Interchangeable Virtual Instruments
Instrument drivers are an integral component in modern automated test systems. They perform the actual communication and control of the instrument hardware in the system, as well as providing a high-level and easy-to-use programming model that turns complex instrument measurement capabilities into simple software function calls.
Interchangeable Virtual Instruments, or IVI, is a revolutionary standard for instrument driver software technology. IVI builds on the VXIplug&play specifications and incorporates new features that address issues such as system performance, development flexibility, and instrument interchangeability. IVI drivers also take advantage of the power of the VISA I/O library defined by VXIplug&play to seamlessly communicate with instruments across different I/O buses such as GPIB, VXI, PXI, Serial, Ethernet, and USB.
The IVI Foundation is the industry consortium that drives this standardization effort. Formed by National Instruments in August of 1998, the IVI Foundation has grown to more than 25 members, including end-users, system integrators, and software and instrument vendors. The Foundation's goals are to define standard specifications for programming common test instrument capabilities. The Foundation delivers specifications for interchangeable, better performing, and more easily maintainable instrument drivers.