Five technology trends for 2014

January 29, 2014 //By Nick Flaherty
Five technology trends for 2014
National Instruments is highlighting five key trends for engineers in 2014, from control systems to RF and user interfaces:

The Cyber-Physical Design Challenge
Cyber-physical systems (CPSs) are engineered to continuously and dynamically interact with their environment through the coupling of distributed computational and physical components. CPS applications are all around us and include smart grid, vehicle traffic networks, smart buildings, cooperative robots, telecommunications, automotive systems, and avionics.
A CPS is characterized by three fundamental and deeply interwoven behaviors—computation, communication, and control—the three Cs of CPSs. Better CPS designs are achievable with disciplined design methodology, holistic development tools, and commercial off-the-shelf hardware.

Big Analog Data—The Biggest Big Data
In test, measurement, and control applications, engineers and scientists can collect vast amounts of data in short periods of time. When the National Science Foundation’s Large Synoptic Survey Telescope comes online in the US in 2016, it should acquire more than 140 terabytes of information per week.
In general, big data is characterized by a combination of three or four “Vs”—volume, variety, velocity, and value. An additional “V,” visibility, is emerging as a key defining characteristic. Drawing accurate and meaningful conclusions from such high-speed and high-volume analog data is a growing problem. This data adds new challenges to data analysis, search, data integration, reporting, and system maintenance that must be met to keep pace with the exponential growth of data. Solutions for capturing, analyzing, and sharing Big Analog Data work to address the combination of conventional big data issues and the difficulties of managing analog data.

The SDRification of RF Instrumentation
The modern RF instrument has evolved from merely a measurement device into a premier tool for system design. This evolution was fueled by a broad range of technologies from the software defined radio (SDR). The flexibility of the SDR is revolutionizing not only the wireless industry but also RF test equipment.
The ability to fully define and customize the behavior of RF instrumentation with software is a key element to solving the next generation of test challenges. As a result, the


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