Modules versus boxes has been a debate going on in ATE circles since the time of the mods and rockers. Modular PXI systems are fast, small, and offer increasing parametric performance. Traditional “box” instruments are easy to use, portable, and offer front panels and displays for manual bench operation. The two formats orbit around different value propositions. But the latest trend is the increasing use of PXI to create one-box testers and traditional bench instrumentation. In this column I talk with seven companies, and get their unique perspectives on this topic. The companies are Agilent Technologies, LitePoint, Aeroflex, VTI Instruments, Marvin Test Solutions, National Instruments, and RADX Technologies. Why are they doing this? What benefits to the user and vendor? What downsides? To find out, read the entire article here.
So, where are we with modular instrument adoption in 2013? It appears that modular systems have again outgrown traditional instruments by double-digit amounts. Part of this is due to 2013 being a soft year for the industry overall, so this wasn’t a particular large hurdle. However, the relative growth rate of modular instrumentation shows that PXI and AXIe continue to take share from their traditional counterparts.
Why is this, and what are the sub-currents? Segment, drivers, acquisitions, architectures, I have it covered. For the most integrated summary you will ever read of the 2013 modular instrument market, go here.