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NI Introduces New Version of Prototyping Platform for Interactive, Hands-On Learning


NI ELVIS II, Based on NI LabVIEW, Offers USB Plug and Play, Full NI Multisim Integration

NEWS RELEASE – May 2008 – National Instruments today announced NI ELVIS II, the latest version of the design and prototyping platform that educators worldwide have adopted for hands-on, project-based learning. Based on the powerful LabVIEW graphical system design software, NI ELVIS II gives educators 12 new USB plug-and-play instruments and complete integration with Multisim 10.1 software for SPICE simulation to simplify the teaching of circuit design. In addition, educators can use NI ELVIS II with a suite of third-party boards and curriculum resources to teach control design, telecommunications and microcontroller concepts.

“NI ELVIS II, LabVIEW graphical system design software and the tight integration with Multisim 10.1 brings together cutting-edge hardware and software to create a hands-on platform for science and engineering labs,” said Ray Almgren, vice president of academic relations for National Instruments. “By incorporating valuable feedback from educators around the world, NI ELVIS II delivers on educators’ needs to illustrate theoretical concepts taught in the classroom while giving students an opportunity to explore and design those concepts in an interactive environment using LabVIEW and Multisim.”

The new NI ELVIS II includes backward compatibility with the previous version, laboratory-friendly features such as USB plug-and-play connectivity and a smaller form factor to simplify setup and lab maintenance. NI ELVIS II also features 12 of the most commonly used instruments in engineering and science laboratories, including an oscilloscope, function generator, variable power supply and isolated digital multimeter, in one low-cost, easy-to-use platform. Because NI ELVIS II is based on LabVIEW, educators easily can customize the 12 instruments or create their own using the provided source code for the instruments.

NI ELVIS II also features complete integration with new Multisim 10.1 software, leading SPICE simulation and schematic capture software. Educators and students can use Multisim 10.1 with NI ELVIS II to seamlessly switch between simulated and acquired data, overlay simulated and measured data in the same instrument and use a single platform when simulating or testing to provide a holistic view of the circuit design process – from designing and prototyping to deployment. Multisim also includes other pedagogically relevant features such as custom in-circuit quizzes and a 3-D NI ELVIS II feature that students can use to wire their circuits on a virtual replica of the system, increasing efficiency in the laboratory.

With an extensive network of plug-in boards from leading vendors in education and industry, educators can use NI ELVIS II to teach a variety of classes, from circuit design, measurement and instrumentation to design, telecommunications and embedded/microcontroller design. Quanser provides three different plants for teaching control design and mechatronics with NI ELVIS II and LabVIEW. Emona Instruments introduced the DATEx telecommunications trainer to teach telecommunications concepts using NI ELVIS II and LabVIEW.

Additionally, Freescale Semiconductor’s Microcontroller Student Learning Kits with flexible 8-, 16- and 32-bit microcontroller modules is fully compatible with NI ELVIS II and leverages the 12 new integrated instruments to teach embedded and microcontroller design.

“We designed our Microcontroller Student Learning Kits to utilize NI ELVIS II to help students design real-world microcontroller applications,” said Andy Mastronardi, director of university programs for Freescale. “NI ELVIS II helps simplify lab set up and provides students a more in-depth understanding of embedded and microcontroller concepts.”

Readers can learn more about NI ELVIS II by viewing an online guided tour and downloading free curriculum for measurements, circuits, telecommunications and embedded and control design at NI ELVIS II is currently orderable and scheduled to ship in July.

National Instruments in Academia
National Instruments is committed to enhancing engineering and science education worldwide by providing educators and students with powerful graphical system design software and modular hardware to connect the curriculum with the real world. Professors and students benefit from powerful, professional tools such as NI LabVIEW graphical development software, which helps students visualize and implement engineering concepts. The integration of LabVIEW in the classroom creates an effective, dynamic learning environment – from LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT in primary schools to research laboratories in universities. For more information about NI academic products, curriculum resources and discounts, visit


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