Projecting Test Needs For The Coming Year

Jan. 15, 2009
Measurement companies such as National Instruments, of LabView fame, learn to hold a higher-level, system-type view of market needs because of the complexity of their products and the fact that they represent capital expenditures to most customers. ...

Measurement companies such as National Instruments, of LabView fame, learn to hold a higher-level, system-type view of market needs because of the complexity of their products and the fact that they represent capital expenditures to most customers. National recently announced its assessments of trends in test and measurement requirements that are expected to hold out throughout 2009 (see news below). The trends, especially those related to the increasing use of software-defined measurement equipment, make sense for this industry and for electronics designer engineers and technicians in general given the uncertain economic environment.

Perhaps an "add on" to National's list of trends would include the growing availability and use of electronic test equipment based on the Universal Serial Bus (UWB) interface and relying on a personal computer as the control center, rather than integrating the control with the instrument. While this is somewhat similar to a software-defined instrument, most USB-based measurement tools provide traditional "fixed" functions, such as signal generation or power measurements, rather than the more "fluid" functionality of a true software-defined measurement solution. Of course, one trend that will always be true is the need for improved performance and accuracy in test equipment, at a fair price.

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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