NI reviews test approaches in era of smart devices

Published January 7, 2017 by lagmen
NI reviews test approaches in era of smart devices

Guest editor James Truchard examines the top test and measurement trends in the Automated Test Outlook 2017.

National Instruments (NI), has announced the release of its Automated Test Outlook 2017. The annual test and measurement report reviews the key technologies impacting automated test environments from reconfigurable test instrumentation to software-centric test platforms and ecosystems for next-generation device test.
In this special edition of the Automated Test Outlook 2017, NI Cofounder and Chairman of the Board James Truchard reflects on the past 40 years of test and measurement, identifies the most significant market and technology trends from recent years, and looks forward to what lies ahead.
“The first era of modern instrumentation was led by General Radio and the vacuum tube; the second era was led by Hewlett-Packard and the transistor; today in the third era, National Instruments and software lead the way,” said Truchard. “We use the phrase ‘the software is the instrument’ to describe this trend. Our user-defined approach to the design of instrumentation systems for test and measurement puts engineers and scientists in the driver’s seat in innovating next-generation products, unlike traditional instruments, which were designed with last year’s needs in mind. In other words, they were designed looking in the rearview mirror.”
The Automated Test Outlook 2017 revisits the following trends that have shown multi-year relevance with their influence on the test and measurement industry, particularly related to Big Analog Data solutions and connected devices, including:
Reconfigurable Instrumentation
Test systems are reconfigured for many reasons – from adapting to new test requirements to accommodating instrument substitutions during calibration and repair cycles.
Optimizing Test Organizations 
Transforming a test organization into a strategic asset requires commitment to a long-term phased approach from creating standard test platforms to building a data infrastructure to improving decision making.
Software-Centric Ecosystems 
The software-centric nature of technology can transform the capability of automated test systems to help drive increased levels of productivity and collaboration.
Managed Test Systems 
As Moore’s law continues to influence the performance of test systems, new data and communication technologies help test managers optimize their test systems to lower the cost of test.
Driven by Necessity
Safety regulations and software are pushing hardware-in-the-loop testing to the forefront of transportation manufacturing in an increasingly software-driven world.
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