To compete in the current economic condition, you need innovative products that can enter the market fast. A graphical system design is one such innovative approach that meets the requirement for testing embedded systems or designs.
Graphical system design is a revolutionary approach, which can solve complex design challenges. It is software that merges intuitive graphical programming and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. This system can greatly help engineers and scientists to design effective prototypes and deploy embedded systems. It is because when you use this approach, it ensures that you use a single environment throughout all the stages of design.
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Graphical system design uses an open platform of software and hardware. It shortens the integration cycle for new technology and functionality. It can help you visualize and implement systems quickly because it makes accessing the technology easier.
In a graphical system, the computer processes spatial representation in two dimensions or more. It uses graphical programming to replace the text with pictures or symbols. It is an effective tool for introducing computer programming to visual learners.
Laboratory virtual instrument engineering workbench (LabVIEW) was created by National Instruments in 1986. It is a graphical programming environment that is quite popular in many industries. LabVIEW provides a graphical programming approach which will aid you in visualizing every aspect of your application. It includes hardware configuration, debugging, and data measurement.
It uses a graphical programming “G” that compiles into machine code eliminating syntactical data. LabVIEW programs are known as virtual instruments.
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The G language that LabVIEW uses is quite intuitive and easy to learn for engineers and scientists as they are visual learners.
LabVIEW graphical G language is easy to comprehend which makes common programming tasks like debugging easy to perform. LabVIEW has an interactive debugging tool which lets you watch data moving through wires of its program and see data value as they move along the wires from one function to another.
Sometimes, G language is not ideal for some tasks like mathematical equations and formulas; you can represent them better with text. In such a scenario, LabVIEW lets you combine graphical programming with textual based programming. With LabVIEW, you have the option to choose from textual, graphical or a combination of both the approaches.
LabVIEW provides a better way to solve designing problems than the traditional textual programming means. It is a higher level language, but the performance is still great. The language has longevity and intuitiveness which makes it a better solution.
Other features that you get with LabVIEW are:
|Basis of difference||Textual programming||Graphical programming|
|1. Syntax||To do programming, knowing syntax is important.||Knowing syntax is crucial, but you don’t need it for programming, only for knowledge.|
|2. Programming base||It is text-based||It is icon-based|
|3. Difficulty level||It requires more knowledge. The programmers have to be proficient in the language to do the coding.||
It is easy to learn and more intuitive and simple to use.
Even non-programmers can learn this approach at a reasonable time.
|4. Performance||They have better performance.||Their performance is good, but it lacks conviction that textual programming offers.|
|5. Who should use it?||It is best for trained engineers who know how to work with these tools||The graphical programming environment is best suited for non-programmers.|
|6. Level of interaction||It is non-interactive||It is highly interactive|
|7. Error checking||You have to compile or execute the program to check for error.||It indicates the errors as the programmer wires the clocks.|
|8. Program execution||Program execution is from top to bottom.||You can execute the program from left to right|
|9. Parameters||It is difficult to pass parameters to sub-headings.||It is easy to pass parameters to sub VI.|
Most embedded systems run autonomously, and they need to execute multiple tasks parallel with specific time requirements. For instance, take a machine control system which controls a linear stage and lightning and read in video data. In a system like this, multiple processes must take place parallel to each other, in real time and deterministically. If you use a textual programming tool like C for this, it will get complex.
Thus, you require a graphical approach and LabVIEW can help with that. It has native functionality which makes programming complex models in real time easy. It natively incorporates timing into code with the help of code structures. It implements timings and represents parallelism easily as you can see in the below image.
Since many years, LabVIEW is working to expand and incorporate various multiple computation models to meet the needs of embedded system designers. As of now, it includes:
In order to address issues of the late release of designs and their failure, we need a better system. It requires a system that integrates with real-world signals and hardware into the design process. A customizable prototyping platform (off-the-shelf) can help to iterate high-quality designs and give solutions to problems at the earliest.
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One benefit of using graphical system design is that it lets you leverage other engineer’s work in the platform ecosystem. It helps you access thousands of components both hardware and software which efficiently helps to resolve your application.
In graphical system design, you get to work with a platform that has low complexity, and it can easily integrate hardware and software to reduce the time consumed in the development course. With LabVIEW, you get hardware that you can reconfigure and has an IP ecosystem. It lets you leverage numerous works from thousands of people and years to create something innovative and fast.
Graphical system design is a modern approach that brings a software platform combined with a hardware platform. It aids in designing measurement and control simplifying the development process and also reducing the cost and time. When using graphical system design software like LabVIEW, it helps save time. As since starting i.e. from your design to the prototyping phase to your final deployment phase, you can use the same software. It maximizes the reuse of code and transitioning into the deployment state is easy.
Ravindra Savaram is a Content Lead at Mindmajix.com. His passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter.