National Instruments Offers LabVIEW-based Suite for Universities

5/7/2003 - National Instruments announced the NI Educational Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Suite (NI ELVIS), a LabVIEW-based design and prototyping environment for university engineering and science laboratories. With NI ELVIS, students can simultaneously learn engineering theory and put it into practice in areas such as electric circuits, signal processing, communications, control systems, mechanical measurements and mechatronics.

"The product development collaboration we've had with leading science and engineering educators, including those at California State University, San Bernardino, who originally developed the concept and design of NI ELVIS, has resulted in a product that precisely meets the needs of engineering educators," said Ray Almgren, NI vice president of product marketing and academic relations. "Beta customers and early adopters of NI ELVIS have had extremely positive feedback on its design and the impact it will have on their classroom and laboratory instruction."

NI ELVIS consists of LabVIEW-based virtual instruments, a multifunction data acquisition device and a custom-designed benchtop workstation with a prototyping board. This combination provides a ready-to-use suite of common laboratory instruments including an oscilloscope, function generator, digital multimeter and programmable power supplies along with a bode analyzer, dynamic signal analyzer and arbitrary waveform generator. Because it is based on LabVIEW and provides complete data acquisition and prototyping capabilities, the system is ideal for integrating virtual instrumentation into academic coursework from lower-division classes to advanced project-based curriculum.

"As industry adoption of virtual instrumentation for measurement, control and design grows, hands-on training in this area is becoming essential for every engineering and science student," said Archie Holmes, a professor in the electrical and computer engineering department at the University of Texas at Austin. "NI ELVIS helps us incorporate virtual instrumentation into our curriculum by providing multiple capabilities in one compact, affordable system. With this system, we can give our students unique hands-on experience that will help them meet the design challenges they will face after graduation."

NI ELVIS makes it easy for students to build custom circuits and interfaces. Using the removable prototyping board, students can design their own electronic circuits, signal conditioning capabilities and small electromechanical devices. Students and educators can purchase the board at the cost of a typical textbook. The prototyping board has standard banana, BNC and D-sub connectors for easy and secure connectivity. The NI ELVIS workstation also is equipped with short-circuit and over-voltage protection for the data acquisition device.

The low-cost NI ELVIS system is available to universities for $1,860 USD. Laboratories already equipped with NI data acquisition products can add NI ELVIS for $1,327 USD.

About National Instruments
National Instruments ( is a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation -- a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists approach measurement and automation. Leveraging the PC and its related technologies, virtual instrumentation increases productivity and lowers costs for customers worldwide through easy-to-integrate software, such as the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, and modular hardware, such as PXI modules for data acquisition, instrument control and machine vision. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 3,000 employees and direct operations in 40 countries. In 2002, the company sold products to more than 25,000 different companies in more than 80 countries around the world. For the past four consecutive years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

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