Engineers moving toward Ethernet, Linux, and High Resolution according to survey

Cleveland, OH - A survey of engineers responsible for electronics measurement reports that new communications protocols such as Ethernet, long touted as a likely successor to the widely-used GPIB and serial interfaces, are finally seeing widespread adoption. In addition, the operating system Linux, a niche player in a Microsoft-dominated world, is also seeing acceptance for measurement applications.

09/26/2002


Cleveland, OH - A survey of engineers responsible for electronics measurement reports that new communications protocols such as Ethernet, long touted as a likely successor to the widely-used GPIB and serial interfaces, are finally seeing widespread adoption. In addition, the operating system Linux, a niche player in a Microsoft-dominated world, is also seeing acceptance for measurement applications. The study, conducted by Keithley Instruments and released September 24, 2002, is its sixth survey of Measurement Trends, a review of measurement performance and future requirements based on the responses of engineers throughout the industry.

This year's survey results were compiled from 265 engineers (11% response rate) who responded to a mailed, anonymous questionnaire administered in April-May, 2002. The survey was sent to engineers who are involved in electronics test and measurement applications across a wide spectrum of industries. While a full report on the study results is available from the company, there are several key findings:

  • The industry's march toward new communication protocols such as Ethernet, USB and even Firewire continues, according to survey respondents. When asked what they used for capturing measurement data from instruments today, and what they plan to use in 12 months, serial port and GPIB users declined dramatically. Ethernet users increased from today's 29 percent to 39 percent in the future; USB grew from today's 23 percent to 37 percent in the future; and Firewire grew from 11 percent today to 21 percent as their future protocol of choice.

  • In fact, Ethernet's popularity was seen in several questions throughout the study. Currently, more than one in five engineers (21 percent) use Ethernet for either a majority or a portion of their measurements; another 34 percent say they're considering it. Even wireless Ethernet is showing signs of acceptance in the market, with eight percent currently using wireless Ethernet for measurements.

  • Expected trends continued as well for use of computer backplanes for data acquisition boards. Future use of PCI and ISA boards showed expected declines, while use of VXI and PXI backplanes were forecast to rise. Planned usage of PCMCIA in 12 months remained flat compared to today's usage levels.

The Demanding Measurements Survey are available at no charge at its web site at www.keithley.com/whatsnew or by contacting Keithley at 888/534-8453.


Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Dick Johnson, Senior Editor
djohnson@reedbusiness.com





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