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14th Annual NI Week Highlights Green Engineering

August 11, 2008

The system design conference and exhibition this year focused on green applications, new products, and future technologies.


AUSTIN, TX /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- NIWeek -- Executives from National Instruments (NASDAQ:NATI) discussed how NI products and technologies improve everyday life during the 14th annual NIWeek graphical system design conference and exhibition. Speaking to nearly 2,800 engineers and scientists, NI executives showcased customers' green engineering applications, demonstrated new products and future technologies that deliver increased performance and efficiency and highlighted initiatives that are preparing students for careers in science and technology.

Dr. James Truchard, NI president, CEO and co-founder, kicked off NIWeek 2008 by discussing how customers are using NI products to improve the environment in a variety of applications, from increasing the efficiency of diesel engines to creating renewable energy and reducing the downtime of industrial machines. Truchard explained that customers use NI LabVIEW graphical programming and hardware such as NI CompactRIO to identify and measure real-world problems as well as to design more efficient and environmentally friendly applications that solve those problems.

"National Instruments provides the tools to help engineers turn measurements into better designs," Truchard said. "Customers use LabVIEW and our hardware to solve the world's problems and create new ideas on how we can be more energy efficient and environmentally sensitive -- from windmills to steel mills."

Following Truchard, NI Senior Vice President of R&D Tim Dehne demonstrated performance improvements available through new NI products including LabVIEW 8.6, Wi-Fi and Ethernet data acquisition devices, the NI Single-Board RIO deployment platform and PXI Express-based 6.6 GHz RF instruments. These new products offer improved measurement capability to handle sophisticated test and measurement applications and a wider variety of deployment options for industrial and embedded applications. Dehne also highlighted customer applications that have benefitted from a graphical system design approach including a control system that decreases the electricity consumption of air conditioning systems and a fire suppression system for cargo planes.

NI Business and Technology Fellow Mike Santori opened the second day of NIWeek 2008 by outlining how LabVIEW has evolved into a graphical system design tool that gives engineers and scientists increasing capabilities to develop more advanced test, measurement, data acquisition and embedded design applications. Santori demonstrated LabVIEW features currently in development including optimized multicore capabilities for LabVIEW MathScript, configuration-based dynamic testing, a system diagram tool for higher-level abstraction and a wireless sensor network solution for creating custom measurements in environmental monitoring.

Jeff Kodosky, NI co-founder, business and technology fellow and "father of LabVIEW," closed the second day keynote by highlighting the challenge of machine architecture changes including multicore processors and field- programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). Kodosky pointed out that applications are becoming increasingly complex and require the acquisition, mining and analysis of large data amounts into the petabyte range. With the movement of industry trends toward highly parallel machines and ever larger distributed data sets, Kodosky stated that LabVIEW graphical dataflow programming makes the software ideal for these new advanced applications.

"When you use LabVIEW for your designs, you are future-proofed," Kodosky said. "Regardless of how computer architecture evolves, multicore to many-core or super-FPGAs to self-timed FPGAs, graphical dataflow programming has it covered."

Ray Almgren, vice president of academic relations, closed NIWeek 2008 by emphasizing the importance of getting students of all ages interested in science, technology, engineering and math. Almgren highlighted the NI collaborations with LEGO(R) Education on the LEGO WeDo(TM) educational robotics platform as well as with the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition as examples of how industry and academia can work together to transform today's students into the innovative engineers of tomorrow.

Readers can view all the NIWeek 2008 keynote videos in their entirety at www.ni.com/niweek/keynote.

About National Instruments
National Instruments is transforming the way engineers and scientists design, prototype and deploy systems for measurement, automation and embedded applications. NI empowers customers with off-the-shelf software such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware, and sells to a broad base of more than 25,000 different companies worldwide, with no one customer representing more than 3 percent of revenue and no one industry representing more than 10 percent of revenue. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 4,800 employees and direct operations in nearly 40 countries. For the past nine years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.


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