For many years, high-volume manufacturing and complex military and aerospace test applications have required high-end automated test equipment (ATE). ATE systems, which historically have been built with proprietary hardware and software, required many months to develop and build. In addition, because systems were generally designed for a specific test application, they lacked scalability for other applications. Despite high cost and certain limitations, many applications have continued to require dedicated ATE to achieve throughput and coverage requirements. For such applications, the cost and time required to build these systems has been accepted.
As technology has continued to evolve, however, commercial technologies have developed that now parallel and often eclipse the capabilities of dedicated, proprietary systems. National Instruments has been at the forefront of this revolution, brining increasingly sophisticated hardware and software technologies to bear on automated testing applications. NI has built a comprehensive hardware and software architecture that brings capabilities once confined to very expensive, proprietary systems, to applications ranging from design verification testing to highly automated manufacturing testing. Just as computers that once filled entire rooms have shrunk in size with steadily increasing capability, sophisticated ATE is now available for desktop use with the cost, flexibility, and performance demanded by a large number of engineers in research, design, and manufacturing.
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