The Journal of Industry and Technology

Industrial Analytical Instrumentation

Euro Technology

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Signal switching and conditioning solutions

Pickering Interfaces introduces signal
routing software for electronic test

Pickering Interfaces, a leading provider of modular signal switching and simulation for electronic test and verification, today announced their new signal routing software product, Switch Path Managerâ„¢. This software simplifies signal routing through switching systems and speeds up the development of switching system software. It can be used in NPI labs as they develop test procedures as well as in automated test systems.

Originally known as Tecap Switching, Pickering is adding new features to the software and renaming it to better address the market requirements as well as clearly identifying the functionality. Beginning in Q4, Switch Path Manager will be part of Pickering's super installer, which will provide customers access for up to 90 days at no cost.

Switch Path Manager signal routing software speeds up switch system development by automatically connecting system endpoints. The software supports Pickering's PXI, LXI, PCI and GPIB switching systems and the interconnection between them.

Within small switching system configurations, or when utilizing just single switch modules, the user typically applies device drivers with the provided API to control the relays. Simple CLOSE and OPEN commands with additional parameters like module number and channel number control the required relays. As switching systems get more complex, this seemingly simple task can get quite complicated.

The user must always take care in order to avoid shorts or malfunctions even when performing simple switching tasks. If there are many relays involved, the risk of error increases significantly. Add to this the potential complexity of test code for the overall test program, and developing and debugging of the switching portion can be lengthy and prone to error.

Switch Path Manager virtually describes any switching architecture and processes all stored project data for switching and routing at runtime. The user selects the modules from the library, and defines the physical interconnections, as well as the endpoints. Endpoints are the boundary of the system where measurement and stimuli equipment and all the UUT access points are connected. By calling Point-to-Point or Point-to-Multipoint functions the routing is processed and the required relays are controlled to establish a signal path between these endpoints. The router will never interfere with existing routes and will find an alternate bypass or will terminate with an error message if not successful. In addition, the router is intelligent enough to minimize the risk of unintended short circuits.

"By offering smooth and easy implementation of switching applications with minimal coding, Switch Path Manager is unbeatable compared to low-level programming" states Matthias von Bassenheim, Program Director for Switch Path Manager at Pickering Interfaces. "The software also offers a simple and accurate setup, further speeding up the development process"

A free 90-day trial version can also be downloaded from Pickering's web site.

Pickering Interfaces in profile
Pickering Interfaces offers signal switching and conditioning for a broad range of applications and architectures. Today, Pickering's portfolio contains the largest range of switching cards in the industry for PXI, LXI, PCI, VXI and GPIB applications. Pickering's products are specified in both commercial and military test systems installed throughout the world and have a reputation for providing excellent reliability and value. Pickering Interfaces operates globally with direct operations in the US, UK, Germany, Sweden, France, Czech Republic, and engineering support in China, together with additional representation in countries throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. We currently serve the automotive, aerospace & defense, power generation, energy and commercial electronics industries.

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