Tektronix, Inc., a leading worldwide provider of measurement solutions, introduced Keithley KickStart 2.0 software that accelerates the path to results and enables quick test set-up and data visualization when using single or multiple instruments. KickStart simplifies what users need to know about instruments so that in just minutes engineers can take instruments out of the box and start gathering real data, complete with plots and quick statistical summaries.
In today's fast-paced electronics industry, design and test engineers have little time to learn the ins and outs of test instrumentation or write custom programs for managing complex test routines involving multiple instruments. Moreover, many users are starting out with instrumentation or have strict demands on their time, including shrinking development schedules and competitive market pressures to innovate first. With KickStart 2.0, users can instead focus their time on interpreting test results and meeting innovation goals.
"Everyone from the expert to novice can use a helping hand when making measurements," said Mike Flaherty, general manager, Keithley Product Line at Tektronix. "It's not just setting up instruments. It's visualizing trends, analyzing measurement dependencies, validating performance and sharing results with colleagues around the globe. We are making the entire process simpler and faster without forcing our customers to become measurement experts or instrument programmers."
New multi-instrument support
One of the most significant enhancements in KickStart 2.0 is the ability to control multiple instruments through a single interface. Users can now launch and run up to eight apps at the same time and see results from multiple instruments in a single easy to view format. One such app is the included KickStart Data Logger for easily setting up and controlling multi-channel data acquisition instruments such as the new DAQ6510, viewing measurement functions in a single data window, and exporting data in ready to use formats for reporting, sharing or additional analysis.
Getting started with KickStart is the definition of simplicity. KickStart supports instruments connected to a PC using GPIB, LAN and USB interfaces. With a simple drag of the mouse, users can launch apps to control and collect data from a range of instruments, including digital multimeters, data acquisition systems, power supplies and source measure units. It even allows users to get familiar with the software and be ready to test in advance of receiving a physical instrument – tests created using simulated instruments can be simply swapped in when physical instruments arrive.
KickStart can collect millions of readings from each instrument, making it a viable solution for long-term datalogging needs and for capturing data from transient events with a digitizing DMM. KickStart presents data in tabular and graphical formats. Users can hide non-essential data and see statistics automatically update to reflect only data visible in the table. This can be useful for characterizing devices after they have reached thermal stabilization. In the graph, users can overlay plots from run history for quick comparisons and to identify anomalies and trends.
The base KickStart 2.0 software includes four apps that simplify SMU, DMM, data logger and power supply instrument operation.