National Instruments LabVIEW 8.5

National Instruments (Nasdaq:NATI) LabVIEW 8.5 is the latest version of the graphical system design platform for test, control and embedded system development. LabVIEW 8.5 simplifies multicore as well as FPGA-based application development with its intuitive parallel dataflow language. LabVIEW 8.5 running on multicore processors can deliver faster test throughput, more efficient processor-intensive analysis and more reliable real-time systems on dedicated processor cores. LabVIEW 8.5 also extends the LabVIEW platform further into embedded and industrial applications with the new statechart design module for modeling and implementing system behavior as well as new I/O libraries and analysis functions for industrial monitoring and control.

With the parallel dataflow language of LabVIEW, users can easily map their applications to multicore and FPGA architectures for data streaming, control, analysis and signal processing. Building on the automatic multithreading capability of earlier versions, LabVIEW 8.5 scales user applications based on the total available number of cores and delivers enhanced thread-safe drivers and libraries to improve throughput for RF, high-speed digital I/O and mixed-signal test applications.

The inherent parallelism of LabVIEW also makes it an ideal platform for developing FPGA applications. LabVIEW 8.5 continues to simplify the task of programming FPGAs with an enhanced FPGA Project Wizard that automates I/O configuration, IP development and overall setup for common I/O, counter/timer and encoder applications. Using the FPGA Project Wizard, engineers and scientists can automate the generation of more complex high-speed DMA data transfer code. Additionally, LabVIEW 8.5 offers multichannel filtering and PID control functions commonly needed in machine automation to significantly reduce FPGA resources for high-channel-count applications.

Statecharts are commonly used to design state machines to model the behavior of real-time and embedded systems to depict event occurrences and responses for digital communication protocols, machine controllers and system-protection applications. LabVIEW 8.5 adds a new statechart module to help engineers and scientists design and simulate these event-based systems using familiar, high-level statechart notations based on the Unified Modeling Language (UML) standard. Because the LabVIEW Statechart Module is based on the LabVIEW graphical programming language, engineers and scientists have a single platform to design, prototype and deploy their systems quickly, combining familiar statechart notation with real-world I/O running on deterministic real-time or FPGA-based systems.

LabVIEW 8.5 features include:

  • Support for Freescale ColdFire processors and an evaluation bundle with QNX operating system support
  • Project file management tools and graphical code merging for team-based development
  • Low-level memory management tools for performance optimization
  • New optimized BLAS linear algebra libraries
  • Improved edge detection for image processing and optimized algorithms for various demodulators and channel coding schemes
  • Control design and simulation enhancements including Model Predictive Control (MPC) and analytical PID controller design
  • Improved support of .m file scripts

LabVIEW 8.5 is priced from $1,199; €1,249; ¥167,000

More info:
» NI LabVIEW 8.5 Simplifies Multicore, FPGA Application Development
» National Instruments LabVIEW 8.5