National Instruments (NI) recently released a new version of its LabView test automation programming environment for the latest Apple Macintosh computers based on the Arm-based Apple M1 CPU/GPU SoC. At the same time, NI let its customers know that this release would be the last one for Apple Macintosh computers, sending a shock through some portion of the company’s customer base.[…]
LabView’s importance to test and measurement cannot be overstated. It was the first graphical programming language designed exclusively for test systems. The language has been continually expanded and improved for nearly 40 years and features more than 7000 software drivers for instruments from many vendors as well as support for custom, FPGA-based instruments. LabView supports many instrument interfaces starting with IEEE-488 and extending to MXI, PXI, USB, Ethernet, and probably a few more interfaces that don’t immediately come to mind.
It’s a shock to many and will likely punish higher education students and a chunk of the scientific and research segment which is still Mac dominant.