Control unit challenge


Our customers’ test benches comprise multiple heterogeneous test instruments

The solution consisting in taking control of all these instruments from a remote PC proves to be complex to implement from a hardware point of view given that certain connections are in LAN, others in USB. For some very specific systems, these connections are using RS232, 485 type connectors or other proprietary communication protocols.

The same problem arises for software where the protocols are just as heterogeneous (SCPI, SSH, MODBUS, proprietary, etc.).

The person in charge of making the solution work must then invest a significant part of his time to standardize the dialogue across these heterogeneous channels. At the same time, the design of the solution must be reliable, fast, flexible and scalable for the software application.

Control Unit


To solve this problem, AMCAD developed a test bench gateway to manage effectively all modules connected locally.

This one standardizes the various connected instruments of the bench in order to facilitate control and increase reliability.

It consists of gateways adapting different communication protocols and making them homogeneous for high-level control software.

It has multiple connection hubs to address various instruments and gateways, all controlled via a central unit.

At a low level, the test bench gateway standardizes the communication between all specific accessories/instruments connected to the test bench the same way IQSTAR does with test instruments at a high level.

On the one hand, it considerably reduces the work to be carried out by the software developer, responsible for developing the measurement application.

On the other hand, all main functionalities of the instruments connected to the test bench gateway can be monitored in real time to ensure that there are no performance drifts. This enables predictive maintenance and reduces the amount of data that must be managed by high-level software.

Rf Test Equipment Schema


A complete RF Test Bench comprises RF instruments, DC power supplies, temperature controllers and various accessories. Integrating off-the-shelf instruments can be complex as not all hardware meets the same standards or communication protocols. Moreover, some specific functionalities may not be natively implemented and must therefore be developed specifically for the need.

Inserting an (intermediate) broker between the low-level test instruments and the high-level software, such as IQSTAR, makes it easy to add additional functionalities without breaking the logic of the software, which remains generalist. The user thus configures the desired sequence of the high-level tests. The IQSTAR software executes the test plans. The test bench gateway coordinates the various interactions between the instruments. It can also send alarm signals to the software in the event of a performance drift or a malfunction of an element.

Each test bench must meet specific requirements based on the measured devices, circuits or systems. Our test bench gateway serves then as a bridge between the specific measurement needs of the DUT and the general measurement capabilities of the instruments and the software. It adds safety functions such as managing temperature and humidity sensors and supporting a stop punch button. It also allows a rapid and safe shutdown of instruments after a critical alarm.

What sets us apart ?

All of our equipment is tested and verified by our engineers specialized in RF tests. AMCAD has a measurement laboratory equipped with recent and calibrated test equipment. The modules are delivered with a complete test report.

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