National Instruments: The Quintessential Platform Play

There are as many ways to innovate as there are companies.  Products.  Services.  Cost.  Reach.  National Instruments is a quintessential platform innovation play.  While some companies find a market or a customer and optimize a product around that application, NI has chosen to invest in a few very flexible and very powerful architectures to address a wide range of applications.  In some ways it seems counter to the mantra of being “customer-focused”, as the platform is, by definition, “general purpose”.  Indeed, it is very difficult to design architectures that must compete against purpose-built products.  But if done right, it can reap huge rewards by creating a business model that turbocharges time to market and flexibility, enabling a company to address a broad set of applications efficiently.

All this is readily apparent to anyone who attended NI Week this past week in Austin, Texas.  You can read my entire report from NIWeek 2013 here.

You will also find there:

  • NI’s FlexRIO strategy as programmable FPGAs
  • New PXI and PXImc products
  • Applications in RF, mil/aero, and physics
  • PXI development card from Hiller Measurements
  • A link to my participation on an RF Panel

Again, the entire article is here.

AXIe Local Bus Architecture Delivers Unprecedented Bus Speeds

AXIe is commonly referred to as the “big brother” of PXI.  This is because it shares many of the features of PXI (open modular structure, PCI Express fabric, similar software) while deploying a large board size, power, and cooling matching that found in high performance instruments.  However, it also adds one very unique aspect: the AXIe local bus.  In this paper the authors describe the local bus, its capabilities, and recently announced products that demonstrate breakthrough system performance utilizing the local bus.  These capabilities include real time streaming and processing in excess of 40GB/s per link.

To read more about the AXIe local bus, its unique capabilities and applications, you can find the complete paper here