Readers Choice

EE Readers Select 2006's Best Products

Thank you to our many readers who took time from their busy schedules to select the best products published in EE during 2006. For the 12th consecutive year, we asked our readers to vote for the most outstanding from among the many products introduced to the test and measurement market by a number of equipment manufacturers.

The selection process began by compiling a group of products representing ATE, Communications Test, Data Acquisition, Environmental Test, Instrumentation, PC Test, and Software. These determinations were based on the number of responses that each product received during the year through EE s RSLeads program.

Our voting process was simple. EE readers selected at random were e-mailed an invitation to vote. The invitation included a URL that linked the invitation to the ballot plus accompanying information on the selected products. The ballot also was available to visitors on the homepage of our website. Here are the products that emerged victorious.

ATE: Aeroflex

Aeroflex is the winner of the ATE award for the 5800 Series ATE System. It features an open hardware and software architecture and reconfigurable pinface styles to combine analog in-circuit testing with 3,456 test points, high-integrity functional testing, and systems test in one test environment. The series is available in benchtop, floor standing, and rack-mount configurations, each with a common core of a 21-slot rack, power, and utility cards. Test scenarios are created using 5800 Series instrument cards and the company's PXI instrument cards as well as third-party PXI cards and GPIB instruments.

Communications Test: Yokogawa Corp. of America

Capturing the honors in Communications Test is Yokogawa Corp. of America with the DL7400 Series. These signal analyzers perform protocol analysis and waveform observation for FlexRay control networks and show the correlated results on the same screen. A FlexRay network transmits and receives data at 10 Mb/s, 10•  faster than a conventional CAN, and features high levels of reliability in data transmission. The series comes with a function that allows a trigger to be set at a point on a FlexRay signal alone or in combination with other signal types as well as when communications failures occur.

Data Acquisition: Data Translation

The Data Acquisition award goes to Data Translation's DT9832 Series of analog input multifunction data acquisition modules for USB 2.0. The series offers two or four channels at throughput speeds up to 2-MHz per channel and features two 16-b analog outputs for waveform generation at 500 kHz per channel, 16 digital input and 16 digital output lines for external event synchronization, two 32-b counter timer channels, and three quadrature decoders for determining X/Y positioning and rotation. The modules ship with the Data Acquisition OMNI CD, an evaluation version of DT Measure Foundry , and operate under software applications including interface tools to LabVIEW and MATLAB.

Environmental Test: m+p international

Winning in the Environmental Test category is m+p international with the SO Analyzer equipped with a 24-b, four-channel USB-powered dynamic acquisition module for use in portable noise and vibration applications. It features a 25-kHz bandwidth, a 102-dB dynamic range, an MS Windows-like user interface, and a wizard-driven setup of all measurement parameters. The analyzer performs real-time data acquisition, imports data from more than 20 standard noise and vibration data formats, analyzes the results, and creates reports.

Instrumentation: Tektronix

A repeat winner among the many Instrumentation choices is Tektronix. This year, the company swept the honors with the DPO7000 Series Digital Phosphor Oscilloscopes with 10-GS/s sample rates on four channels and up to 16• real-time oversampling on one channel and 4• on four channels simultaneously. The 500-MHz DPO7054, 1-GHz DPO7104, and the 2.5-GHz DPO7254 use a platform incorporating IBM 7HP silicon germanium technology. The DPO7054 and DPO7104 support optional deep record lengths to 200M while the DPO7254 reaches 400M. All models have vertical accuracy of  1%, acquire more than 250,000 waveforms/s, and include the MyScope•  user interface.

PC Test: Yokogawa Corp. of America

Repeating winners is the theme of this year's awards as Yokogawa Corp. of America captured a second honor, this time in PC Test. The busXplorer USB 2.0 Compliance Test Solution consists of a USB test fixture and USB compliance test software that work together with a DL9200 Digital Oscilloscope controlled by a PC via Ethernet. It performs high-speed device, host, and hub electrical tests and legacy low- and full-speed tests as defined by the USB Implementers Forum. The software provides step-by-step instructions for completing compliance tests and when, linked with the company's Xviewer Waveform Analysis software, can organize test results by creating and automatically naming a report for every test of each device.

Software: Data Translation

Also making a second trip to the winner's circle this year is Data Translation capturing the Software award with quickDAQ. This real-time data collection and analysis software application plots, analyzes, and saves data without programming. It acquires high-speed analog signals simultaneously and directly to disk at up to 2.0 MHz/channel and operates with any DT-Open Layers for NET-compatible USB or PCI device. It outputs acquired data to other applications such as DT Measure Foundry , Microsoft Excel, and MATLAB• for post-acquisition analysis capability.

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