Y Y I E D I i

As higher tar­gets are set to in­crease prof­its and de­crease operating costs, test engi­neers are sub­jected to the ever-in­creas­ing stress of im­prov­ing the ef­fi­ciency of their test­ing op­er­a­tions and ul­ti­mately get­ting higher through­put for the same num­ber of

Electronics For You - - TEST & MEASUREMENT -

Chips are be­com­ing faster and more ef­fi­cient keep­ing with Moore’s Law. This is push­ing con­sumer elec­tron­ics tech­nolo­gies to new heights while mak­ing them all the more com­plex. Smarter test equip­ment are re­quired to keep up with the new tech­nol­ogy. Also, test engi­neers need to im­pro­vise tech­niques in order to en­hance the pro­duc­tiv­ity of their op­er­a­tions. Here is how you can im­prove your test per­for­mance.

Up­grade em­bed­ded con­troller, lower mea­sure­ment time

As In­tel and AMD come up with newer mi­croar­chi­tec­tures on their pro­ces­sors, there is a def­i­nite im­pact on the sys­tem con­troller and, in turn, the test­ing per­for­mance and pro­duc­tiv­ity. The just re­leased Ivy Bridge mi­croar­chi­tec­ture—a 22nm die-shrink of the pre­vi­ous Sandy Bridge mi­croar­chi­tec­ture—brings in a plethora of new fea­tures that en­hance com­put­ing per­for­mance.

If you go for an em­bed­ded con- troller that fea­tures a pro­ces­sor with a large cache, the con­troller wouldn’t have to ac­cess the com­par­a­tively slower DDR3 RAM for that data. The lower la­tency of the cache will, in turn, im­prove pro­ces­sor per­for­mance, de­liv­er­ing faster mea­sure­ments and re­sults. This is es­pe­cially true for op­er­a­tions that re­quire in­ten­sive sig­nal and data pro­cess­ing.

“Es­pe­cially for RF mea­sure­ments and RF pro­to­col test­ing, CPr per­for­mance is of­ten the sin­gle most sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor pre­vent­ing faster mea­sure­ment per­for­mance. While ac­tual sys­tem per­for­mance can de­pend on a va­ri­ety of fac­tors such as memory avail­able and other ap­pli­ca­tions run­ning in the back­ground, a strong cor­re­la­tion ex­ists be­tween the CPr per­for­mance and mea­sure­ment time for au­to­mated test sys­tems,” ex­plains David Hall, prod­uct man­ager for RF and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions at the ka­tional In­stru­ments Dev wone.

Fig. 1 shows how the PuIe-8106

Fig. 1: Dif­fer­ence in mea­sure­ment speed for dif­fer­ent mi­cro­pro­ces­sors (Cour­tesy: Na­tional In­stru­ments)

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