By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
NI LabVIEW is the solution that makes it happen for engineers and scientist who design test, measurement, and control systems. But did you know that there’s also an awful lot happening all around LabVIEW too? I’ll get to two news items about NI LabVIEW that’ll interest you in just a sec.
National Instruments introduced the 2012 version of LabVIEW last summer. It features new templates and sample projects that, in a nutshell, help you ensure that you design a system that not only meets your quality requirements but also helps you leverage best practices. LabVIEW 2012 also offers new tools, upgrades, and enhancements in every area of its operation. This means things like new analysis tools, improvements to its technical data management features, greater FPGA programming flexibility, and binocular stereoscopic vision functions. LabVIEW 2012 saw the unveiling of a series of self-paced, online tutorials suitable for new and experienced users a like.
Training segues to the first NI LabVIEW news bit. NI as you know puts a ton of effort into its learning resources and training/certification programs. Yesterday, I learned from a contact at National Instruments that there are now 10,000 certified LabVIEW users. That’s an impressive milestone for any product to achieve. And, I suspect that there are potentially at least twice as many engineers who could earn certification but have not gotten around to it for some reason. Be that as it may, a lot of companies now have staff that gives them a certified competitive advantage.
Speaking of we procrastinators, we luck out once again with our propensity for not getting around to something expeditiously. See, National Instruments has reduced the price of all versions of NI LabVIEW across the board. There was no press release. They just did it quietly.
As an example: The base NI LabVIEW system now starts at $999, which is 20% less than the old price. This raises the question how come? NI LabVIEW is a highly successful product that people want bad. Would you believe Moore’s law?
Everyone seems to know that Moore’s law concerns computing hardware — chips doubling performance about every two years — so what has software to do with it? An NI spokesperson explained to me that while commercial technology takes advantage of Moore’s law to lower everyday technology prices, NI believes that it also can take advantage of Moore’s law in regard to the tools that you use to accelerate productivity, innovation, and discovery.
“NI feels it is unfair to expect engineers and scientists to continue to deliver technology at a higher demand and a lower cost if the tools used to create such technological innovations only continue to increase,” the spokesperson said in an e-mail.
Can’t think of a thing I can say to add more shine to that. You can read about what’s new in NI LabVIEW 2012 from the link over there. You can find all the new prices under the “buy LabVIEW” tab.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering