Agilent Technologies Adopts IVI-COM Driver Standard for Connecting its T&M Equipment to PC Applications

10/16/2002 - Agilent Technologies announced that it is adopting the Interchangeable Virtual Instrument (IVI)-COM driver standard for connecting its test and measurement (T&M) equipment to PC software development environments and applications. The shift aligns Agilent T&M equipment with common PC standards and allows test and design engineers to take advantage of productivity gains made possible by advances in PC devices and software.

The IVI-COM drivers are based on the Microsoft® Component Object Model standard and work in the Agilent T&M Programmers Toolkit and common application development environments, such as Microsoft Visual Basic®, Visual C++ and Visual Studio .NET. Engineers can use IVI-COM drivers to develop software that controls T&M equipment. The drivers also simplify system maintenance because test applications are more stable and enable users to keep pace with T&M technology. Hence, engineers can focus on test processes rather than on equipment connectivity.

"Microsoft is delighted that the IVI Foundation has embraced the importance of COM within its framework," said Sam Henry, technical product manager for the Developer Platform and Evangelism Division at Microsoft Corp. "As T&M programmers move toward the Microsoft environment for a development platform, productivity and precision are destined to improve exponentially."

Agilent's adoption of IVI-COM drivers follows its announcement of support for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, the release of its T&M Programmers Toolkit, and the launch of the Agilent Developers Network. The Agilent T&M Programmers Toolkit, which extends Microsoft Visual Studio .NET into the test and measurement industry, supports both IVI-COM and IVI-C drivers and provides a driver wrapper wizard to facilitate the use of existing VXI plug-and-play drivers.

"By supporting IVI-COM drivers, we're moving powerful computer standards from the PC world into the T&M industry," said Joe Mueller, president of the IVI Foundation, and an Agilent Fellow with Agilent's Measurement and Applications Software Technology operation.. "Agilent will continue to offer powerful computer-standard hardware and software environments so customers can more economically, rapidly and easily develop T&M applications."

Agilent is a sponsoring member of the IVI Foundation and has worked with the consortium to define the IVI-COM Open Architecture that defines the standard for creating drivers. The company also has worked with the foundation to create nine IVI class interfaces for specific classes of instruments, including DC power supplies, digital I/O, digital multi meters, oscilloscopes, power meters, RF signal generators, spectrum analyzers, switches and function and arbitrary waveform generators.

Agilent plans to release drivers, that comply with the IVI-COM Open Architecture later this year, as well as class compliant drivers. The initial collection of drivers are expected to support more than 40 Agilent instrument models. The drivers will be available for free download from the Agilent Developers Network Web site.

Agilent T&M Software and Connectivity
Agilent is a leading provider of a wide range of test and measurement instruments, solutions, systems and services for the electronics and wireless communications industries. By aligning its T&M product line with PC industry standard I/O and the open programming environment of Microsoft® .NET, Agilent provides engineers with the fastest, most transparent physical connectivity for their measurement solutions.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics and life sciences. The company's 37,000 employees serve customers in more than 120 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $8.4 billion in fiscal year 2001.

Microsoft and Visual Basic are U.S. registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

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