“We spend 50 percent of development costs on a product after the launch”: Page 6 of 8

June 03, 2015 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
“We spend 50 percent of development costs on a product after the launch”
5G, IoT, smartphone security and more: Future technology generations pose increasing challenges to the measurement equipment for development and production engineers. Roland Steffen, Head of the Test and Measurement Divison and Executive Vice President of test equipment provider Rohde & Schwarz explains how the company prepares for these challenges.
handling is less convenient than with a conventional device. Our customers tell us that they prefer an instrument that includes all required features. That is why concepts like these do not play a role in handheld devices.

So there will never be a Rohde & Schwarz oscilloscope app?

Steffen: You should never say never, but at the moment I do not believe this is a business case. Of course, it is cool when you can operate your tester from a smartphone or tablet, but is it practical? We've already had the discussion about whether it's practical to voice control a test instrument and have it voice report the measurement results. Now imagine a lab with fifteen employees, and each of them has a talking tester. And they're all voice reporting at the same time. That may be fun, but I don't see any value for the user.

But software is easier to upgrade than hardware. So if I have a new test sequence that might require another type of analysis, it might be actually easier to implement it with an app than by changing my hardware.

No, that isn't necessarily the case. At Rohde & Schwarz, we spend around 50 percent of our development costs on a product after it is launched. It's no longer true that hardware is inflexible. Of course, analog hardware in the frontend can only do so much, but there are DSPs and FPGAs for analysis, and the instruments have built in computers with hard disks. We update the software every three months. We offer a software option if, for example, a customer wants to work with a new wireless communications standard and the instrument has the technical prerequisites. You could, of course, call this an app, but we stick to the traditional term of software option. These options make it possible to custom configure instruments without overloading them with expensive features. A

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