NI enters semi test market. Beginning of the end for big-iron ATE?

NI Week in early August marks the annual migration of National Instrument (NI) users to Austin, Texas to learn about the latest products and applications. Joining them are a myriad of NI partners, and me – your humble correspondent. Last year I wrote about NI’s strategy being the quintessential platform play. By rigorous alignment to a few key platforms, NI is able to address an impressively wide set of applications. For automated testing, those platforms are essentially PXI and LabView. Those insights on NI’s strategy are just as relevant today, so if you need a primer, you can find it here.

While the weather for this NI Week was cooler than years before, the product introductions remained hot. Top of the list was NI’s entry into semiconductor ATE.

Whoa! You read that right. NI is joining the ranks of Advantest and Teradyne in offering solutions for semiconductor testing, both for design validation and manufacturing. As a side note, your humble correspondent is feeling a little less humble today, as I suggested modular-based testers would do exactly this in 2012, and most recently in 2013.

To read my entire column, along with a surprise interview with NI CEO James Truchard, just click here.

3 NI STS Systems

By Larry DJ

Top 5 automation interfaces every test engineer should know

So you are designing a new test system.  Which controller interfaces should you use? What are the trade-offs between them? In this article, I discuss the “Top 5” automation interfaces every test engineer should know. They are:

  1. GP-IB
  2. LAN
  3. USB
  4. PCI Express
  5. Embedded controllers

That’s the list, but to see the attributes of each, you’ll have to read the column here


By Larry DJ