Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Labview 8.20 released

National Instruments released a signficant update to Labview today.

There is an extensive and diverse set of enhancements covering programming tools (.net and dll integratation), web based access, UI improvements with OpenGL support and touch screen control support, and improvements to real time data flow.

The subhead to the press release was interesting "LabVIEW 8.20 Delivers General Compatibility with The MathWorks, Inc. MATLAB® Software, FPGA-Based Rapid System Prototyping and New Modulation Toolkit" because it was hard to find what compatibility with MATLAB meant.

At first I thought it was going to be a friendly link, in the way that Maplesoft are trying to be closer to Matlab. But it looks more like a good old fashioned migration package. You can take your old Matlab .m files, throw away Matlab and run them in the NI "Mathscript" module.

There is no shortage of Matlab clones already but I think they mostly miss the point. Matlab is at its heart a bit old fashioned, its success is really about the Simulink graphical programming environment. Here NI stand out already the only serious competitor to Simulink, so adding .m code support is quite significant.

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