National Instruments Germany GmbH

Ganghoferstraße 70b
Munich,  DE-80339

  • Booth: A4110

Smarter Testing from Characterization to Production

The IoT is driving increased product integration from the IC to the end device. To overcome the shortfalls of traditional automated test equipment, semiconductor organizations need smarter test systems able to simplify data correlation from production to characterization to lower system costs and decrease time to market. With NI’s smarter platform approach, built on modular PXI hardware, open LabVIEW system design software and TestStand test management and data analysis software, semiconductor manufacturers are increasing test coverage and improving throughput while reducing cost for RF and mixed-signal test.

 Press Releases

  • Spirent uses NI software defined radio products to develop a solution that can help accelerate commercialization of 5G New Radio.

    AUSTIN, Texas – July 11, 2018 – NI (Nasdaq: NATI), the provider of a software-defined platform that helps accelerate the development and performance of automated test and automated measurement systems, and Spirent Communications plc (LSE: SPT) today announced their collaboration to develop test systems for 5G New Radio (NR) devices. The collaboration will allow 5G chipset and device manufacturers to validate the performance of 5G NR smartphones and IoT devices in the lab without requiring access to expensive and complex 5G base stations (gNodeBs).

    Recently the 5G standards body, 3GPP, officially approved the first round of 5G specifications in June 2018. This important step will be followed by the specification of new architectural options and additional capabilities as the standard is expanded over the coming months and years. Consequently, device test solutions must be flexible to quickly adapt to these changes and to allow future upgrades while avoiding costly hardware changes as the standards evolve.

    To that end, Spirent Communications, a recognized leader in ensuring the performance of devices and network services, has adopted NI’s flexible software defined radio (SDR) products in the development of its 5G performance solution. Spirent’s solution will employ NI’s USRP (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) devices and mmWave Transceiver System and will include 5G NR test scenarios for mobile location, video, data, audio, and calling performance. Key architectural details of the solution include the use of LabVIEW FPGA to emulate layer 1 through layer 3 of the 5G NR protocol stack.

    "Building on the strength of NI’s early success in 5G research and prototyping, combined with the modularity of its platform, accelerates initial interoperability and means our customers can feel confident that the platform can adapt to the evolving standards," said Rob VanBrunt, general manager of Spirent’s Connected Devices business unit. "5G test engineers already recognize NI’s off-the-shelf platform as the industry’s most flexible and powerful hardware available. Integrating their advanced signal processing capabilities into our 8100 platform enables an attractive upgrade path for our existing customers."  

    The new 5G performance test solution will include support for both sub-6 GHz and millimeter-wave radio bands and will integrate seamlessly into Spirent’s existing network emulation platform. The system will also feature up to 2 GHz of bandwidth.

    “The marriage of our high-performance platform and Spirent’s best-in-class test methodology for measuring the mobile user experience is exciting for the industry,” said James Kimery, director of wireless research at NI. “Being able to assess the accuracy of cellular location in 5G environments and measuring the performance of video and data delivery are critical needs as 5G devices come on line starting in 2019.”

    For more information on how NI is collaborating with industry and academia to define and deploy 5G, visit To learn more about Spirent’s 5G solutions visit

  • NI-RFmx measurement software now supports NB-IoT and eMTC signal generation and measurements

    AUSTIN, Texas – June 19, 2018 – NI (Nasdaq: NATI), the provider of a software-defined platform that helps accelerate the development and performance of automated test and automated measurement systems, today announced NI-RFmx NB-IoT/eMTC measurement software, which complements NI’s existing RF test capabilities for wireless technologies ranging from 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax to Bluetooth to 2G/3G/4G/5G standards.

    NB-IoT and eMTC drive a wide range of machine-type communication applications by delivering on key performance criteria such as extended range and lower power consumption. Compared to existing LTE technology, the NB-IoT and eMTC standards extend range through link budget improvements and improve power consumption through narrower bandwidths and simplified radio designs.

    Given the intent of NB-IoT and eMTC technology for low-cost and low-power applications, engineers face aggressivecost and power consumption targets. NI’s solutions for NB-IoT and eMTC test combine easy-to-use measurement software with a wide range of RF, DC and digital instruments. These solutions can also test multiple facets of NB-IoT/eMTC radio designs. Using NI-RFmx software combined with NI’s vector signal transceiver, engineers can easily measure a wide range of RF performance characteristics such as output power, modulation quality and spectral emissions. In addition, using NI’s precision DC instruments, engineers can validate power consumption to within femtoamps of resolution. Finally, customers already using NI’s RF instruments for 3G, 4G and 5G test can easily augment tester capabilities as requirements evolve using the new NI-RFmx NB-IoT/eMTC personality to further support the device market. 

    ”NI’s new solutions for NB-IoT and eMTC test are part of our commitment to helping engineers bring new wireless technologies to market more quickly,” said Charles Schroeder, technology fellow at NI. “With our software-defined approach to test and measurement, engineers can rapidly evolve the RF measurement capabilities of test systems to account for new wireless standards in a cost-effective and timely manner.”

    NI’s new technology for NB-IoT and eMTC uplink test supplements is a comprehensive product portfolio for RF and semiconductor test, including measurement software for 2G, 3G, LTE-Advanced Pro, 5G New Radio, WiFi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0 and more. In addition, engineers can select from more than 600 modular PXI products, spanning DC to mmWave, to create comprehensive semiconductor characterization and production test systems.

    To learn more about NI-RFmx support for NB-IoT and eMTC, visit
  • New software improves the interactive use of PXI instruments

    AUSTIN, Texas – May 22, 2018 NIWeek – NI (Nasdaq: NATI), the provider of a software-defined platform that helps accelerate the development and performance of automated test and automated measurement systems, today announcedthe release of its InstrumentStudio software for NI PXI modular instruments. InstrumentStudio improves the live, interactive use model for modular instruments and makes debugging while running tests more intuitive. Engineers in the aerospace, automotive and semiconductor industries benefit from a more effective workflow for test system development.

    InstrumentStudio evolves the concept of single-instrument soft front panels into a unified, multi-instrument environment, so engineers can capture screenshots and measurement results in one view from their suite of instruments. InstrumentStudio can also save project-level configurations for specific devices under test that can be repurposed later or shared with colleagues. This efficiency is key for testing high-mix devices and provides test repeatability at a convenience to the engineer or technician.

    At different stages in the product design cycle, test engineers often waste valuable time correlating measurements between similar tests that ultimately use different hardware. And in production test, engineers who need to debug on the manufacturing floor may invest in separate hardware either for monitoring their tests or debugging their automated test equipment.

    InstrumentStudio addresses these challenges by exporting configuration files to programming environments that reproduce settings, thereby simplifying measurement correlation. Additionally, test engineers can monitor PXI instrument behavior by running InstrumentStudio while test sequences execute in parallel, streamlining the debug process. Through these seamless interactions with programming environments and test sequences, InstrumentStudio becomes an important part of a comprehensive software workflow and helps engineers maximize their investment in PXI instrumentation.

    “For two decades, test and validation engineers have reduced their total cost of test and brought products to market faster using modular instruments on the PXI platform,” said Luke Schreier, vice president of product marketing at NI. “InstrumentStudio makes using NI PXI instruments even easier – from initial product discovery to system debugging – all with intuitive connections to programming environments and test sequencers. It’s a valuable tool in unlocking the full potential and usability of your bench or automated test rack.”

    To meet demands like testing higher complexity DUTs and shorter timeframes, engineers need tools tailored to their needs that they can efficiently use through their workflow, helping them to meet their exact application requirements. InstrumentStudio is the latest addition to NI’s software-centric platform that features products tailored to needs within distinct stages of their workflow – products that have been adopted in whole or in part by more than 300,000 active users. With LabVIEW engineering system design software at its core and TestStand test management software handling overall execution, this workflow helps to improve the productivity of test and validation labs across many industries. Each piece of the workflow is also interoperable with third-party software to maximize code/IP reuse and draws on the LabVIEW Tools Network ecosystem of add-ons and tools for more application-specific requirements.

    InstrumentStudio is included with the purchase of an NI PXI instrument. Engineers can also download the complimentary software from for use with existing NI products. For more information, visit
  • AUSTIN, Texas – January 16, 2018 – NI (Nasdaq: NATI), the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, announced today the PXIe-4163 high-density source measure unit (SMU), which provides six times more DC channel density than previous NI PXI SMUs for testing RF, MEMS, and mixed-signal and other analog semiconductor components. 

    “Highly disruptive technologies like 5G, the Internet of Things and autonomous vehicles place continued pressure on semiconductor organizations to evolve and adopt more efficient approaches to semiconductor test – from the lab environment to the production floor,” said Eric Starkloff, NI executive vice president of global sales and marketing. “Semiconductor test is a strategic focus for NI. We are extending the capabilities of our software platform and PXI, exemplified by our newest PXI SMU, to help chipmakers address their top challenges.”

    Chipmakers have rapidly adopted the Semiconductor Test System (STS) for its throughput, performance at cost and footprint on the production floor. The new PXIe-4163 SMU further complements these capabilities. It delivers increased DC channel density for higher parallelism in multisite applications and lab-grade measurement quality in a production-ready form factor. Engineers can take advantage of this combination to use the same instrumentation in the validation lab and the production floor, which reduces challenges with measurement correlation and shortens time to market.

    Engineers can use the new PXIe-4163 SMU in either STS configurations or stand-alone PXI systems. Key product features include:

    • Up to 24 channels in a single PXI Express slot
    • +/- 24 V per channel
    • Up to 100 mA source/sink per channel
    • 100 pA current sensitivity
    • Up to 100 kS/s sampling rate and update rate
    • SourceAdapt for minimizing overshoot and oscillations
    • Interactive configuration and debug software
    • Up to 408 high-precision SMU channels in a single PXI chassis (4U of rack space)
    • Fully supported in the STS including system-level cabling, calibration and pin-mapping support

    Introduced in 2014, the STS offers a fundamentally different approach to semiconductor production test. It is based on the NI PXI platform that enables engineers to build smarter test systems. The PXI platform includes 1 GHz-bandwidth vector signal transceivers, fA-class SMUs, TestStand industry-leading commercial off-the-shelf test management software  and more than 600 PXI products ranging from DC to mmWave. 

    To learn more about STS capabilities, visit
  • New machine learning-based linearization software from NanoSemi complements NI solutions for RF power amplifier test 

    AUSTIN, Texas – June 12, 2018– NI (Nasdaq: NATI), the provider of a software-defined platform that helps accelerate the development and performance of automated test and automated measurement systems, today announced a collaboration with NanoSemi on advanced 5G test capability.

    The imminent deployment of 5G networks combined with challenging technical specifications requires new technologies to validate and optimize RF performance.  Developers of 5G RF power amplifier (PA) and front-end module (FEM) technology often face difficult tradeoffs between device linearity, output power and efficiency. To address the increased bandwidth and efficiency requirements of 5G, engineers require increasingly sophisticated linearization techniques.

    NanoSemi has developed advanced linearization software that complements NI’s existing solutions for PA and RF FEM test. Using these solutions, engineers can test PA and FEM designs using a wide range of DPD techniques in conjunction with 802.11ax, 4G and 5G waveforms. Typical NI system configurations include the NI PXI platform, PXI Vector Signal Transceiver technology that offers up to 1 GHz of instantaneous signal generation and measurement bandwidth, and NI-RFmx 5G measurement algorithms. The new NanoSemi Linearizer software adds advanced digital predistortion (DPD) algorithms using machine learning techniques.

    "NI's software-defined approach to test and measurement makes PXI an ideal platform to integrate the industry's most advanced linearizer," said Nicholas Karter, vice president of product management at NanoSemi. "Together with NI hardware, we believe this solution will enable engineers to develop deeper insight into the performance of 5G PAs under extreme linearization conditions and ultimately help them improve the time to market of 5G New Radio front-end designs."

    The NanoSemi Linearizer software complements existing NI-RFmx DPD algorithms that already include lookup table and memory polynomial approaches, and is available through online software download on the LabVIEW Tools Network.


  • NI Semiconductor Test System
    The PXI-based NI Semiconductor Test System (STS) combines modular instrumentation and system design software for smarter RF and mixed-signal production test....

  • The STS ( series features fully production-ready test systems that pack NI technology in a form factor suitable for a semiconductor production test environment. The STS combines the NI PXI platform, TestStand test management software, and LabVIEW graphical programming inside a fully enclosed test head. Its “tester in a head” design houses all the key components of a production tester including system controllers; DC, AC, and RF instrumentation; device under test (DUT) interfacing; and device
    handler/prober docking mechanics. This compact design eliminates the extra floor space, power, and maintenance required by traditional ATE testers that unnecessarily increase the cost of test. Additionally, with the open, modular STS design, you can take advantage of the latest industry-standard PXI modules for more instrumentation and computing power.

    Learn more about STS

    Download STS brochure

    Watch STS Academy videos

  • NI Source Measure Unit PXIe-4163
    PXIe, 24-Channel, ±24 V, 50 mA PXI Source Measure Unit...

  • The PXIe-4163 is a high-density source measure unit (SMU). It features 4-quadrant operation with a current resolution of 100 pA and the ability to sample up to 100 kS/s. The module also offers the ability to maximize stability and measurement accuracy with SourceAdapt, which allows you to custom-tune the transient response to match the characteristics of any load. The PXI-4163 is ideal for a broad range of mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs) in semiconductor production test.

    See model page of the SMU PXIe-4163

    Download SMU brochure

  • NI TestStand Semiconductor Module
    The NI TestStand Semiconductor Module extends the TestStand environment to help you develop, debug, deploy, and maintain semiconductor test systems....

  • Extend the off-the-shelf functionality of TestStand, the industry-standard test management software, with the TestStand Semiconductor Module to quickly develop, debug, and deploy characterization and production test programs. The same software framework that powers the STS serves as the backbone of PXI test systems in characterization, making a seamless path for scaling your efforts and IP from the lab to production. Designed for both wafer-level and final package test applications, the software framework offers features including pin/channel mapping (for pin-based programming), binning, handler/prober drivers, limit importing/exporting, and multisite programming.

    Learn more about NI TestStand

    Buy TestStand Add-On for Semiconductor Systems


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