Keysight Technologies is well known for its test-and-measurement equipment. These days that equipment is heavily dependent on built-in software. Likewise, data acquisition is complemented by analysis software that is built-in as well, so it is not surprising that Keysight is taking the software side to the next level in terms of data acquisition and analytics with its PathWave suite (Fig. 1).
1. Keysight’s PathWave melds data acquisition with advanced analytics. It can be hosted either locally or in the cloud.
PathWave services can be hosted on a local server or in the cloud. It is also possible to create a hybrid. The solution targets the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), including the Industry 4.0 initiative. PathWave Analytics supports real-time asset tracking and management. Real-time monitoring can also be used to trigger alerts when anomalies are detected and notifications can be sent using e-mail, SMS, or mobile messaging systems.
PathWave can be used to identify trends and predict failures so action can be taken before the problems occur (Fig. 2). This is the promise of Industry 4.0 and IIoT. It takes platforms like PathWave to make that happen.
2. PathWave can be used for predictive analytics to predict problems, thereby mitigating potential failures.
“Most product development lifecycles are disconnected, presenting design and test challenges at every stage which slows innovation and product introductions,” said Jessy Cavazos, industry director, test & measurement for Frost & Sullivan. “As a leader in design and test, Keysight is applying their unique expertise to unify the design and test workflow throughout the product lifecycle with a consistent user experience and common data formats, that accelerate innovation and allow customers to deliver products with speed and quality.”
PathWave would be useful simply for its IIOT support, but it also addresses design and test workflows that are becoming more extensive. Data acquisition and testing is no longer limited to bench test equipment like oscilloscopes or logic analyzers. PathWave provides the infrastructure to capture this information to support the entire design, test, measurement, and analysis process.
PathWave also includes other components like PathWave FPGA and PathWave Test. PathWave FPGA is a system-level development environment that can be used to create, deploy, and simulate accelerated DSP functionality in instruments (Fig. 3). It leverages DSP IP libraries and is based on an open DSP ecosystem.
3. PathWave FPGA is a system-level development environment that can be used to create, deploy, and simulate accelerated DSP functionality in instruments.
PathWave Test is the component that links the framework to test automation. It provides a way to share and manage data acquisition and test procedures, as well as accelerate the product or system development process. This part of the framework is built on Keysight’s Test Automation Platform (TAP). TAP is a Microsoft .NET system that can be used standalone or as part of the PathWave framework. TAP’s SDK provides some of PathWave’s open APIs. TAP also includes tools like a timing analyzer for interactive use. This type of information is also what can be saved and utilized from the PathWave database.
PathWave provides developers with open APIs, not to be confused with open-source software that these APIs can work with. This allows integration with third party software and hardware since the data acquisition process addresses a wider scope than just what Keysight provides. The predictive analytics can also be brought to bear in design and development process.