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White Paper: A System-Level Approach to Modular Switching Software
  April 28, 2011

VTI's Scalable DAQ
Solutions Simplify MEMS Transducer Testing

Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) transducers are an important tool for electro-mechanical measurements that require a small footprint, such as monitoring pressure on miniature electronics, and are used in critical automotive, medical and industrial applications worldwide. For example, automobiles can electronically monitor tire pressure and display the result to the driver using this technology.

To ensure quality, each transducer is verified for functionality and accuracy. This requires an excitation source (voltage or current) to simulate real world test conditions and a voltage or resistance measurement to verify the transducer's response. Testing occurs across a wide temperature spectrum and is typically performed in parallel to maximize throughput of large batch quantities.

Leading MEM's manufacturers have standardized on VTI's precision electronic test instrumentation to simplify test configuration, maximize reusability, and reduce overall costs. The EX1200 Precision Switch, Measure and I/O series has proven to be a perfect fit. The EX1200 is the highest density switching platform available featuring a high performance 6.5 digit DMM, precision analog and digital I/O modules, and an internal analog expansion bus for simplified signal routing and measurement.

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FEATURED PRODUCT continued... 

The modules plug into EX1200 mainframes that range from two slots in ½ rack U, to 16 slots in 3 rack U providing test engineers with a truly scalable architecture that can expand to 128 high-performance analog output channels. As part of the EX1200 family, they can also be combined with other EX1200 family switch and I/O modules as a multifunction core instrument.

Every channel is isolated, true-differential and has sense lines that can be used to compensate for voltage drops that occur over the length of the lead wire between the DAC output and the device under test. Additionally, these modules are capable of generating ±20 V or sourcing 20 mA per channel, and multiple outputs can be combined to provide system level performance of up to 160 V or 160 mA.

Each channel is also capable of 500 kSa/s arbitrary waveform generation and can be configured for synchronous or asynchronous operation, with thousands of unique patterns and segments. Extensive triggering simplifies test configuration and enables sequencing of the AWG outputs with input measurements.

The addition of these modules continue to enhance the functionality and utility of VTI's EX1200 Precision Switch, Measure and I/O product series, making it most versatile electronic test and data acquisition platform available.

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Precision Modular Instrumentation

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Performance-Grade Multichannel DAC/AWG
- Up to 160 V, 500 kSa/s

VTI's high-density arbitrary waveform generator modules, the EX1200-3604 and EX1200-3608, part of VTI's award-winning EX1200 series of multifunction modular instruments, are ideal for setting static voltage levels or creating and generating custom complex waveforms making this an ideal solution for simulating a wide range of signals and sensor outputs.

A System-Level Approach to Modular Switching Software

For years, VTI has been the leading supplier of switching and I/O systems for the most challenging defense and commercial application requirements. ATE engineers have come to depend on VTI's high-density, modular approach when architecting switching systems that have the flexibility to accommodate virtually any signal level and frequency range. VTI's design philosophy begins with the understanding that the system switch is an instrument at the heart of an automated test system, responsible for ensuring the highest degree of signal integrity, and not simply a collection of autonomous plug-in cards.

While a well-designed switching system ensures reliable test results, it is equally important to create a software infrastructure that facilitates fast development cycles and ease of maintenance. VTI has introduced an innovative approach to architecting system-level switching software that includes platforms and patent-pending web-based configuration tools. The result is a robust programming environment for signal switching that significantly reduces test development time. Download the white paper, link, to learn how these tools have helped our customers simplify development, debugging and TPS validation activities, while significantly improving hardware and software maintainability.

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