Use of mul­ti­core and par­al­lel test sys­tems

Electronics For You - - TEST & -

s the com­plex­ity and func­tion­al­ity of elec­tronic de­vices grow ex­po­nen­tially (in sync with Moore’s law), so does the cost of test­ing them. Min­imis­ing the cost of test can be chal­leng­ing, but one way is to test more with less. The in­her­ent par­al­lel­ism that is made avail­able by the graph­i­cal pro­gram­ming par­a­digm of soft­ware like Lab­VIEW from Na­tional In­stru­ments and Flow­Stone DSP from DSP Ro­bot­ics helps en­gi­neers im­me­di­ately and over­come the com­plex­ity as­so­ci­ated with tra­di­tional text-based lan­guages.

The trend of in­creas­ing clock speed to get bet­ter per­for­mance ended back in the early 2000s. Since then, pro­ces­sor man­u­fac­tur­ers have im­ple­mented al­ter­nate tech­nolo­gies to ramp up per­for­mance while keep­ing the clock speeds around 3 GHz. These tech­nolo­gies in­clude the use of pro­ces­sors with mul­ti­ple cores on a sin­gle chip, hy­per­thread­ing, wider buses and hy­per trans­port. More­over, the ad­vance­ment of the process node to the cur­rent 22nm process by util­is­ing 3D tran­sis­tors has re­sulted in sig­nif­i­cantly faster, leaner and more ef­fi­cient pro­ces­sors for use in em­bed­ded con­trollers and mod­u­lar in­stru­men­ta­tion.

Den­ver D’Souza, se­nior tech­ni­cal con­sul­tant at Na­tional In­stru­ments In­dia, says, “The re­al­ity that tran­sis­tor den­sity dou­bles ev­ery ad­vances in the per­for­mance of elec­tronic de­vices. This is ev­i­dent not only in the lat­est In­tel Core i7 pro­ces­sors but in the shrink­ing of tech­nol­ogy such as 64GB solids­tate drives, which are now the size of a postage stamp. These tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances trans­late into con­sid­er­able cost re­duc­tions.”

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