According to a worldwide survey of engineers conducted by National Instruments, the total cost of developing a measurement system can be broken down into two parts: the price of measurement hardware and software and time costs. While the hardware and software price may appear obvious, time costs are often forgotten when calculating the total cost of the application.

Virtual instrumentation combines software and modular hardware with off-the-shelf PC technologies to provide several solutions for minimizing those hidden time costs that may appear in the development process. This white paper explains how, using the concept of virtual instrumentation, National Instruments data acquisition (DAQ) hardware and software can help reduce hidden time costs in the development of an automated test or measurement application.