National Instruments recently published their Trends to Watch in 2018 - here is a summary:

  • 5G Progress Will Disrupt Test Processes

Wireless researchers have embraced a platform design approach using SDRs to expedite the early research phase of 5G, and they have delivered. Now, test solution providers must do the same. 5G presents a paradigm shift the likes of which we’ve never seen before, and a platform-based approach that is flexible and software configurable will be essential to the development of this ecosystem.

  • You Will Need 3 Things for Successfully Managing Your Things (IIoT): Remote Systems Management, Software Configuration Management and Data Management

Building IIoT solutions today represents an opportunity to develop a competitive edge and avoid getting left behind as the market continues to embrace available solutions. Companies across all industries are adopting a new breed of disruptive platforms and ecosystems that will transform businesses into engines of innovation and growth by exploiting intelligent technologies such as sensor-driven computing, industrial analytics, and intelligent machine applications. With IIoT technologies, we can harness the benefits of these state-of-the-art platforms to ultimately reduce maintenance costs and improve asset utilization.

  • Automating Engineering Insights Will Happen With Machine Learning

One key element to watch for is the incorporation of machine learning in technology platforms that help developers focus on new problems, save time stitching together adjacent technologies, and avoid getting lost in middleware. Engineers rarely want to spend time dealing with questions that have already been answered or deemed necessary only because of tool chains. What cloud analytics are supported? Whose cloud? Are there RTOS compatibility issues when deploying the models? Integrating machine learning into cloud, software, and hardware platforms will provide pre-curated technology stacks so engineers can focus on new challenges.

  • Vehicle Electrification Will Disrupt the Automotive Industry and Beyond

The government-mandated trend of electric vehicles directly leads to growth in the complexity of vehicles and indirectly leads to an immediate need for growth in infrastructure. The future of the automotive industry will drive the future of the grid, which will require smarter control systems. Turning this into reality represents a truly interdisciplinary challenge to build safe and reliable control systems among other needs. To get to market quickly, this will require an increased reliance on real-time test, production test, and ecosystem partners who have vertical expertise building tools on top of an industry leading, flexible, and open platform. With the right tools, engineers can adapt to the disruptive technologies vehicle electrification will require.

  • Moore’s Law Could Break

Though the viability of the venerable Moore’s law is being threatened again, market needs such as machine learning and autonomous driving will require continued scaling in processing capability and I/O bandwidth, which presents a fresh opportunity to drive new architectural innovations and possibly 3D integration to meet future computing needs.

The full NI Trends to Watch in 2018 is available here.