I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2016 edition of NIWeek, which occurred in Austin, Texas, from Aug. 1-4. It goes without saying that National Instruments (NI) goes the extra mile to make sure this event is noteworthy—and even fun—for those who attend. From the keynote presentations and technical sessions to the exhibition, everyone had the chance to learn something. A large number of industries were represented, demonstrating that NI’s technology spans far and wide.
During the keynote presentations, a wide variety of topics was discussed. Of course, LabVIEW was one of the main points of interest. The latest version, LabVIEW 2016, was on display. LabVIEW 2016 has a new feature called channel wires, which are asynchronous wires that connect two parallel sections of code without forcing an execution order.
Charles Schroeder did the honors of highlighting the new second-generation vector signal transceiver (VST). The new VST, which achieves 1-GHz of instantaneous bandwidth, covers a frequency range of 9 kHz to 6.5 GHz. Furthermore, NI has developed a patented technology called “spectral stitching,” which combines several synchronized VSTs to extend the bandwidth beyond 1 GHz.
No question, 5G was discussed throughout the entire event, allowing attendees to have the opportunity to learn about the latest developments. For example, massive multiple input, multiple output (MIMO)—which is a 5G candidate technology—was one of the topics explored during the keynote presentations. Later, I had a chance to sit down with James Kimery alongside my colleague Lou Frenzel from Electronic Design. One interesting point Kimery made during the conversation is that he believes 5G’s modulation scheme may just simply be orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM).
It goes without saying that the Internet of Things (IoT) was also a prime topic. During a conversation, it was mentioned how there are too many wireless IoT technologies to count. Some believe that Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) may emerge as a winner.
In addition to the keynote presentations and technical sessions, the exhibition featured something for everyone. A large number of interesting demos were conducted that spanned many areas. If you could not attend NIWeek this year, I would encourage you to make the effort to attend next year. NI is actually making a change, as next year’s event will take place in May.