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National Instruments (NI) has announced more than 8,000 instrument drivers available through the NI Instrument Driver Network (IDNet) that enable connection and control of standalone instruments.

IDNet’s offerings include NI Labview, LabWindows and Measurement Studio for Microsoft Visual Studio.

The network, which includes more than 500 drivers added since April 2009, offers instrument drivers to connect to both instruments and standalone instruments from more than 325 vendors, including Tektronix, Agilent Technologies and Rohde and Schwarz.

From IDNet, engineers and scientists can download Labview Plug and Play, LabWindows/CVI Plug and Play and Interchangeable Virtual Instrument (IVI) instrument drivers certified by NI to automate measurements from thousands of instruments.

With NI software, available instrument drivers can simplify instrument automation over a variety of buses, including GPIB, USB, PXI, PCI, Ethernet and LXI.

In addition to IDNet, Labview makes instrument control easier by providing an intuitive graphical programming interface, offering extensive support with certified instrument drivers and including other time-saving configuration and troubleshooting tools to help engineers and scientists acquire, analyse and present data.

The Instrument Driver Finder (IDFinder) Wizard helps engineers and scientists instantly locate instrument drivers and example code on IDNet and install them in the Labview palette for immediate use.

All NI instrument drivers are built using the Virtual Instrument Software Architecture (VISA), an industry-standard 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 National Instruments implementation of the VISA I/O standard, provides 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 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.

NI-VISA delivers enhanced LXI standard support by providing auto-discovery of LXI instruments.

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

If the network does not include the instrument driver the user requires, 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 offer an interactive Instrument I/O Assistant to help engineers and scientists quickly establish communication with their instruments, perform simple instrument I/O tasks or generate code to create their own instrument drivers.

Engineers and scientists who create instrument drivers can add them to IDNet.

NI offers phone support for certified 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.

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