National Instruments is introducing a family of PXI, PXI Express and PXI real-time embedded controllers based on the 2.16GHz dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo processor T7400. The NI PXI-8106 and NI PXIe-8106 controllers are claimed to deliver a performance improvement of more than 100 per cent compared to systems running traditional single-core processors. With two cores - or computing engines - in one processor, the new PXI and PXI Express controllers can simultaneously execute two computing tasks.
Tim Dehne, NI Senior Vice President of R&D, comments: "The NI PXI-8106 and NI PXIe-8106 controllers based on the Intel Core 2 Duo processor represent one of the most innovative embedded controller families that NI has released in the 10-year history of the PXI platform. With the processing power of the new controllers, engineers and scientists can solve applications they cannot solve with single-core processor-based platforms and instruments."
With the dual-core processor, the NI PXI-8106 and NI PXIe-8106e embedded controllers seamlessly integrate with multitasking environments, such as Windows XP, in which multiple applications run simultaneously, as well as multithreaded applications, such as the National Instruments LabVIEW graphical development platform, in which multiple threads execute in parallel. With the new Intel Core 2 Duo architecture, the NI PXI-8106 and NI PXIe-8106 controllers deliver up to a 46 per cent performance improvement for NI LabVIEW applications compared to systems using an Intel Core Duo processor, Intel's previous-generation dual-core architecture. Using SYSmark PC benchmarking software, the NI PXI-8106 and NI PXIe-8106 embedded controllers demonstrate an overall performance improvement of 29 per cent compared to the previous-generation dual-core controllers and 67 per cent compared to previous-generation single-core controllers.
Deterministic and reliable measurement and control
In addition, engineers and scientists can use the new NI PXI-8106 RT embedded controller with the NI LabVIEW Real-Time Module for deterministic and reliable measurement and control applications. LabVIEW Real-Time uses the processor in single-core mode to achieve an up to 20 per cent performance improvement for LabVIEW Real-Time applications compared to the company's previous highest-performance real-time controller. The NI PXI-8106 RT controller is now the highest-performance real-time controller available from NI.
The NI PXI-8106, NI PXIe-8106 and NI PXI-8106 RT embedded controllers feature Gigabit Ethernet for high-speed networking in distributed systems. The integrated ExpressCard slot gives engineers the choice of additional peripheral I/O, such as external RAID hard-drive arrays for high-speed streaming to disk. The controllers also feature a Serial ATA hard drive, DVI-I digital and analogue video, and additional I/O such as Hi-Speed USB, GPIB, serial and parallel. They can also be equipped with an extended-temperature, extended-operation hard drive for applications that include high- and low-temperature extremes or require 24/7 operation.
The NI PXI-8106, NI PXIe-8106 and NI PXI-8106 RT embedded controllers come with Windows XP Professional or LabVIEW Real-Time installed. Controllers with Windows XP include hard drive-based recovery, which engineers can use to restore their systems back to factory default if necessary. The controllers work with a variety of NI software including LabVIEW, the LabVIEW Real-Time Module, LabWindows//CVI software for ANSI C development and NI TestStand test management software.
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