When validating a piece of hardware instead of a piece of software, mocking and unit tests don’t help. Instead, a test framework needs to be primarily geared toward external instrument control, automated data collection, and mathematical analysis. Using Python, we’ll demonstrate an easy to use framework containing tests that configure DMMs and function generators, gather data from devices under test, then perform FFTs, phase analysis, and other data processing. We’ll also talk about a few issues that become much more significant in hardware analysis, such as adding randomness to tests while preserving repeatability, and generating highly combinatorial, device-specific tests on the fly. Finally, we’ll show the framework in action with a live test of a switch/measure system. Ben Fitzpatrick will be acting as demo minion and hardware wrangler.
11th–13th January 2012