Fundamentals of Building a Test System

Defining a test strategy is critical to reducing cost and maximizing the efficiency of your product development and manufacturing organizations. In these guides, learn the recommended process for building test systems from start to finish. Ensure you have the fundamentals to build a smarter test system that can address your needs today and in the future with test engineer best practices for test executive maintenance, hardware and software abstraction layers, thermal profiling, and switching.

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Modeling the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of a Test System

Learn about the tools and insight you need to evaluate your test organization, propose changes where significant cost savings are available, and improve the profitability of your company year over year with smarter investment decisions.

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Selecting Instrumentation

When building automated test systems, the primary tools at your disposal come in the form of measurement instruments. Learn about the major categories of instruments available, and common selection criteria to help you narrow in on the best choice for your application.

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System Power Infrastructure

A power budget and layout ensures all components operate properly by avoiding bottlenecks where a component may need more power than the power distribution can provide. This is especially important for components that could compromise operation of the whole system if starved of power.

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Switching and Multiplexing

Switching can be a cost-effective and efficient option for expanding the channel count of your instrumentation, but it is not always the best option. Learn about the four different switching architectures and determine the best strategy to meet the needs of your test system.

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Test Executive Software

Understand the purpose and core functionalities of text executives and how they can automate and streamline large test systems. Examine three different practical scenarios to determine how an in-house custom-built executive or a commercial off-the-shelf solution can impact the efficiency and cost of deploying and maintaining a test system.

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Hardware and Measurement Abstraction Layers

Hardware and measurement abstraction layers are effective design patterns that make test software as adaptable as hardware. Rather than employ device-specific code modules in a test sequence, you can use abstraction layers to decouple measurement types and instrument-specific drivers from the test sequence. Learn how to drastically reduce development time by giving hardware and software engineers the ability to work in parallel.

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Rack Layout and Thermal Profiling

Often overlooked, thermals can impact measurement quality and measurement system reliability. Learn basic design approaches and explore thermal modeling tools for designing a rack measurement system.

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Mass Interconnect and Fixturing

A mass interconnect system is a mechanical interconnect designed to easily facilitate the connection of a large number of signals either coming from or going to a DUT or DUT fixture. Learn how to choose a suitable mass interconnect system and design an appropriate fixture that seamlessly mates your DUTs to the rest of your test system.

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Software Deployment

Although software deployment is one of the most important steps in building a test system, it can also be the most tedious and frustrating to set up because of the abundance of options available today. Understand the different considerations and tools to address the difficulty and confusion that surrounds test software deployment.

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Test System Maintenance

In a perfect world, systems would never fail. Unfortunately, this is not reality—at least not yet. Systems fail and sudden, unexpected failures can be costly. Although you cannot completely remove the risk of failure, even with the most well-thought-out plans, you can reduce it. Ensure you have a maintenance strategy that can help you manage cost if something does go wrong and reduce the risk of failure.

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