IVI (Interchangeable Virtual Instrumentation) is a specification of instrument driver published by the IVI Foundation, formed by the biggest names in the instrumentation as Agilent, National Instruments, Rohde & Schwarz, Aeroflex, Tektronix, Teradyne, Pickering and other.
This specification defined instument classes (multimeter, oscilloscope, power supply, …). All drivers in the same class have the same exported functions. This ensures instruments compatibility and interchangeability: measurement software is linked to the driver class that needle to the specific driver of the used instrument.
Example: I have a test application which measures voltage with a multimeter. My software calls the driver of the multimeter class. IVI refers to the specific driver for the X model from Agilent. Thus, we can change this multimeter by the Y model from Agilent or the Z model from Tektronix with a simple configuration without modifying the software (for since we have installed the IVI driver of these three instruments).
List of instrument classes defined by IVI:
- Digital multimeter (DMM)
- Arbitrary waveform/function generator
- DC power supply
- AC power supply
- Power meter
- Spectrum analyzer
- RF signal generator
Some specific instruments do not fall into this classification. In this case it is possible to create a new class.
LabWindows/CVI provides wizards for developing drivers and adding a new class.
IVI driver scan be called by any type of programming language. However TestStand, LabVIEW, and Measurement Studio can offer all the key functions in hand for their use.