I feel the need for speed! Make that a Quadruple Espresso!

Those of you who read my previous blog on the subject, PCI Express – Espresso for test systems, know that PCI Express can dramatically increase the speed of functional test.  It is the key fabric behind PXIe, AXIe, and the VXI 4.0 modular instrument standards.

Now comes PCIe 4.0.  While not available today as a test and measurement interface, this bodes well for the measurement industry for several reasons. Longevity, streaming bandwidth, and parallel acquisition streams are all benefits that PCI Express brings.  Read about new applications it enables, and why I call this the equivalent of a quadruple espresso here.

By Larry DJ

Semiconductor Test: An application for modular instruments?

Last week I wrote about the battle for market share in the test and measurement industry (see Battle of the Titans).   In that article I reprinted the Frost and Sullivan rankings, courtesy of Jessy Cavazos:

  • $3.4B  Danaher (Tektronix, Keithley, and Fluke brands)
  • $3.3B  Agilent Technologies
  • $1.4B  Teradyne
  • $1.3B  Advantest
  • $1.0B  National Instruments

I observed that if modular instrumentation becomes more widely adopted, as it is on track to do, the industry will face an architectural disruption and this scorecard could become scrambled.  This blogpost I explore whether PXI and AXIe can address semiconductor test itself. Read the entire blog here.

By Larry DJ

Battle of the Titans & Why Modular Matters

There is an epic contest for market share occurring before our eyes.  The titans of T&M are slugging it out.

So what are the rules of the game? Essentially, the game consists of consecutive periods, called years, and the objective is to capture the most revenue dollars during each period. But like all sporting events, you need a scorecard to track it.

Fortunately, Jessy Cavazos of Frost and Sullivan recently published the results for 2011, which you can find here.  In her summary she included a very nice table listing test and measurement companies in order of their electronic test revenue.  You can see the details there, but essentially the scoring leaders are:

$3.4B  Danaher (Tektronix, Keithley, and Fluke brands)
$3.3B  Agilent Technologies
$1.4B  Teradyne
$1.3B  Advantest
$1.0B  National Instruments

Toss Rohde & Schwarz into the mix as a private $1B+ company, and you have the Big 6 Tournament.  And what does this have to do with modular instrumentation? Everything.  To see will be occurring this coming summer, read my analysis here.

By Larry DJ

AXIe Works with AdvancedTCA in Embedded Mil/Aero Applications

AdvancedTCA vendors have spent a great deal of time and money trying to penetrate the military/defense market. Indeed, AdvancedTCA is a natural fit for Mil/Aero systems, since it is a high-performance open systems modular COTS technology. However, in practice, many designers are still sticking with VME and related platforms. One reason is that the AdvancedTCA ecosystem does not offer the precision data converters often used in applications such as radar systems and electronic warfare (EW).

The high throughput of the latest AdvancedTCA processor boards coupled with the cutting edge digitizer performance of AXIe is just the ticket for a wide range of mil/aero applications. AdvancedTCA and AXIe together can handle radar, EW, and other signal processing applications that AdvancedTCA cannot manage on its own.

These are not test and measurement systems. These are parts of the actual radar and EW systems. Read the complete article here.

By Larry DJ