In some cases that's true, in some cases not. Many vendors (especially NI) have made that set of drivers available on the software side for (relatively) easy porting of legacy software to new equipment.
However, there's plenty of devices out there that each require their own custom driver - which is also worrisome in the case of long-term test equipment. Better for things to have well-defined software interfaces that use industry standard hardware interfaces and protocols. This way you can upgrade when necessary, even if at an increased cost
I fully agree with the article. GPIB has to die in production environments. It's very narrow use case makes everything horrible expensive with long delivery times etc.
But, it seems to me that lot of people don't realize that when you switch to USB (USB TMC) or Ethernet (LXI) you only switch the physical interface. The IEEE488.2 and SCPI standards are still valid and will be valid for other decades. So all your knowlede how to talk to a measuring device is still true, you are just using another plug on your computer :-)
VXI was adopted by the mil/aero/defense business, where it remains today. Commerical industries either never tried it because of size/cost or gave up because of initial interoperability issues. VXIplug&play (Now IVI) fixed that, but then came PXI, which was smaller, less expensive and more interoperable. that was particularly because it was all made by National Instruments. Over time, PXI and now PXIe have become very popular for manufacturing test. Performance now rivals traditional box instruments except for power supplies.
No operating system has ever included support for GPIB. Well, mayne some HP controllers when GPIB (HP-IB) was first developed. GPIB interface manufactures have alwasy provided drivers for the hardware and still do.
I actually did that once. I put (nearly) an entire rack into a single NI PXI chassis... For about 1/3 the cost, and a lot less cabling.
Yeah, I like the PXI stuff, but if that's not an alternative, I'll still stick with something like Ethernet. Even USB isn't too bad in some cases, especially if the connectors are not accessible by monkeys... (I've seen the screwed down with special hardware)
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