With next-generation technologies increasingly in complexity, testing and collecting data is becoming ever-more important. Continuing the theme of the morning session at NI’s NI Connect event earlier this week, several of the company’s technology partners spoke about how crucial testing has become for their technology and product development.
Dr. Sunghyun Choi, Senior Vice President for Global Business and Technology Strategy at Samsung Research, said his company is already looking beyond the current 5G ramp-up to 6G, which he expects later in this decade. “By 2030, 6G networks will connect more machines than people,” referring to the increased development of hardware for applications such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR). “6G will employ terahertz frequencies, requiring us to develop novel antenna designs.”
Choi added that Samsung is using NI-defined radio test beds to help develop antenna designs for 6G that will maximize transmission distances with minimal distortion. “We are using AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning to develop techniques to minimize signal distortion at the base station.”
EI Electronics, a supplier of fire and carbon monoxide detection products, has also increased its testing and data collection practices to upgrade and expand its offerings in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. EI uses NI’s Labview and PXI software to monitor all aspects of production and test.
“A few years ago, our fire alarms used a 9-V battery and a sensor,” said Joe Daly, an R&D process and automation engineer. “Now, these devices have a processor and interface with the Internet to provide data. Digital technology is giving us insight into every production cycle and has enabled us to standardize on processes.”
Arnold Suratos, Sr. Manager of Operations Process and Data Management at Nvidia, said that analytics is increasingly needed in product development and manufacturing processes. Nvidia is using NI’s Optima Plus, a data analytics platform the company offers through the acquisition of Optima Plus in July 2020.
“We have adopted the (Optima Plus) system across all of our data center products and now have to engage with a contract manufacturer to deliver our products. Previously, we would just collect and normalize data, which was not efficient for contract manufacturing. Now, we collect and normalize the data, look at design rules, and track all actions to project completion. The system has significantly improved our yield and productivity in 6 to 8 months.”
NI Chief Technical Officer Thomas Benjamin added, “Test data makes performance smarter and faster, particularly as there is a significant increase in system complexity. Fusing physical and behavioral testing with analytics data will be the next frontier. More testing will move to the virtual world. This will help improve product quality and performance, and speed time-to-market.”
Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News covering the electronics beat. He has many years of experience covering developments in components, semiconductors, subsystems, power, and other facets of electronics from both a business/supply-chain and technology perspective. He can be reached at Spencer.Chin@informa.com.