Virtual Instrumentation is the use of customizable software and modular measurement hardware to create user-defined measurement systems, called Virtual Instruments. The main focus of the Lab is Modeling and Simulation of Virtual Real Time Systems. Traditional hardware instrumentation systems are made up of pre-defined hardware components, such as digital multimeters and oscilloscopes that are completely specific to their stimulus, analysis, or measurement function. Because of their hard-coded function, these systems are more limited in their versatility than virtual instrumentation systems. The primary difference between hardware instrumentation and virtual instrumentation is that software is used to replace a large amount of hardware. The software enables complex and expensive hardware to be replaced by already purchased computer hardware; e.g. analog to digital converter can act as a hardware complement of a virtual oscilloscope, a potentiostat enables frequency response acquisition and analysis in electrochemical impedance spectroscopy with Virtual Instrumentation. The main software's included in the Virtual Instrumentation Lab are NI LabView, MATLAB/SIMULINK, etc.
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