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The system switch plays a crucial role in any automated test system as it provides ATE engineers the ability to distribute a finite amount of instrumentation I/O to multiple test points. The popularity of modular architectures such as VXI and PXI, created an opportunity for consolidation of instrumentation and switching within a single mainframe, resulting in high-channel count capability in a reduced footprint. A modular approach to switching systems also affords the ATE architect design flexibility through the use of domain-specific modules (i.e, power, RF, and analog) that can be combined to cover a broad range of the signal spectrum. Unfortunately, software development and integration can become unnecessarily complicated when the system switch is viewed simply as a collection of discrete modules that are assembled to accommodate the required I/O count. This paper will discuss web-based methodologies and software platforms that VTI Instruments has developed to create a versatile system-level switching programming environment. This framework, which is implemented on web-enabled LXI-based modular switch instruments, significantly reduces test program set development time and simplifies debugging and design validation activities without the overhead of third party configuration tools.
AUTOTESTCON, 2011 IEEE
Date of Conference: 12-15 Sept. 2011