Automated Test Equipment

Instrumentation, Software, Services, and Integrators

National Instruments offers a complete software and hardware platform, allowing you to build a software-defined test system that meets your exact test requirements. With this platform, you gain the assurance of ongoing technology support and the flexibility to customize your instrumentation as your needs change. NI offers service programs for individual engineers, global organizations, integrators, and OEMs. These services are designed to meet your needs throughout the application life cycle – from planning and development through deployment and ongoing maintenance.

NI supplies this framework through its modular, automated test platform shown below. Select individual components to learn more about these instruments. Or, view example reference test systems that employ software-defined architecture.

Advantages of the Software-Defined Test Approach

Engineers have used software-defined instrumentation to create demanding automated test and measurement applications for more than 20 years. Its widespread adoption is due to the increasing test challenges that are causing engineers to search for more flexibility, greater performance, and lower cost. Examine the following advantages of using NI software with PXI modular instrumentation over traditional architectures based on stand-alone "box" instruments.

The software resides on the host PC, allowing user-defined measurements and analysis in real time. You can further extend the flexibility by deploying algorithms to an FPGA for increased performance.

Traditional instruments have a fixed software architecture with most of the functionality defined inside the box by the vendor. You are often limited to performing custom analysis offline on the full data sets.

Box instruments are optimized for stand-alone use on the bench, which requires them to have a redundant mechanical enclosure, processor, power supply, and display.

The modular architecture shares the PC, chassis, power supply, and display across all instruments. This architecture allows you to deploy up to 17 instruments in the same footprint as a single box instrument.