A colleague once remarked to me, “Test and measurement moves at a glacial rate.” I’ve expropriated this saying many times. Not to dismiss change—just the opposite. The slower pace of change compared to the consumer electronics industry hides the very real trends that are occurring. For professionals in the industry, not recognizing these can be deadly. Like a frog in a heated kettle, one moment is like the next, but you still end up as grenouille served with a glass of rose.
I’ve identified five key trends I’ll be keeping a special eye on this year. They are:
The open modular disruption
All things “RF”
Data converters drive instrument architectures
Empowering battery life
To see my observations on each, go to the full article here.
Frequent readers of my blog know that I am bullish on modular instruments, such as PXI or AXIe. This column has pointed out the many benefits modular instrumentation brings- higher speed, smaller size, flexibility, all leading to a lower cost of test. Combine that with industry dynamics that couple Porter’s 5 forces with Nobel Laureate John Forbes Nash’s game theory mathematics, and you have the making of a disruptive change in the marketplace. PXI, in particular, is destined to grow big. But how big?
Along comes Frost & Sullivan with their PXI market forecast. And it is stunning. They predict PXI to achieve $1.75B in annual sales by 2020, up from $563M in 2013. That’s an aggregate growth rate of over 17%. Not bad for an industry that has an overall secular growth rate of 3 percent.
I spoke with the author of the report, Jessy Cavazos. She describes the five major forces causing the disruption. Read my analysis of the study here.
If you are integrating a test system, you will need to communicate between the test system controller and the instruments. The days where GP-IB was the default choice are long gone, and five new standards now reign. For traditional instruments, GP-IB has been largely replaced by LAN, based on the LXI protocols. The strongest growth has come from modular instruments driven by PXI, but also consisting of VXI and AXIe. And you are likely to use software drivers managed by the IVI Foundation.
I review what is new LXI, PXI, VXI, AXIe, and IVI here.