Keysight Technologies has unveiled PathWave, a new solution that enables enterprise customers to accelerate innovation and product development from concept through manufacturing and deployment. Pathwave is the first software platform that integrates design, test, measurement and analysis. In a recent interaction, Sudhir Tangri, Country General Manager & Vice-President, Keysight Technologies, shares insights on the newly launched PathWave.
Q. Can you briefly describe the platform and how it works?
PathWave is the industry’s first software platform that integrates design, test, measurement and analysis. It offers a wide range of plug-ins built upon a common architecture and framework and is available in a wide variety of configurations that target specific users, such as a design or test engineers. Customers can build their specific solution by selecting appropriate plug-ins and integrating application-specific content. Built using open, scalable, and predictive principles, the platform will be enhanced by third parties and customers.
Q. How will this announcement impact customers? How will it impact the marketplace and competition?
Since PathWave is the first integrated design and test software platform in the industry, competitors cannot offer an easy alternative. Many of our customers currently waste a lot of time in their design and test workflow and will be very interested in purchasing the PathWave platform to accelerate their time to market.
Q. What problem(s) does this platform solve?
The PathWave platform helps customers bring their products to market faster by connecting the entire design to test workflow, providing high-performance solutions, and by enhancing interoperability across applications.
Q. How does this announcement tie/relate to larger business market issues?
The test and measurement industry is already seeing the impact of new technologies: cloud-computing, big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and mobile platforms. The challenge lies in how to help customers best apply these new technologies to their design, verification, and test workflows. PathWave enables customers gain real value from these new technologies.
Q. What is available on the PathWave platform today?
Currently, there are three products with the PathWave name: PathWave Analytics, PathWave FPGA, and PathWave Test, but many of our new software releases are already incorporating tenets of the PathWave platform, and will be migrated to the new platform in the future.
Q. Is PathWave Analytics the same as the product that was available last year, the N8844A Data Analytics Software?
No, PathWave Analytics is brand-new software for manufacturing managers who are interested in Industry 4.0, whereas N8844A is primarily for design and validation engineers to store and view test data. But both incorporate key tenets of the PathWave platform such as web-based visualization environments, and ability to connect to 3rd party hardware.
Q. What is the roadmap for future products?
The priority for PathWave is to bring new solutions to market faster and with higher performance by leveraging a common development environment. Using an Agile approach to development, new solutions will be introduced by Keysight regularly. Existing software will continue to be released and updated to meet customer needs. Over time, important capabilities from these products will move to PathWave, making the platform even more open, scalable, and predictive.
Q. How does it accelerate the workflow? What is the ROI?
Today, a lot of time is wasted during product development. Two examples:
1) separate, independent test stations are set up for design, prototype turn-on, design validation, manufacturing test, and service test, and
2) data that is generated in each step of the workflow is in different formats and stored in various places, requiring extra work to find and transform the data to provide critical, useful feedback to the designers.
PathWave is a single software platform that spans the entire design and test workflow, saving time by reusing test configurations, quickly comparing measured to modeled results, providing common cloud-based data, and more. At a lower level, because software is built on a common platform architecture, raw performance will be higher, saving even more test time.
Q. Are all Keysight software products moving to the PathWave platform?
Yes, the plan is that over time, almost all Keysight software will be connected into this open, scalable and predictive platform. Some older/legacy products may not be included. Customers can still buy individual software products, but will get the maximum benefit from using Keysight’s design and test software platform.
Q. Are there any customers currently using the platform?
Yes, many Keysight customers are using the PathWave platform today. They include the biggest electronics design and test customers in the world, leading universities, startups, and everything in between.
Q. What are the fees/costs involved to use these new offerings and how is it sold? Will Keysight be working with channel partners or is this a direct sale?
This will be sold directly through Keysight sales and through channel partners. Our software products will be priced accordingly, but there will be enterprise packages available that provide flexible and universal access to all our software. A variety of software licenses are also available to support different deployment models.
Q. Is it compatible with competitor products? Will Keysight be working with technology partners?
Yes, many of our software packages on the PathWave platform will have capabilities to connect to 3rd party hardware. Keysight is dedicated to promoting and supporting open standards. Yes, we are always working with technology partners to stay up-to-date on the latest technology and trends.
Q. What is Keysight’s motivation for the PathWave Platform?
To help our customers be more successful by designing better products faster. We’ve heard from our customers that if they continue doing things the old way, they will not succeed. They’ve squeezed as much efficiency out of their existing processes as they can, and can only improve efficiency by bringing their whole workflow together. In today’s digital age, open, scalable and predictive software is becoming the differentiator. The PathWave Platform is the culmination of a huge investment over the past several years and for many years to come.
Q. Does Keysight lose competitive advantage by separating software from hardware?
No, we are offering improved flexibility. We continue to invest in our hardware, which has always been industry-leading, but we are meeting the needs of our customers to use software to connect their entire workflow and gain broader and deeper insight from measurement data.