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2010 Automated Test Trends &

Technology Outlook

February 24, 2010

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NI Global Test Technology Outlook

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Key Trends for Automated Test
• Technology Trends
 PCI Express
 Multicore
 FPGA Reconfigurable I/O
• Methodology Trends
 Hybrid Systems
 Parallel Test
 Multi-standard & MIMO RF
 Real-time Test

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Next Generation PCI Express
7000

6000
Bus Throughput (MB/s)

5000

4000

3000

2000

1000
PCI (32-bit, 33 MHz)
0
1 4 8

Number of Lanes
Test System Bus Comparison
10000
PCI Express/
PXI Express (x4)
Increasing (Improving) Bandwidth

1000
Max Bandwidth (MB/s)

PCI/PXI
Gigabit Ethernet
USB 2.0
100
IEEE 1394a
VME/VXI

Fast Ethernet
10
GPIB (HS 488)

USB 1.1
GPIB (488.1)
1
10000 1000 100 10 1 0.1
Approximate Latency (μs)

Decreasing (Improving) Latency

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PCI Express Advantages

• Software compatibility
• High throughput (up to 6 GBytes/s)
• Scalable bandwidth
• Dedicated bandwidth per slot
• Peer-to-peer communication
• Long life (20+ years in mainstream market)

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Peer to Peer Extends System Bandwidth
1 GigaBytes/s 1 GigaBytes/s 1 GigaBytes/s

Input

Input

Input
Processing
Output

Processing

Processing
Output
Processing

1 GigaBytes/s
1 GigaBytes/s

Bandwidth not limited to System Controller


1
System Controller

2
Peripheral Module

3
Peripheral Module

4
Processor Module
H
5
Peripheral Module
H

PXI Express Backplane


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Peripheral Module
H
7

Processor Module
H
8

Peripheral Module
PXI Chassis with Multiple Processors
Multicore Computing
Faster processors Multicore processors

Clock Speed (kHz) Transistor Count


CPU Speed

Intel Core 2 Quad Processor


Q9100
• 2.26 GHz CPU speed
• 12 MB L2 cache
1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
• 800 MHz DDR2 RAM

“To fully exploit the power of processors working in parallel ... new software must deal
with the problem of concurrency.” – Bill Gates
Performance Benchmarks
Fast Fourier Transforms per second (FFTs/s)

Max 1024-Point FFTs/s


250.000
217.155

200.000 Performance Improvements


120,0%
150.000 110,9%
121.212
102.813 100,0%
100.000
77,9%
80,0%
50.000
60,0%

0
40,0%
PXI-8106 PXI-8108 PXI-8110
18,6%
20,0%

0,0%
8110 vs 8108 8110 vs 8106 8108 vs 8106
Multicore Programming Techniques

Task Parallelism Data Parallelism Pipelining


Decrease test time by Break up test data into Use an assembly line to
performing nondependent smaller pieces and efficiently run multistep
tasks at the same time process them in parallel test sequences
FPGA Reconfigurable I/O (RIO)

Bus Interface
LabVIEW and
Measurement
FPGA Programmable
Analog or
FPGA
System Digital
Front End
Model
LabVIEW Driver

System Controller Modular Instrument

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Benefits of FPGAs in Test Systems
• High Reliability – Designs implemented in hardware
• Low Latency – Run algorithms at deterministic rates
down to 5 ns
• Reconfigurable – Create DUT / application-specific
personalities
• High Performance – Computational abilities open new
possibilities for measurement and data processing speed
• True Parallelism – Enables parallel tasks and pipelining,
reducing test times

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FPGAs for Test Application Areas
• Real-time / co-processing
Processing • Data reduction / in-line processing

• Protocol-aware ATE
Protocols • Interfacing (digital or modulated)

Closed-Loop • Response-stimulus test


Test • Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL)

Test System • Digital DUT interfacing and command


Control • Complex triggers

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Data Reduction and Signal Processing
 Filtering  Algorithmic pattern generation
 Peak-detect  Co-processing
 FFTs  Modulation/demodulation
 Custom triggering

Acquire Process Display

Image Sensor

LCD Display NI 6581 Adapter Virtex-5 LX85 FPGA Modules

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Real-Time Spectral Analyzer

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METHODOLOGY TRENDS

NI Confidential
Hybrid Test Systems

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Which instrumentation buses to you use most
frequently in your test systems? (select up to 3)

Source: NI Automated Test Customer Advisor Board and Regional Advisory Councils

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High Performance Hybrid Core
Parallel Test: From Signal to Software
NI LabVIEW

Parallel UUT Test Parallel Data Transfer Parallel Program Execution Parallel Processing
(PXI Express & P2P) (Multithreading) (Multicore & FPGA)

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Parallel vs. Sequential Testing
Sequential

Parallel

Auto-schedule Parallel
Example: Auto-schedule Parallel Test

“The original test station sequentially tested each handheld radio


produced. The new test system, on the other hand, is capable of
testing up to eight radios in about the same time required by the
previous system to test two radios.”
More RF Standards → Flexible Platform
Mobility

GSM WCDMA WiMAX


Wireless Mobile
Handset
EDGE HSPA
3GPP LTE

WiMAX
Fixed
Stationary ZigBee Bluetooth
Radio
IEEE IEEE IEEE
802.11A/B 802.11G 802.11N

0.1 1 10 100 1000


Data Rate (Mbps)
Software-Defined RF Instruments

Other PXI Modular


Instruments

NI WLAN Toolkit
NI LabVIEW
NI PXIe-8106 PXIe-5673 6.6 GHz RF PXIe-5663 6.6 GHz RF
Dual Core Controller Vector Signal Generator Vector Signal Analyzer
Multi-Standard RF Test
GSM Tester

WLAN Tester

Spectrum
Analyzer

Radio Multi-
Tester Protocol
UUT
Power
Meter
RFID Tester

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MIMO – Multiple Input, Multiple Output
• Common configurations are 2x2 and 4x4
• Used in 802.11n, WiMAX, LTE, and evolving standards
• Use of spatial domain yields higher data throughput

Transmitter Free Space Receiver

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Direction Finding
• Three or more receive antennas
• Unique propagation delay to each receiver
• Direction can be calculated through phase difference

Rx0

Rx1

Tx Rx2

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6 Channel Phase Coherent Record Setup

50 MHz BW Each Channel, Total of 1.5 GB/sec Streamed to Disk

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3 Channel Phase Coherent Playback Setup

100 MHz BW Each Channel, Total of 1.5 GB/sec Streamed from Disk

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Real-Time Testing
• Traditional: Test vectors “talk” or “listen”
 They know what they want to say and what they
expect to hear – standard ATE model
• Protocol-Aware: “Real-world communication”
 In-cycle responses to the DUT
 Intelligence in the hardware
• Means of emulating world around the DUT
HIL and Beyond

Real-Time Simulation

Functional System Model

Electronic Control Unit

Real-World System
Model-Based Dynamometers

Model-Based
Dynamometer
Control and
Stimulus

6-Wheel Chassis Dynamometer


Analog Example: RFID Testing

• User-programmable FPGA performs necessary


processing
• Upconverter and downconverter condition the signal for
the correct RF frequency of the tag

PXI-5610
RFID Upconverter DAC DDC Base-
Tag band
PXI-5600 ADC DUC
Downconverter
Key Trends for Automated Test
• Technology Trends
 PCI Express
 Multicore
 FPGA Reconfigurable I/O
• Methodology Trends
 Hybrid Systems
 Parallel Test
 Multi-standard & MIMO RF
 Real-time Test