Simplifying embedded system development

06 May 2008

NI and ARM collaboration results in a module aiming to simplify embedded system development.

National Instruments and ARM has announced the NI LabVIEW embedded module for ARM microcontrollers; an extension of the LabVIEW graphical system design platform that targets the ARM 7, ARM 9 and Cortex M3 microcontroller families.

The module is the first product in an ongoing collaboration between the companies that combines LabVIEW with the performance of ARM microcontrollers.

Using the new module, engineers and scientists can create embedded applications in LabVIEW and deploy them to more than 260 microcontrollers created from microprocessor IP licensed by ARM and manufactured by semiconductor companies including Analog Devices, Atmel, Luminary Micro, NXP, Freescale Semiconductor, Intel and Texas Instruments. The module also features desktop simulation capabilities, which means that users can run the programs they develop for an ARM microcontroller on a desktop PC without any additional hardware.

Engineers and scientists can use the desktop simulation with NI Multisim; the interactive SPICE simulation and circuit analysis software, to simulate the entire signal design chain for a comprehensive embedded system design simulation environment.

Other new features of the LabVIEW embedded module for ARM microcontrollers include a project wizard that automates configuration and overall set-up to help users establish projects quickly, as well as an interrupt manager that simplifies interrupt-driven programming by setting-up LabVIEW code to run when specific hardware interrupts occur. In addition to the software, National Instruments offers a development kit that includes a choice of an MCB2370 evaluation board with an ARM 7 family-based NXP processor or a Stellaris LM3S8962 with a Cortex-M3 processor-based Luminary Micro processor.

ARM microcontrollers are deployed in a wide range of applications, from consumer goods such as the Garmin Nuvi portable navigation device to industrial and medical applications such as the BIAC portable muscle stimulator.

Reinhard Keil, director of MCU Tools at ARM commented: “The intuitive, graphical design capabilities of LabVIEW make it an ideal platform for developers with limited C/C++ programming experience who need to develop applications around ARM processor-based microcontrollers. Additionally, for the more experienced developer, it provides a faster and more streamlined approach to programming.”

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