National Instruments Online Instrument Driver Network Now Offers More Than 4,000 Free Drivers | Automation.com

National Instruments Online Instrument Driver Network Now Offers More Than 4,000 Free Drivers

January 182005
NEWS RELEASE – Jan. 18, 2005 – National Instruments now offers more than 4,000 instrument drivers in the NI Instrument Driver Network, the industry’s largest source for instrument drivers at www.ni.com/idnet. In 2004, NI collaborated with Instrument Driver Development Program members, including Tektronix and Rohde & Schwartz, and other vendors, such as Agilent and Fluke, to introduce more than 900 new drivers that deliver connectivity for instruments serving many industries and all standard software and bus interfaces.

Engineers and scientists now can download free drivers for test and design instruments such as Agilent power supplies, Keithley data acquisition systems and Fluke multimeters. The network also now includes drivers for analytical instruments such as Agilent micro gas chromatographs, Eurotherm temperature controllers, Olympus microscopes and Mettler Toledo balances. With these instrument drivers, engineers and scientists save development time, reduce system complexity and improve application longevity.

At the online Instrument Driver Network (IDNet), engineers and scientists can find new LabVIEW Plug and Play source code drivers that increase flexibility, ease maintenance and simplify debugging. Because engineers and scientists can view and modify the source code of these instrument drivers, they can easily integrate additional functionality and optimize code for their particular applications.

“The NI Instrument Driver Network is a critical component in the success of our GPIB instrumentation systems. Using the high-level instrument drivers and a modular, dynamic architecture, we are able to seamlessly connect to and control over 20 different instruments in our laboratory,” said Heinz Grueter, new product engineering technician at Texas Instruments Deutschland. “We prefer to use LabVIEW Plug and Play instrument drivers because they are more optimal for use in the LabVIEW environment. These open, source code drivers also give me the capability to debug and extend them for my specific applications.”

IDNet instrument drivers provide a high-level, easy-to-use programming model that offers access to the complex measurement capabilities of instruments through an intuitive application programming interface. Based on the Virtual Instrumentation Software Architecture, these drivers feature a common foundation for interoperability of high-level multivendor system software components and abstract low-level programming to shield engineers and scientists from shifts in technology.

“National Instruments is committed to providing LabVIEW and LabWindows/CVI instrument drivers that continue to meet our customer needs. This year, we expanded our instrument driver offering by more than 20 percent,” said John Graff, NI vice president of marketing. “We’ve heard from our customers and the LabVIEW Instrument Driver Advisory Board that source code drivers are preferred because they are open and flexible, giving users the ability to modify or extend the drivers to fit their changing applications.”

In 2004, the number of drivers downloaded from IDNet increased 20 percent, demonstrating that instrument connectivity continues to significantly benefit engineers and scientists. Engineers and scientists can visit IDNet at www.ni.com/idnet to access basic and advanced tutorials, an icon glossary and certification guidelines as well as download, develop, request and submit instrument drivers for controlling instruments with LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI and Measurement Studio for Microsoft Visual Studio.NET.

About National Instruments
National Instruments (www.ni.com) is a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation – a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists in industry, government and academia approach measurement and automation. Leveraging the PC and its related technologies, virtual instrumentation increases productivity and lowers costs through easy-to-integrate software, such as the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, and modular hardware, such as PXI modules for data acquisition, instrument control and machine vision. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 3,100 employees and direct operations in 41 countries. For the past six years, FORTUNE magazine named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.


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