06 February 2017 - National Instruments (NI) announced the VB-8054 instrument, a new higher performance model of VirtualBench. VirtualBench plays a key role in reducing the cost and footprint of test and measurement systems by consolidating five of the most commonly used instruments into one device without compromising the performance of each instrument. Combined with a modern software experience and simple programming interface, VirtualBench creates new efficiencies for engineers interacting with benchtop test equipment or developing low-cost automated test systems.
“Engineering workbenches and test systems are getting more and more crowded every day as technologies converge in the latest smart devices,” said Luke Schreier, director of automated test product marketing at NI. “VirtualBench provides the ideal combination of capability at performance levels that can legitimately replace five or more instruments needed to characterize new product designs or validate assembled units on a production floor. With 500 MHz of scope bandwidth and a faster generator in the latest model, VirtualBench meets the needs of even more engineers wrestling with how to lower their cost of capital equipment.”
Key New Features of the VB-8054
- Four-channel, 500 MHz mixed-signal oscilloscope with 2 GS/s sampling rate and protocol analysis (34 digital channels)
- Function generator with 40 MHz max sine output, 5 MHz square, ramp/triangle, DC and arbitrary modes
Additional Capability of the VirtualBench Family
- True 5½ digit DMM with 300 V input range, three-channel programmable DC power supply (up to 3 A) and eight general-purpose digital I/O lines
- Intuitive, unified software view of all five instruments, visualization on larger displays and quick functionality to save data and screenshots
- USB, Ethernet and WiFi connectivity to Windows software application and WiFi connectivity to Apple iPad software application
- Programming interfaces to automate measurements in LabVIEW and C environments
The VirtualBench application requires zero installation and can load automatically through Windows AutoPlay when connected through USB. VirtualBench also includes software capabilities like digital phosphor density maps for displaying multiple acquisitions simultaneously, XY mode for plotting channels against one another and hands-free smart capture for automatic data capture of repeated stable waveforms. To help better maintain the value of any VirtualBench investment, NI provides free software and firmware updates as new features are released. These features, in addition to the consolidated interface, help engineers streamline their approach for benchtop characterization and validation. The small footprint and low price of VirtualBench compared with its equivalent set of boxes help enable lower cost of test on a manufacturing floor.
The VirtualBench hardware family consists of three models most easily designated by oscilloscope analog bandwidth: 100, 350 and 500 MHz. Through these models, the VirtualBench family serves a wide range of applications and price points in academic labs, hardware characterization/debug benches and automated test systems.