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Simplified instrument firmware development

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WITH the latest version of National Instruments’ NI-Device software, instrument developers writing bus-independent firmware for their ANSI/IEEE Standard 488.2 devices can shorten development time through enhanced functionality and support of instrument control via Ethernet.

NI-Device software handles most of the IEEE 488.2 protocol requirements, such as the I/O queues, device triggering and clearing and status reporting. A new feature of NI-Device 1.3 is the transparent handling of the IEEE 488.2 Message Exchange Protocol. Before this feature, instrument developers had to implement this protocol, requiring hours of extra development time. By automatically handling the task, NI-Device is said to give developers the freedom to quickly and easily write the instrument communication code and decrease their overall instrument development time.

In addition to GPIB, version 1.3 of NI-Device also works with a second I/O bus by supporting Ethernet through the VXI-11 protocol. Instrument designers writing firmware for their GPIB instrument with NI-Device can seamlessly add the second I/O bus with minimal effort.

With NI-Device 1.3, instrument manufacturers can write firmware for any instrument that runs a Windows XP/2000/NT/Me/98 operating system when the connectivity interface support is through an NI PCI-based GPIB interface (PCI-GPIB, PXI-GPIB, or PMC-GPIB) or an Ethernet interface. The Ethernet interface is an NI PCI-8212, NI PXI-8212 GPIB/Ethernet controller, or any Ethernet interface that is built into the PC hardware on the instrument.

National Instruments Australia (03) 9879 5166.

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