National Instruments co-founders James Truchard and Jeff Kodosky kicked off the 13th annual NIWeek virtual instrumentation conference yesterday with their vision for the future of NI LabVIEW. LabVIEW will take advantage of modern graphics technology to better represent application components and how their interconnections, Kodosky said. NI is currently developing the LabVIEW System Diagram, which engineers will be able to use as an “executable white board.” It will provide varying degrees of abstraction and will offer a configuration and behavioral specification that’s flexible yet rigorously defined. “Modern machines have insanely powerful graphical processing units, and the latest operating systems are raising the bar for user interface experiences,” Kodosky said. “We need to provide a higher-level experience in LabVIEW as well.” Truchard said the LabVIEW platform is good for designing multithreaded parallel applications, as it simplifies multicore and FPGA-based application development with its intuitive parallel dataflow language. “As multicore processors become standard, there is an increased need for parallel programming languages that can take advantage of ever-quickening multiprocessor speeds,” Truchard said. “LabVIEW, with its inherent multithreaded architecture, fits the bill.” Truchard and Kodosky also introduced the latest LabVIEW version—LabVIEW 8.5—which includes the new LabVIEW Statechart Module, improved tools in the LabVIEW FPGA Module, and advances in multicore and real-time programming.