Profile: National Instruments Corp (NATI.O)
16 Mar 2018
National Instruments Corporation (NI), incorporated on May 3, 1994, designs, manufactures and sells systems to engineers and scientists. The Company offers a line of measurement, automation and control products. The Company offers products, technology and services, which include system design software, programming tools, application software, modular hardware products and related driver software, production test systems, NI education platform, software products for teaching and hardware products for teaching. The Company also offers NI Services, including hardware services and maintenance, software maintenance services, and training and certification. Its products are used across various industries in a range of applications, including research and development, simulation and modeling, product design, prototype and validation, production testing and industrial control and field and factory service and repair. It serves various industries and applications across the world, such as advanced research, automotive, automated test equipment, consumer electronics, commercial aerospace, computers and electronics, continuous process manufacturing, education, government/defense, medical research/pharmaceutical, power/energy, semiconductors, telecommunications and others.
System Design Software
The Company offers a software product, LabVIEW, which is a system design software for measurement, automation and control. With LabVIEW, users program graphically and can design custom virtual instruments by connecting graphical icons with software wires to create block diagrams, which are natural design notations for scientists and engineers. Users can customize front panels with knobs, buttons, dials and graphs to emulate control panels of instruments or add custom graphics to visually represent the control and operation of processes. LabVIEW is a development environment with hardware integration that engineers and scientists need to design and deploy measurement, automation and control systems. The LabVIEW programming environment is graphical, with engineering-specific libraries of software engineering functions and hardware interfaces. It also offers data analysis, visualization and sharing features.
LabVIEW Real-Time and LabVIEW Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) are strategic modular software add-ons to LabVIEW. With LabVIEW Real-Time, the user can configure their application program to execute using a real-time operating system kernel instead of a general purpose operating system. In addition, with LabVIEW Real-Time, users can configure their programs to operate remotely on embedded processors in Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) Extensions for Instrumentation (PXI)-based systems, on embedded processors inside NI CompactRIO distributed input/output (I/O) systems, or on processors embedded on plug-in personal computer (PC) data acquisition boards. With LabVIEW FPGA, the user can configure their application to execute directly in silicon through a FPGA residing on one of its reconfigurable I/O hardware products. LabVIEW FPGA allows users to build their own hardware devices. The LabVIEW Communications System Design Suite is a version of LabVIEW. This version includes workflows, Internet protocol (IP), and offers a design environment integrated with NI software defined radio (SDR) hardware for prototyping communications systems, including FPGA-based SDR hardware. Users define and manage the entire prototyping process with a single design tool, and deploy algorithms to hardware.
In addition to LabVIEW, NI offers LabWindows/ C for Virtual Instrumentation (CVI) and Measurement Studio as alternative programming environments. LabWindows/CVI users use the conventional, text-based programming language of C for creating test and control applications. LabWindows/CVI also provides a Real-Time module to allow for C-based development of real-time systems in automated test applications. Measurement Studio consists of measurement and automation add-on libraries and additional tools for programmers preferring Microsoft's Visual Studio development environments.
NI offers a suite of application software products, including NI TestStand, NI VeriStand, NI DIAdem, NI InsightCM Enterprise and NI Multisim. NI TestStand is a test management environment for organizing, controlling, and running automated prototype, validation, and manufacturing test systems. It also generates customized test reports and integrates product and test data across the customers' enterprise and across the Internet. NI TestStand manages tests that are written in LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI, Measurement Studio, C and C++, and Microsoft Visual Basic, so test engineers can share and re-use test code throughout their organization and from one product to the next. NI VeriStand is a software environment for configuring real-time testing applications, including hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test systems. With NI VeriStand, users configure real-time I/O, stimulus profiles, data logging, alarming, and other tasks; implement control algorithms or system simulations by importing models from a range of software environments; build test system user interfaces, and add custom functionality using NI LabVIEW, NI TestStand, and other software environments. NI DIAdem offers users configuration-based technical data management, analysis, and report generation tools to interactively mine and analyze data. NI InsightCM Enterprise is a software solution with an integrated hardware options for monitoring rotating equipment. NI Multisim is a simulation environment utilizing the Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis (SPICE) framework.
Modular Hardware Products and Related Driver Software
Using technology, such as microprocessors, Analog to Digital Converters (ADCs), FPGAs, and PC busses, its hardware delivers solutions for a range of applications, from automated test and data logging to industrial control, and embedded design. Its hardware and related driver software products include data acquisition (DAQ), PXI chassis and controllers, modular instruments, image acquisition, motion control, distributed I/O, industrial communications interfaces, general purpose interface bus (GPIB) interfaces, embedded control hardware/software and VERSA-Module Euro (VME) Extension for Instrumentation (VXI) Controllers. DAQ hardware and driver software products are instruments on a board that users can combine with sensors, signal conditioning hardware and software to acquire analog data and convert it into a digital format that can be accepted by a computer. It offers a range of computer-based DAQ products. NI DAQ products also include X Series DAQ, which delivers measurement, generation, timing and triggering on a single device.
The Company's PXI modular instrument platform, is a PC packaged in a small, rugged form factor with expansion slots and instrumentation extensions for timing, triggering and signal sharing. It offers a range of modular instrument devices used in general purpose test and communication test applications. These devices include digitizers, digital multimeters, signal generators, radio frequency (RF) analyzers/generators, power supplies, source measurement units and switch modules that users can configure through software to meet their specific measurement requirements. Its machine vision platform includes a range of hardware platform options, from embedded NI Smart Cameras that integrate the sensor and processor in a single package to plug-in boards for PCI and PXI systems. It offers two software options for use across the entire NI vision hardware portfolio. A user can configure a system with NI Vision Builder for Automated Inspection, a package for machine vision, or program it using the NI Vision Development Module, a library of imaging functions.
NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) hardware combined with NI LabVIEW system design software provides a commercial off-the-shelf solution to simplify development and shorten time to market when designing advanced measurement and control systems. All RIO hardware systems, which include CompactRIO, NI Single-Board RIO, NI System on Module, R Series boards and PXI-based FlexRIO products, feature an architecture that combines a floating-point processor, reconfigurable FPGA, and modular I/O. It offers hardware and driver software product lines for communication with industrial devices, such as Controller Area Network (CAN), DeviceNet, Foundation Fieldbus, and RS-485 and RS-232. Its portfolio of hardware and software products for GPIB instrument control is available for a range of computers. Its GPIB product line also includes products for controlling GPIB instruments using the computer's standard parallel, universal serial bus (USB), Ethernet and serial ports.
Production Test Systems
In addition to modular software and hardware components that engineers combine to create systems, NI also offers enclosed PXI-based systems targeted to specific applications. Its Production Test Systems include NI Semiconductor Test System and NI Wireless Test System. The NI Semiconductor Test System series combines modular instrumentation and system design software for RF and mixed-signal production test.
NI Education Platform
The NI education platform combines software, hardware and courseware designed to create engaging and authentic learning experiences. Its products are designed for education that allows students to start learning at the primary and secondary school levels using the programming language and platform they will use in engineering classes at the university level, for post-graduate research, and in the industry once they enter the engineering workforce.
Software Products for Teaching
NI Multisim builds expertise through practical application in designing, prototyping and testing electrical circuits. NI Multisim is developed for the educator needing to teach various aspects of circuits and electronics. Multisim Education Edition provides the ability to move students from theory to simulation to the lab. LabVIEW is a graphical system design environment used on campuses all over the world to deliver hands-on learning to the classroom and enhance research applications. LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS provides access to tools exclusive to the NI Education Platform. LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS helps prepare students for university courses and engineering careers where LabVIEW is already in use.
Hardware Products for Teaching
The Company's National Instruments Educational Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Suite (NI ELVIS) is a measurement and prototyping platform that delivers hands-on lab experience with an integrated suite of used instruments in one compact form factor designed for education. Its NI myDAQ Measurement and Instrumentation Device allows students to measure and analyze the world around them. NI myRIO places dual-core real-time processing and FPGA customizable I/O into the hands of students. NI roboRIO is built for robotics and gives users the ability to connect and change the components they need to build and test advanced systems. Its NI Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) is a radio that turns a standard PC into a wireless prototyping platform. The NI USRP platform offers an approach to RF and communications education.
The Company's NI System Assurance Program provides a way to get its customer's NI system up and running. Its trained technicians install software and hardware and configure its customers' PXI, PXI/SCXI combination, and NI CompactRIO system to their specifications. To help its customers' calibration needs, NI provides calibration solutions, including recalibration services, manual calibration procedures, and automated calibration software. It offers 17025 calibration services for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other organizations seeking to maintain compliance with the governmental, medical, transportation and electronics regulations. The Company offers warranties to help meet project life-cycle requirements and provides repair services for its products, express repair and replacement services. The Company's Standard Service Program (SSP) provides the end user with regular product upgrades and service packs, professional technical support from local engineers, and access to older versions of their owned software. NI training helps the customer build the skills to develop applications. It offers fee-based training classes and self-paced online training for various of its software and hardware products.
The Company competes with Keysight Technologies Inc.
National Instruments Corp
11500 N Mopac Expy
AUSTIN TX 78759-3504