Product Details Supplier Info More products

National Instruments (NI), a developer of technology for connecting computers with standalone instrumentation, is offering the Instrument Driver Network (IDNet) to simplify instrument control.

This comprises a source of instrument drivers and a software suite optimised for instrument control, including NI Labview, Labwindows/CVI and Measurement Studio for the Microsoft Visual Studio.

The company’s software suite is intended to help engineers and scientists achieve more with their instruments and save time by getting them to their first measurements faster.

IDNet offers more than 7,500 instrument drivers that facilitate the connection and control of standalone instruments from more than 275 vendors, including Tektronix, Agilent Technologies and Rohde and Schwarz.

Using IDNet, engineers and scientists can download Labview Plug and Play, Labwindows/CVI Plug and Play and Interchangeable Virtual Instrument (IVI) drivers certified by NI.

Users can also control thousands of instruments, including the latest GPIB, PXI, USB, Ethernet and LXI, from NI software.

NI has also expanded its driver support beyond traditional instruments to hardware such as environmental monitoring sensors and wireless sensor networks.

In addition to IDNet, Labview is claimed to simplify instrument control because it provides a high-level graphical programming interface that is easy to use, offers extensive support with certified instrument drivers and includes other time-saving configuration and troubleshooting tools.

Labview reduces application development time with integrated wizards such as the Instrument Driver Finder (IDFinder), which helps engineers and scientists locate instrument drivers and example codes on IDNet and install them into the Labview palette for immediate use.

According to the company, Labview and the IDFinder reduce time to first measurement by helping users get up and running without ever having to leave the Labview environment.

All NI instrument drivers are built using the Virtual Instrument Software Architecture (VISA): an industry-standard input/output (I/O) programming interface that abstracts away the underlying bus communication for a consistent programming experience, regardless of the instrument bus used.

NI-VISA, the NI implementation of the VISA I/O standard, further simplifies and accelerates instrument control by providing resources such as NI Spy: an interactive utility that helps engineers and scientists troubleshoot their applications faster by displaying detailed function calls and data and timing between the software and the instrument.

Labview and NI-VISA also include the NI Measurement and Automation Explorer (MAX): a configuration utility that makes it possible to manage all hardware from one central location.

MAX offers the option to assign aliases to specific instruments, which simplifies the task of adding and replacing instruments within automated test systems.

Additionally, NI-VISA now delivers enhanced LXI standard support by providing the automatic discovery of LXI instruments.

With this capability, any LXI instrument added to the configuration is automatically detected in software and is made available for immediate measurements.

If a needed instrument driver cannot be found, the NI software development environments feature built-in capabilities for direct I/O communication through interfaces including VISA, GPIB, serial and Ethernet.

All three NI development environments deliver an interactive instrument I/O assistant to help engineers and scientists to establish communication with their instruments, perform simple instrument I/O tasks or generate codes for use in creating their own instrument drivers.

National Instruments

National Instruments transforms the way engineers and scientists around the world design, prototype and deploy systems for test, control and embedded design applications. Using NI LabVIEW graphical programming software and modular hardware, customers at more than 30,000 companies annually simplify development, increase productivity and dramatically reduce time to market. From testing next-generation gaming systems to creating breakthrough medical devices to controlling autonomous vehicles, NI customers continuously develop innovative technologies that impact millions of people’s lives.

View full profile