Keysight Technologies has introduced a software platform aimed at integrating the test process from design and characterization to optimization, in order to speed up product development and deployment. PathWave “combines design software, instrument control, and application-specific test software in an open development environment,” according to Keysight, which calls the solution “the first software platform that integrates design, test, measurement and analysis.” PathWave also leverages advanced analytics for capturing large amounts of data and identifying trends; monitors the utilization of test resources and their health; and has open APIs to support third-party software and hardware.

“We all recognize the many societal benefits offered by technology, from cloud computing, big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, to augmented reality, and various types of mobile platforms,” said Jay Alexander, senior vice president and CTO at Keysight. “But gaining the full value of these new technologies requires deep expertise across the whole design and test workflow, plus the measurement expertise to effectively implement them.”

Keysight says PathWave can operate locally, in the cloud or both; likewise, it can process test data across workflows, in the cloud or locally.

“Most product development lifecycles are disconnected, presenting design and test challenges at every stage which slows innovation and product introductions,” said Jessy Cavazos, industry director for test and measurement at Frost & Sullivan. “Keysight is applying their unique expertise to unify the design and test workflow throughout the product lifecycle with a consistent user experience and common data formats that accelerates innovation and allows customers to deliver products with speed and quality.”

In other test news:

National Instruments’ fourth quarter revenues rose six percent year-over-year to $350 million, with a net loss of $24 million due to a one-time charge due to the impact of national tax reform. NI said that the $70 million charge was due to “the estimated impact of the inclusion of foreign earnings and revaluation of deferred tax assets and liabilities.” Excluding that charge, the company would have earned $56 million in profits for the quarter, its highest quarterly profit ever, according to CFO Karen Rapp.

In its full-year results for 2017, NI reported revenues of $1.29 billion, up five percent from 2016; and net income of $52 million, a decrease of 37% from the previous year.

“I am proud of what we accomplished in 2017. We set goals to drive revenue and make significant progress toward our operating model, and through focus we met those goals,” said Alex Davern, NI’s president and CEO. “Our employees did a tremendous job in 2017 executing on key business decisions. I believe we have an opportunity to continue to drive both growth and improved profitability in 2018.”

NI has rosy expectations for the first quarter of 2018, estimating that revenues will be between $305 million to $335 million, which “would be a new Q1 record at the midpoint,” the company said.

NI also said this week that it will collaborate with Shanghai University on a 5G testbed for vehicle-to-x ulta-reliable, low latency communications (URLLC). The test bed “will be built on NI’s flexible software defined radio (SDR) hardware and a 5G New Radio URLLC reference design,” according to NI.

EXFO has completed its public offer for shares of network monitoring and analytics company Astellia, taking control of nearly 83% of the targeted shares that it did not control and increasing its stake to more than 88% of Astellia’s shares. The offer of $12.51 per share will be re-opened for another 10 trading days earlier this month, and EXFO said that if at the end of that time the outstanding shares are not more than five percent of shares or voting rights, it will implement a “mandatory squeeze-out” to fully acquire the company.

-Singapore-based AEM Holdings has acquired a Finnish micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) testing company Afore Oy. This broadens AEM’s offering from radio frequency test and logic integrated circuit handlers into testing of MEMS in devices such as sensors. AEM said that Afore’s MEMS test products are used in development and manufacturing for consumer, automotive and industrial uses and that the company has customers in Europe, Japan and the U.S. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

AEM also this week made a product launch to expand its position in the enterprise network testing market: the TestPro 100, a new field tester for multi-gigabit link validation for up to 10 gigabit links and power over Ethernet performance validation.

Teledyne LeCroy made a number of product announcements this week, including new multi-lead and MidBus probes for its Summit PCI Express 4.0 Protocol Analyzer; the company noted that these are its fourth generation of those probe-types for PCI Express. Teledyne LeCroy also said that it has integrated its LabMaster 10Zi-A oscilloscope with Anritsu’s Signal Quality Analyzer MP1900A bit error rate tester for a new PCI Express 4.0 release that aims to automate physical layer testing of PCI Express 4.0 transmitters and receivers. The company said that the Anritsu/Teledyne LeCroy solution is expandable to 32 Gb/s so that it can also support the upcoming PCIe 5.0.

In addition, two of Teledyne LeCroy’s solutions were accepted by standards groups: its Harmony LE Bluetooth Conformance Tester is now a validated test system by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group; and its Voyager M310P USB 3.1 Analyzer/Exerciser system won approval from the USB Implementers Forum for compliance testing of USB Power Delivery 2.0 (it also tests USB 3.1 devices, hubs and hosts and connects devices via USB Type-C cables).

RootMetrics announced its rankings of the network performance of the national carriers across U.S metro areas as of the second half of 2017. Full story here.

OpenSignal, which relies on device-based, crowd-sourced data to analyze the state of mobile networks, has published a number of new reports recently. In addition to its latest national report on the U.S. (which concluded that T-Mobile US has the best network speeds and that the impacts to AT&T and Verizon’s networks from the introduction of unlimited data plans have been mitigated), released its first-ever report on the state of Portugal’s networks, as well as new reports on networks in Brazil, Spain and Colombia.

And because everyone wants to talk about the Super Bowl, OpenSignal also noted on its blog that during its July-September data collection period focused on 35 metro areas, “Minneapolis ranked highest in terms of 4G speeds experienced by users with an average LTE download connection at 21.5 Mbps, almost twice as fast as what our users got in Las Vegas (11.65 Mbps).”


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