Frost & Sullivan: Higher Automation Makes a Case for Modular Test Instruments Uptake of modular instrumentation to increase with the rising complexity of devices under test
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In industries ranging from aerospace to white goods, the complexity of devices under test (DUTs) is rising, with the devices becoming faster, smaller and cheaper. This greater product sophistication, along with the incorporation of radio frequency (RF) in an increasing number of devices, is compelling engineers to change their test strategy and adopt modular tools that are flexible enough to be customized to their testing needs.
Analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.testandmeasurement.frost.com), High Growth Test and Measurement Market Opportunity: Modular Instruments, estimates the market to have earned revenue of $572.7 million in 2011 and estimates this to reach $1.17 billion in 2017. This is attributed to the greater customer focus on lowering the cost of test, the increasing capabilities of modular instruments, and the benefits of modular instruments over traditional instruments.
The continued innovations by market majors are helping vendors of modular instruments increase the capabilities of their offerings, thereby driving demand. Apart from changing the way devices need to be tested, Moore's Law is improving the functionality of modular instruments. For instance, while RF with PXI was almost an impracticable concept a decade ago, today, RF instrumentation in a small form factor offers very high performance -- almost the best in its class.
"PXI instrumentation has strongly benefitted from technology innovation in semiconductors and more specifically, processors, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and data converters," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Director Jessy Cavazos. "Advancements in FPGA capabilities are extremely useful in test and measurement applications, wherein customers need highly deterministic and fast processing capabilities."
Although these product improvements bode well for the modular instruments testing market, manufacturers will be challenged to replace the traditional instruments. While users are expected to gradually shift to modular instruments, they still predominantly use traditional rack-and-stack instrumentation due to product familiarity and ease of use.
Another important reason for the slow migration is that customers have a wide array of modular instruments to choose from, while with traditional devices, the decision making is far easier as they are closed systems. In 2011, traditional instruments accounted for almost 85 percent of the total market revenue for general purpose test equipment worldwide. Even though its revenue share is decreasing, it will continue to remain a prominent revenue generator in the total market for the next five years.
Increasing automation, superior DUTs, and the hectic pace of research and development (R&D) will shift the revenue balance in favor of modular instruments over time; nevertheless, it will be critical for market participants to educate potential customers about the key benefits of modular instruments over traditional instrumentation.
"Modular instruments' vendors should not only convey the instrumentation's ability to lower the costs of tests and address specific testing needs, but also focus on lesser-known advantages such as the scalability of such instrumentation," notes Cavazos.
As the complexity of devices will increase the need to integrate the test at the beginning of the design process, customers will be attracted to the products' ability to scale, leveraging R&D investments, and bridging the gap between R&D and production throughout the product lifecycle.
High Growth Test and Measurement Market Opportunity: Modular Instruments is part of the Test & Measurement Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Global Signal Generators and Arbitrary Waveform Generators Markets, Indian General Purpose Test Equipment Markets, Global Semiconductor ATE Markets, General Purpose Test Equipment Market in China, and Global General Purpose Test Equipment Markets. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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High Growth Test and Measurement Market Opportunity: Modular Instruments
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan