National Instruments promised a big announcement at the opening Keynote address at NI Week, and they did not disappoint. The company didn’t just announce a new product, they announced a completely new product category–the Vector Signal Transceiver. While the hardware is very impressive–four instruments in a 3-slot PXI form factor–it’s the software that truly makes this a new instrument class.
I traveled to Austin, deep in the heart of Texas, to see the introduction personally. Let’s start with the hardware. Included in a VST are four instruments: a VSG (Vector Signal Generator), a VSA (Vector Signal Analyzer), a Digital I/O port, and a flexible programmable FPGA. The product sports a 6 GHz frequency range with 80 MHz instantaneous bandwidth.
But the real surprise is the software. NI calls this a “software-designed instrument.” That is, the firmware is completely user programmable. The magic behind this is LabVIEW FPGA. Users can use LabVIEW to develop customer-specific and lightning fast instrument firmware that runs at hardware speed on the internal FPGA.
Read my blogpost here to get the complete article and commentary on the VST.