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NI stresses on innovation, launches LabVIEW 2010!

October 12, 2010 1 comment

National Instruments hosted the the annual India LabVIEW Conference 2010 in Bangalore today, where it launched LabVIEW 2010 – the  latest version of its graphical programming environment for design, test, measurement and control applications.

Jayaram Pillai, MD, NI-India Russia and Arabia.

Jayaram Pillai, MD, NI-India Russia and Arabia.

Jayaram Pillai, managing director, NI-India Russia and Arabia, delivered the India LabVIEW Conference 2010 keynote by discussing how LabVIEW in India has evolved from a product to a powerful ecosystem.

“Innovation is key,” said Pillai: “I earlier cribbed about innovations not happening in India. Now, I have been seeing a lot of innovations over the last five years. Today, people are very involved. They understand situations better, and therefore, innovations are possible. Growth has to come with everybody involved. Innovations are required to solve problems. We need more innovations!”

Pillai presented an example of the solar powered milk refrigeration system as an example of innovation. This is a very simple solution addressing  a massive problem, especially in rural areas of India. Vehicles with solar powered milk refrigeration systems visit villages and rural areas to collect the milk and chill it for distribution and use later. LabVIEW was the silent hero behind the scenes.

He added that designers need better and simple tools, which have to be very flexible. Tools such as LabVIEW provide immense flexibility to scientists, engineers and designers. The LabVIEW vision is: bringing software programming to the masses. For over 24 years, NI has consistently delivered performance and features based on existing technologies via LabVIEW. Another interesting highlight is that LabVIEW has always been multi-core enabled.

LabVIEW ecosystem in India
Speaking about the India LabVIEW Sphere, which is one platform providing infinite solutions across industries and applications, Pillai said that from taking simple temperature measurements to controlling the world’s largest particle accelerator, engineers and scientists use the LabVIEW platform to meet a wide range of application challenges across various industries. He added that many features of LabVIEW 2010 are based on actual feedback received from users.

LabVIEW has a robust ecosystem in India. Currently, there are over 5,000 industry applications being served via LabVIEW, though this number could be higher. Over 400 engineering colleges are teaching LabVIEW in their curriculum and there are over 25,000 LabVIEW trained engineers in the country.

LabVIEW also boasts of over 4,000 active users online and more than 200 attendees during its weekly web user groups. This number rises as and when NI’s customers present. “The sphere is all about things that help and sustain the NI and LabVIEW ecosystem.” added Pillai.

NI LabView solves embedded and multicore problems!

January 24, 2009 Comments off

Some time ago, National Instruments (NI) introduced LabView 8.6. LabVIEW is a very data flow programming tool! And inherently, it has always been parallel processing!

Take note folks, as parallel is now increasingly becoming regular! And your multi-core problems could well be solved by NI’s LabView.

Given the ongoing recession, interestingly, NI projects double digit growth in 2009 for the region comprising India, Arabia and Russia. Jayaram Pillai, MD, India, Russia & Arabia, NI, says that these places have been traditionally strong in localization. The key is: what can NI’s technology bring in for indigenization!

Pillai notes: “We have always talked about virtual instrumentation. How can you bring the local content into the system?” NI’s LabView’s ability has generally been to create a program out of a non-program. “Images are your natural language. We feel engineers can express themselves using graphical language,” he adds.

LabView inherently meant for parallel programming
Most embedded systems provide quick and easy solutions. NI is trying to put electronics into every problem that it confronts. About 98 percent of the processing environments are used elsewhere, other than the PCs. What embedded can do today is tremendous! NI’s LabView is inherently meant for parallel programming.

Pillai says: “When you are running two cores, it is important how you share the data between the cores. We have multi-core for Windows. We can do multi-core programming for embedded as well.” NI’s tools perform multi-core programming, which itself is a software program.

Besides targeting particular silicon and other resources, there are other problems or areas to deal with, such as test maths, state chart and data flow programming, etc. NI has built all of these components into LabView 8.6 — things such as programming MCUs, FPGAs, Power PCs, etc., can be handled.

Solve embedded problems by developing simpler systems!
Coming back to embedded systems, there are two requisite steps — programming the electronics and programming the system. “We see ourselves getting into the space of solving multi-core problems,” adds Pillai. “Everything today is software enabled. We intend doing for T&M what spreadsheet has done for financial analysis.”

Definitely, software is the instrument in virtual instrumentation. “It means, to solve 98 percent problems of the embedded applications, there is a need to make the development of embedded systems even simpler,” he contends, and rightly so!

“As we went higher in abstraction, we found that we were able to solve more problems. You’ve got to get into a high level of abstraction, which can be done by LabView, called system design platform. LabView today, is the platform for test and embedded,” notes Pillai.

In grahical system design, there is a need to leverage and collaborate in parallel. Graphical programming harnesses multi-core processors. LabView has also been the runaway software tool for DAQ and instrument control. As a result, more and more people can now do embedded programming.

Pillai advices: “If you want to build systems, you need to integrate NI design tools with third-party design tools to share the data. The integration of data has to be seamless.”

Benefits of graphical system design
Graphical system design should do for embedded what PCs did for desktops. “We are a graphical design company and are now building systems,” he adds. The concepts of graphical system design include design, prototype and deploy.

So, what are the product lifecycle benefits of graphical system design? There are multiple hardware systems priced at different cost points based on performance. A LabView user can install the software into an expensive system for testing purposes, and later, deploy on to a lower platform.

Legacy problem and major paradigm shift
Sharing of data between cores is key! Parallel programming in sequential does not make sense. Rather, data flow programming makes a lot of sense. However, there is a legacy problem as far as multi-core programming is concerned. That is: how do you shift so much of the sequential programming knowledge into data flow? This will require a major paradigm shift.

Besides, there are a lot of sequential tools as well. There is a need to integrate all of that into multi-core. So far, multi-core problems have been addressed in test and embedded systems. It is still on in gaming, though! Maybe, this too will be cracked in a matter of time!

To all of my Chinese friends, Kung Hei Fat Choy!

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