Test & Measurement

National Instruments LabVIEW Targets Industry-Leading ARM Microcontrollers

16th April 2008
ES Admin
National Instruments and ARM has announced the NI LabVIEW Embedded Module for ARM Microcontrollers, an extension of the LabVIEW graphical system design platform that directly targets the ARM 7™, ARM 9™ and Cortex™-M3 microcontroller families. The module is the first product in an ongoing collaboration between the companies that combines the ease of use of LabVIEW with the performance of ARM microcontrollers.
ARM is the industry’s leading provider of 32-bit embedded reduced instruction set computing (RISC) processors, with more than 75 percent of the market share and more than 10 billion ARM core-based devices shipped to date. Using the new module, engineers and scientists can create embedded applications in LabVIEW and deploy them to more than 260 microcontrollers created from microprocessor IP licensed by ARM and manufactured by the world’s leading semiconductor companies including Analog Devices, Atmel, Luminary Micro, NXP, Freescale Semiconductor, Intel and Texas Instruments.

“National Instruments is excited to extend the power and ease of use of the LabVIEW graphical system design platform to even more embedded designers who are developing applications for ARM microcontrollers,” said Dr. James Truchard, National Instruments President, CEO and Co-founder. “With the addition of the LabVIEW Embedded Module for ARM Microcontrollers, we are expanding our embedded design platform offerings to give engineers and scientists a variety of out-of-the-box solutions for designing, prototyping and deploying their embedded applications quickly.”

Microcontrollers are integrated microprocessors that include the memory, peripherals and interfaces, as well as the CPU, on a single chip, making them a cost-effective solution for embedded systems and ideal for control and interrupt-driven applications that require a real-time response to stimulus. ARM microcontrollers are deployed in a wide range of applications, from popular consumer goods such as the Garmin Nuvi portable navigation device to industrial and medical applications such as the BIAC portable muscle stimulator.

The LabVIEW Embedded Module for ARM Microcontrollers features LabVIEW drivers that make it possible for domain experts to graphically program all components of the ARM microcontroller including the analogue and digital I/O. The module also features desktop simulation capabilities so that users can run the programs they develop for an ARM microcontroller on a desktop PC without any additional hardware. Engineers and scientists can use the desktop simulation with NI Multisim, the interactive SPICE simulation and circuit analysis software, to simulate the entire signal design chain for a truly comprehensive embedded system design simulation environment.

“The intuitive, graphical design capabilities of LabVIEW make it an ideal platform for developers with limited C/C++ programming experience who need to develop applications around ARM processor-based microcontrollers,” said Reinhard Keil, Director of MCU Tools at ARM. “Additionally, for the more experienced developer, it provides a faster and more streamlined approach to programming.”

Other new features of the LabVIEW Embedded Module for ARM Microcontrollers include a project wizard that automates configuration and overall setup to help users establish projects quickly as well as an interrupt manager that simplifies interrupt-driven programming by setting up LabVIEW code to run when specific hardware interrupts occur. In addition to the software, National Instruments offers a development kit that includes a choice of an MCB2370 evaluation board with an ARM 7 family-based NXP processor or a Stellaris LM3S8962 with a Cortex-M3 processor-based Luminary Micro processor.

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