The Instrumentation Revolution

Issue 51 - March 2014

Over 60 years ago, the path of technology was changed with the creation of the transistor. This great invention of the twentieth century has impacted all elements in our lives, and has revolutionized instrumentation itself. Currently, engineers, from research to aerospace and defence, are struggling to build customized solutions with compact and comprehensive tools that provide more flexibility, performance and value; a trend depicted by Gordon E. Moore, Intel co-founder in 1965. And so, we face another crossroad in instrumentation, that follows the exponential curve of Moore’s law; the software revolution.

Testing, from hardware-in-the-loop to automated test, was traditionally achieved through box instruments and manual techniques. As systems become more complex, this method is not longer efficient as it does not allow engineers to obtain the level of flexibility required, the time to focus on results, nor to utilize instruments as they are intended to. Engineers and industrialists needed instruments that allow them to make more complex measurements with more automation.