Agilent - Types of Data Acquisition Architectures

Our thanks to Agilent Technologies for allowing us to reprint the following article.

Introduction

There are a number of test equipment choices in the data acquisition market, ranging from PC plug-in cards to standalone data acquisition units. To select the optimal equipment for your application, it is important for you to evaluate your measurement performance needs, including resolution, accuracy, functionality and throughput speeds. With so many choices available today, you will want to choose a flexible solution that can grow in tandem with your application, so you can protect your investment in the future.


To help you choose a system that meets your needs, this article explains the different types of data acquisition system architectures and explores some of their advantages and disadvantages. It also describes two applications using different data acquisition solutions.

Application Example - Switching in an Automated Test System


    Customer Profile: Electronics Manufacturer, Production Test Department

    Application Requirements: An entire rack of test instruments has been assembled to create a "generic" tester to be adapted to test a number of the company's products. A switch system is required to route the signals between various test points to the racked instruments, under program control.

    Solution: Since only switching is required for this application (no actual measurements), a switch box will provide the needed functionality. The customer can use a matrix switch for the most flexible signal routing and an actuator switch for custom switching topologies and test interface control. For high-frequency signal routing, such as routing signals to an oscilloscope or spectrum analyzer, the customer should use a radio frequency (RF) multiplexer configuration. ..


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