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NI test system improves test time

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article image Test solution for Xbox.

NATIONAL Instruments has announced that Microsoft selected an NI LabVIEW and PXI-based test solution for its Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system controllers.

The virtual instrumentation solution, originally developed in Microsoft's design validation lab, was recently deployed to the production line for the functional test of every Xbox 360 controller.

"National Instruments hardware and software give us both the performance and flexibility that is critical in meeting our time-to-market demands for the upcoming Xbox 360," said Rob Walker, development manager, Xbox Accessories.

"With an industry-standard platform based on Microsoft Windows, PXI and NI LabVIEW, we developed a high-performance, low-cost test solution that resulted in a 50 percent reduction in our overall test time."

The Xbox has sold approximately 22 million consoles to date worldwide and the highly anticipated Xbox 360 is scheduled for US release on November 22, 2005 with both wired and wireless game controllers.

The new controllers required a robust test system to provide a high-quality gaming experience. To ensure reliable communication between the controllers and the Xbox 360 console, Microsoft used the latest NI modular instrument technology including the NI PXI-5124 12-bit 200 MS/s digitiser.

The LabVIEW and PXI solution tests all functions of the new controllers, including push buttons, joystick control, audio signals and communication to the Xbox 360 console.

As each Xbox 360 controller comes off the production line, the test system uses LabVIEW to send more than 100 test parameters to a Microsoft SQL Server for post-test analysis to implement future production line and device enhancements.

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