Written by Engineers …for Engineers
Special Reports

SPECIAL REPORTS

From USB 3.1 to 400GbE, data rates push limits

816
As engineers pursue high-speed serial-bus, backplane, memory-interface, and network designs, they face significant challenges relating to a variety of interfaces and standards, including USB...

High or low density matters

831
Thanks to advances in relay and semiconductor capabilities, switching systems continue to evolve. Higher performance relays are available with the same or smaller size...

Extending the midrange definition

632
Today’s mid-range oscilloscopes include noteworthy innovations while predictably continuing the higher-wider-longer evolution. Gradual feature-set expansion in a general-purpose test instrument is to be expected....

Tackling challenges in the time and frequency domains

859
Successful product design and test increasingly call for expertise in RF/microwave, EMC/EMI, and high-speed digital technologies. Issues extend from compliance to signal and power...

Leveraging medical device test

1759
Computers and specialized electronics have had a major impact on the medical profession. At the high end are computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance...

Driving your instruments’ out-of-the-box experience

1678
Software is indispensable in the test-and-measurement process. You can write your own test programs in general-purpose languages like C#, Visual Basic, or Python, or...

Vehicle communications drive test challenges

1495
Connected cars are evolving into mobile data centers, with communications extending from CAN, LIN, and FlexRay to MOST and BroadR-Reach. And cellular and wireless...

Widening the PXI-product selection

1208
Although several modular instrumentation formats are in use, much of the current activity involves PXI and PXIe products. According to information on the PXI...

The loads are simulated, but the connections are real

1521
During development of a battery-powered device, the flexibility that a variable power supply provides can be very useful. You can set the voltage to...

Pursuing commonality and extended life cycles

1172
The more things change the more they stay the same. That seems particularly true in the arena of military/aerospace test. Things are certainly changing,...

DMMs extended and refined

1365
Today’s DMM designs are all about increasing a test system’s capability to comprehensively address diverse applications. For example, because DMMs already need to make...

Algorithms, instruments rev up 5G

1649
Engineering functions including algorithm exploration and channel sounding are driving the emergence of 5G technology. Tools able to help drive 5G evolution include software,...

EMC Test: Instruments, software span validation to compliance

1711
Electromagnetic compatibility has long been a key consideration of successful product design. As speeds increase, concerns related to signal and power integrity also come...

Oscilloscopes: Is there an SBO in your future?

1560
To date, no manufacturer has adopted the stratospheric-bandwidth oscilloscope (SBO) terminology, although several very high frequency oscilloscopes, such as Keysight Technologies’ 63-GHz Z-Series Infiniium...

IoT: Objects communicate wirelessly, sip picoamps

1351
The smart connected objects at the heart of the Internet of Things (IoT) are permeating the gamut of consumer and industrial application areas. The...

DAQ: It’s so hot that …

1619
When gold ions traveling close to the speed of light collide, the resulting stream of quarks and gluons can appear as shown in Figure...

Innovations span 5G and IoT to radar and threat simulation

1947
RF/microwave test applications extending from the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G to radar and threat simulation are areas of active engagement for test...

Fast ADCs and PCs fuel instrument evolution

1266
Swept, vector, and real-time are a few of the terms being used to describe today’s signal analyzers. They help to identify major changes in...

Supporting the past, building the future

1425
Engineers working on military and aerospace applications need to do more with less as they upgrade legacy ATE systems or acquire new ones while...

Exercising the power to interfere

1297
An amplifier is used to increase the power level of the input signal for many reasons. George Bollendorf, marketing and business development manager at...

Shining a light on bandwidth, data-transmission measurements

1433
Ever increasing data-transmission speeds coupled with the need to contend with higher-order modulation schemes are presenting optical-communications test-and-measurement challenges. Products ranging from complete optical...

Taking signals to bits, modularly

1630
Delegates to the Third Planet Redesign Conference have agreed that temperature shall exhibit integer values instead of the continuous range it has had. This...

Gauging the strain

1606
Many conventional strain gages are similar in appearance to Figure 1. A serpentine pattern etched into a metal foil creates a relatively high resistance...

5G researchers take aim at moving target

2116
Research on 5G is proceeding on a variety of fronts, with organizations addressing topics ranging from algorithm development to antenna design. Products available for...

Being turned-on to switching

1416
Although there are many types of RF/microwave switches, not all are commonly used in test systems. As noted by David Owen, business development manager...

Speeding speedy devices to market

1630
As signals traverse at ever higher speeds over digital interfaces, designers face signal-integrity challenges and need to be able to measure jitter and evaluate...

Connected devices mandate RF, power test

1653
Although 5G will emerge to play a key role in mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), other standards—such as Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Bluetooth,...

Data one bit at a time

1549
Why are there so many serial bus types? The answer involves cost, speed, EMC considerations, resiliency, reliability, the need for single/full duplex operation, and...

Large DAQ systems take many forms

1817
The Internet of Things (IoT) is characterized by large numbers of sensors, actuators, and software modules that communicate via the Internet. Regardless of what...

Test engineers seek equipment commonality

1749
Autotestcon convenes Nov. 2 in National Harbor, MD, and will give test-equipment makers an opportunity to demonstrate how they are supporting trends that have...

Interfacing high-speed, high-power DUT signals

1547
As designers deal more with high-power and high-speed signals, interconnect and DUT interfacing become increasingly important parts of a test setup. Vendors have recently...

PXI moves up the food chain

1593
To better understand PXI today, it helps to review its advantages as well as the alternatives. An article on the EE-Evaluation Engineering website analyzed...

Diverse waveforms and frequencies pose challenges

1706
As 5G becomes defined, test-and-measurement companies are working to address the many issues involved, including factors such as frequency, instantaneous bandwidth, modulation scheme, latency,...

Power with sophistication

1738
Higher power density, better ease of use, and unique operating modes are among the more important characteristics distinguishing today’s power supplies and sources. Flexible...

Pursuing efficiency from wafer to system

1528
Power electronic devices are proliferating, finding use in applications ranging from PV and wind farms to high-brightness, efficient lighting. To make sure these devices...

Leveraging test platform diversity

1450
Of the four “XI” test instrumentation platforms—VXI, PXI, LXI, and AXIe—and USB, PXI often is chosen for a number of reasons. National Instruments’ (NI)...

Challenges extend from simulation to compliance

3900
High-speed-digital serial I/O links and high-speed memory interfaces continue to evolve—presenting ever-increasing test and measurement challenges. Multilevel modulation schemes, USB 3.1, DDR4/LPDDR4, and MIPI...

Difficult signal selection

1752
There is little disagreement among switching vendors that PXI is a very useful test system platform. It is an especially good choice if a...

Increased insight through innovative technology

2048
How does your scope answer this question: What’s wrong with this signal? Typically, that’s the question users want to ask, but it’s not always...

Communications service providers look to test solutions

2152
Wireless and landline telecommunications companies and service providers face significant challenges in rolling out, maintaining, and upgrading their networks and infrastructure to support multiple...

Internet of Things boosts measurement challenges

2584
The Internet of Things (IoT) is upon us. According to Gartner, 4.9 billion connected “things” will be in use this year, with the number...

Freedom of choice in the frequency domain

2557
Optimizing the performance of spectrum and signal analyzers involves trade-offs based on each instrument’s strengths and weaknesses. Keysight Technologies’ Sai Yang, product manager microwave...

Capitol Hill offers hope for MIL/aero industry

2265
Military technology has advanced significantly since the time of Ulysses S. Grant, but budget concerns are timeless. Over the course of the U.S. Civil...

Condition first, then sample

2648
What types of variables do DAQ systems need to accommodate? You can get an idea of the kinds of quantities that are commonly measured...

Safeguarding low-level signals

2095
Accurately measuring very low-level signals requires more than just good instrumentation. Special care is needed throughout the measurement system because the very small size...
Special Report - EMC Test

Piecing together EMC compliance

2030
The run-up to the EMC Symposium, scheduled for March 15-20 in Santa Clara, puts the test-and-measurement industry’s focus on solving the puzzle of electromagnetic...

Confident control, near or far

2272
Test-system functionality obviously depends on the hardware modules that have been provided. Using a DMM to make voltage measurements and a digitizer to measure...

Test to play key role in 5G rollout

3778
The next generation of cellular communications technology, 5G, is emerging to handle ever-increasing demands for mobile data—which will be exacerbated by the proliferation of...

Thought-controlled scopes further delayed

3133
Continuing technical challenges mean that would-be early adopters of thought-controlled scopes will have to wait a little longer before taking delivery. One of the...

Instruments target serial I/O links and DDR interfaces

3679
High-speed-digital serial I/O links and DDR memory interfaces are presenting significant measurement challenges as fourth-generation standards emerge. As signals travel at ever higher speeds...