Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Parallel Testing

As a test engineer, you may have explored ways to enhance test system performance in the past though parallel testing. However, the latest off-the-shelf test management software tools simplify parallel test system implementation.
These tools increase test throughput and drive down test system costs.

In general, parallel testing involves testing multiple products or subcomponents simultaneously. A parallel test station typically shares a set of test equipment across multiple test sockets, but, in some cases, it may have a separate set of hardware for each unit under test (UUT).

The majority of nonparallel test systems test only one product or subcomponent at a time, leaving expensive test hardware idle more than 50 percent of the test time. Thus, with parallel testing, you can increase the throughput of manufacturing test systems without spending a lot of money to duplicate and fan out additional test systems.

Test management software, such as NI TestStand, and modular PXI hardware components offer many features for obtaining the highest performance out of a parallel test system. However, you can implement parallel testing using much of your existing test hardware without further hardware investment. Once you have selected your test architecture, the next step is to select the best process model based on your desired UUT test behavior.

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