National Instrument is the producer of automated testing instruments and virtual instrumentation software majorly applicable in data acquisition, instrument control, and machine vision. For more than 40 years, NI is focused on driving the growth and defining the strategic direction of the business and the products, services, and capabilities required to meet the unique need of the NI customers in the market and the company enjoyed sustainable growth even after the covid recession.
The year 2022 will mark a significant expansion in NI’s DC and RF measurement capabilities said Ritu Favre, EVM & General Manager, National Instruments in an exclusive conversation with ELE Times correspondent Sheeba Chauhan. Please read further for the detailed Interview. Excerpt:
ELE Times: How is National Instruments helping engineers in automated testing, automated measurement systems, and related challenges?
Ritu Favre: At NI, our fundamental mission is to equip engineers to accelerate productivity and discovery. Our vision is to continue innovating with tools that can accelerate product design and test; from software that makes automation easier to advanced data management and analytics. We repeatedly observe that customers who adopt our software-centric, automated approach to test and measurement improve product quality and accelerate time to market while reducing cost. However, helping engineering teams meet increasingly aggressive product schedules requires more than test automation software. It also needs subject matter expertise and a deep commitment to solving our customers’ challenges. I’m both excited about the innovations we’re working on to accelerate engineering productivity, and also proud to represent a culture that believes and strives to create long term partnerships to make our customers successful.
ELE Times: What would be the exciting industry developments to look forward to in 2022?
Ritu Favre: One of the most exciting innovations we’ll see throughout next year is the continued evolution of 6G. Even though 5G isn’t even fully adopted yet, new generations of wireless technology often take a decade to develop and progress of early 6G research is underway. 6G could introduce a myriad of new technologies, ranging from AI/ML to advanced multi-antenna schemes to use of Terahertz and sub-Terahertz spectrum. Our tools are empowering research on all these fronts, and I’m particularly fascinated with the research in new frequency bands. These bands deliver the promise of massive bandwidth and faster data rates that support new applications like augmented and virtual reality. However, they require new technical innovations from process technology to new test practices.
ELE Times: How is NI evolving with the new technology and latest engineering methods to innovate faster?
Ritu Favre: One of the biggest ways we’re innovating is through the use of software, especially automation software, in validation labs. Increasing chip complexity creates a significant risk of slowing product development which impacts every stage of the design cycle. We especially see this in the lab, where it’s simply not practical anymore for engineers to reconfigure a new test bench for each generation of product design. One innovation aimed at this challenge is our new measurement framework software for specific devices like LDO’s, DACs, ADCs, and RF front end modules. These frameworks help engineers quickly bring-up a new device and progress to a characterization environment. Because the measurements are automated, engineers ultimately collect more data during the test process to increase confidence in the design, all while speeding up time to market.
ELE Times: What innovations are lined up for 2022 and for what application areas specifically in NI?
Ritu Favre: NI has a long history of equipping engineering teams with a software-centric approach to automated test systems. In many ways, the “next frontier” of test and measurement lies in the ability to harness the power of data. Engineering organizations have long struggled to use product data across the design flow because of how difficult it can be to correlate simulation results from the design phase to test results in the manufacturing phase. We see a significant opportunity to help engineers connect product information across the lifecycle with data management and analytics software. Enabling smart product lifecycle management with new and innovative solutions will be one of our major focus areas for 2022.
ELE Times: What milestone are targeted in terms of research, technology development, and market expansion and revenue generation by end of next year?
Ritu Favre: While I can’t share details of our product roadmap, I can say that 2022 will mark significant expansion in our DC and RF measurement capabilities. On the DC side, vehicle electrification in the automotive industry is driving new requirements for many of our semiconductor customers. Similarly, innovation beyond 5G and into 6G will continue to drive new test requirements and advances in RF instrumentation. We’re excited to bring solutions to the market that will enable our customers to continue innovating in both spaces over the course of 2022.
ELE Times: Please tell us about your experience of over 30 years with high tech industry. How have you managed to continuously grow in such a fast-moving industry?
Ritu Favre: You’re right, tech is a dynamic industry with constant shifts. It requires business leaders to be acutely aware of new trends, technologies, and market changes. One thing I’ve learned over the course of my career is that you must move fast to take advantage of opportunities to gain market share. I learned this very early in my career with mentors that motivated me to aggressively take on new challenges. As I progressed and began managing people, I realized how much my teams pushed me to continue evolving and learning. This is how I discovered my passion for mentoring.
Over the last decades, I’ve attempted to instill a culture of accelerated pace and inclusivity into every organization I’ve worked in and have personally invested a lot of time in helping develop people. One of the specific areas I’ve focused on is empowering women to step into STEM fields to increase female representation in the industry. I’m passionate about achieving equal gender representation in the workforce and believe it all starts from early education and empowerment. This is a crucial step to maximizing access to talent that will enable companies to keep up with the pace of change in this industry and exponentially increase the rate of innovation.
Sheeba Chauhan |Sub Editor| ELE times