Recently out of the blocks from National Instruments (NI) is LabVIEWTM 6.1. The software package builds on the previous version, 6i (see DN 10.16.2000, p. 33), which permitted engineers to share information with colleagues over the Web. This latest incarnation allows engineers to view (in real time) and control measurement and automation applications from any location via a standard Web browser. The LabVIEW development environment also has new measurement capabilities such as patent-pending, point-by-point analysis libraries for acquiring and processing data a single point at a time at high speed—as in closed-loop control.
When asked how NI decided what to pack into version 6.1, Duncan Hudson, senior LabVIEW software developer, said, "With every release, National Instruments builds upon the feedback of our customers. With LabVIEW 6.1, we've used this feedback to deliver the most requested features. For example, the remote panel feature has been a natural evolution from DataSocket, to front panel connections, to remote monitoring in LabVIEW 6i, and now to the remote control possible with 6.1. Each iteration combined customer feedback and advancements in technology."
A key feature of 6.1 is that design engineers can embed their application's front panel in a Web browser, cutting time in developing remote applications. Other team members in any location can connect to view the application.
But how has 6.1 been received by the users? Beta tester Allan Pakett, a consultant with AGP Engineering (San Diego, CA) notes a client's application that takes 12 hours to run. "At the conclusion of the test, the operator makes minor changes and starts a new run. With the new remote panel feature in 6.1, my client can control the application remotely and change test parameters through any Web browser from home, minimizing travel time and costs."
LabVIEW 6.1 works with Windows XP, giving engineers that operating system's increased networking features and improved stability over earlier Windows packages. NI developers have also provided version 6.1 with wireless infrared data-communications protocols, allowing applications that communicate with wireless devices.
Further enhancing the software package's utility are new versions of the LabVIEW Real-Time Module and the Datalogging and Supervisory Control Module. National Instruments, www.ni.com. Enter 586
The company's Navigator™ and Pilot™ Motion Processors feature a new multi-chip, multi-axis synchronization capability, allowing for four axes of motion to occur between any combination of the chips. The new capability enhances coordinated motion by synchronizing physically remote or distributed chips within microseconds. The feature works by distributing one signal over several PMD motion chips.
Performance Motion Devices - PMD, www.pmdcorp.com. Enter 587
QBM technology is designed as a module- or board-based technology, reportedly serving as a cost-saving, performance-enhancing alternative to DDR-333 and DDR2 modules, as well as non-DDR memory technologies. It combines current DDR devices with the bandwidth anticipated from DDR2 and ADT future memory devices.
Kentron Technologies Inc., www.kentrontech.com. Enter 588
The NuPRO-780DV single board computer is designed to support PCI/ISA high drive bus, on-board MiniPCI socket, and an auto-select 133/100 MHz front side bus. The computer supports Intel's embedded 815E chipset and up to 1.26 GHz CPUs, including Intel's Pentium III and VIA's C3 processor architectures.
ADLINK Technology Inc., www.adlinktechnology.com. Enter 589
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