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Fundamentals of Building a Test System: Switching and Multiplexing

Switching or multiplexing (MUX) can be a cost-effective and efficient option for expanding the channel count of your instrumentation, but there's a lot more that goes into it than you might think. There are four main types of switching architectures that you will most likely encounter in your road to building an automated test system:


  • No Switching
  • Switching in Test Rack Only
  • Switching in Test Fixture Only
  • Switching in Test Rack and Test Fixture

As you can most likely imagine, each of these architectures has its strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately for you, we have worked to make it easy on you by providing recommendations on when to choose one over another.

Switching Architectures
But it doesn't stop there. In addition to choosing the right architecture for your test system, you also have to select the right topology for your application. Some applications are simple enough to use a general purpose relay, but others necessitate matrices for making complicated signal routes between your device under test and instrumentation. Again, we have you covered by providing recommendations and best practices.

And if that wasn't enough, you also need to select the right type of relay (reed, electromechanical, solid state, etc.) for your application and signal types.

Not to worry. We continue our series on Fundamentals of Building a Test System by focusing on best practices for integrating switching and multiplexing into your test system. This guide is with you every step of the way to provide guidance, best practices, and tips and tricks.