Patent Number: 6,311,149

Title: Reconfigurable test system

Abstract: A reconfigurable test system including a host computer coupled to a reconfigurable test instrument. The reconfigurable test instrument includes reconfigurable hardware--i.e. a reconfigurable hardware module with one or more programmable elements such as Field Programmable Gate Arrays for realizing an arbitrary hardware architecture and a reconfigurable front end with programmable transceivers for interfacing with any desired physical medium--and optionally, an embedded processor. A user specifies system features with a software configuration utility which directs a component selector to select a set of software modules and hardware configuration files from a series of libraries. The modules are embedded in a host software driver or downloaded for execution on the embedded CPU. The configuration files are downloaded to the reconfigurable hardware. The entire selection process is performed in real-time and can be changed whenever the user deems necessary. Alternatively, the user may create a graphical program in a graphical programming environment and compile the program into various software modules and configuration files for host execution, embedded processor execution, or programming the reconfigurable hardware.

Inventors: Ryan; Arthur (Austin, TX), Andrade; Hugo (Austin, TX)

Assignee: National Instruments Corporation

International Classification: G06F 11/273 (20060101); G06F 17/50 (20060101); G06F 009/44 (); G06F 013/10 (); G06F 013/12 (); G06F 009/455 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018