The world of instruments is rapidly changing. How will instruments be different 50 years from now? Will we still be asking instruments to do the same things they do now?
‘Things’, whether they are electronics, pharmaceuticals, food, or other objects, will still need to be measured and characterized. So how does that inform our roadmap from today to the future?
There are certain truths about the future we can probably all agree to:
1) hardware components will only become cheaper, smaller, and more powerful
2) things we need to measure will likely be higher performance and more complex
3) speed and availability of the networks we use will be faster and ubiquitous
4) software tools for design and simulation will become more capable
5) artificial intelligence of computing will automate and simplify the interpretation of information and automate the behavior of machines and software routines
We can already see some of these trends at work in certain segments of the instrumentation market, ranging from the goliath horsepower of 100 Ghz bandwidth scopes to the elegance of the small handheld wifi-based oscilloscopes.
Somewhere in the future, a field technician will hold a multi-functional instrument the size of a pencil. This instrument will connect via a network for intelligent routines that assess the DUT, program the measurements, collect the data, and automatically analyze the results. On the manufacturing floor a bank of probes will be receiving real time data input from all types of measurement sources on the production floor, from the R&D bench, and from the support organization, continuously adapting its measurements and tests to real time data feeds.
Our vision rests firmly in the belief that cloud computing is a critical component in this future. The near infinite scale in storage, compute, and footprint, will usher this reality to the fore. There is a long, wide road ahead that will unlock new capabilities for the marketplace and the engineers that serve it and our journey begins here, as we develop and deliver to the market the building blocks to help meet the customers where they are today, and walk this path together.