National Instruments has announced LabVIEW 2010, the latest version of the graphical programming environment for design, test, measurement and control applications.
LabVIEW 2010 delivers time savings with new features such as off-the-shelf compiler technologies that execute code an average of 20 percent faster as well as a comprehensive marketplace for evaluating and purchasing add-on toolkits for easily integrating custom functionality into the platform.
For field-programmable gate array (FPGA) users, LabVIEW 2010 delivers a new IP Integration Node that makes it possible to integrate any third-party FPGA IP into LabVIEW applications and is compatible with the Xilinx CORE Generator.
National Instruments also implemented more than a dozen new features suggested by lead users through the LabVIEW Idea Exchange, an online feedback forum that marks a significant new level of collaboration between NI R&D and customers.
Introduced in 1986, LabVIEW abstracts the complexity of programming by giving users drag-and-drop, graphical function blocks and wires that resemble a flowchart to develop their sophisticated systems.
LabVIEW offers integration with thousands of hardware devices, provides hundreds of built-in libraries for advanced analysis and data visualisation, and is scalable across multiple OSs and targets such as x86 processors, real-time OSs (RTOSs) and FPGAs.
From the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robotics kit to the CERN Large Hadron Collider, a large spectrum of users worldwide has adopted LabVIEW.
“LabVIEW users are some of the most innovative people in the world, and their input helps us make LabVIEW an ever more effective and productive programming tool,” said Jeff Kodosky, National Instruments business and technology fellow, cofounder and ‘father of LabVIEW.’
Executing Code Faster
Key to the productivity delivered by LabVIEW is the compiler, which abstracts tasks such as memory allocation and thread management. The compiler hierarchy has evolved over the lifetime of LabVIEW to become smarter and more optimised.
With LabVIEW 2010, the compiler data flow intermediate representation has been further optimised, and Low-Level Virtual Machine (LLVM), an open source compiler infrastructure has been added to the software’s compiler flow to accelerate code execution.
Extending the LabVIEW Platform through Partnerships
With the release of LabVIEW 2010, National Instruments is introducing the LabVIEW Add-On Developer Program to give thousands of partners the opportunity to expand the platform and introduce custom functionality into LabVIEW.
The program establishes an online marketplace as part of the updated LabVIEW Tools Network for developers to offer their free and paid toolkits and a comprehensive location for LabVIEW users to browse, download, evaluate and purchase the add-ons.
Additionally, National Instruments has partnered with leading technology providers such as Xilinx to further open up the LabVIEW environment.
Delivering What Customers Want
During the development of LabVIEW 2010, NI R&D used the new LabVIEW Idea Exchange on their website to solicit feature ideas from customers. In addition to submitting new ideas, customers can use the exchange to collaborate on suggestions submitted by others and vote on their favourite features.
Fourteen popular submissions from the LabVIEW Idea Exchange were implemented in LabVIEW 2010 including many that improve code documentation and organisation.
Adding Functionality for Large Application Development
For more advanced users and development groups, LabVIEW 2010 includes new features that improve interfaces to reusable code, group VIs and their hierarchy for faster build times as well as separate the VI source code from the compiled version to aid in source code management.
These capabilities are ideal for large group development where code maintenance across many users, software versions and computer platforms is critical.