An example: Testing smartphones
Assume that you are testing smartphones and running three different tests on each: a power consumption test that uses a programmable source measure unit (SMU), a GSM test that uses an RF vector signal generator (VSG) and an audio quality test that uses a dynamic signal analyser (DSA). Assume that each of these tests takes one unit of time to execute. On a typical test system that tests one phone at a time sequentially, you would test these phones at a rate of one device under test (DUT) every three units of time. Testing three phones would take nine (3×3 = 9) units of time.
The sequential test example in Fig. 2 shows that each test instrument is left unused for six of nine time units. That’s a 66 per cent downtime per instrument! Imagine how much more efficient your test system could be if you use this downtime to start testing the next phone. This is precisely what you can do with parallel testing.