Digital Twins: Read Keysight's Award-Winning IEEE Article

Keysight Wins "Best Paper" At IEEE AUTOTESTCON

Here at Keysight, I'm blessed to work alongside some incredibly smart people. Movers, shakers, and some of the most visionary minds I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. But their brilliance is only eclipsed by their humility. They're not the kind to take victory laps. Most of the time, they're content to let their work speak for itself.

But it's one thing when your coworkers sing your praises. When your peers at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) do it, it's something else entirely.

That's exactly what happened earlier this month at the 2022 IEEE AUTOTESTCON event in Washington, DC. Keysight's Duane Lowenstein and Chris Mueth were honored with a "Best Paper" award for their article, Implementing a Digital Twin, Design and Test, Test and Measurement Strategy****.

What is a Digital Twin?

To quote Duane and Chris: "By its general definition, a digital twin is a real-time virtual digital representation that mimics a physical object or process."

Traditionally, digital twins have been used to perform predictive analysis on existing products and systems. Here's an example. Imagine you've built a satellite and you want to know how the rigors of space travel will affect its orbital pattern. A digital twin enables you to simulate variables, assess potential impacts, and make critical course corrections — all before blasting off. But here's the cool part. As the satellite hurtles through the cosmos, onboard sensors relay data back to the digital twin — creating a constant feedback loop that helps you continue to perform accurate analysis throughout the duration of its mission.

Using Digital Twins to Transform Design and Test Strategies

While digital twins have been traditionally employed to analyze existing products and systems, Chris and Duane have a different perspective. So they asked a simple question in their paper: what if you built a digital model first****, and then used digital process threads to link the digital twin with physical system tests?

I'll let the authors take it from here:

If carefully architected, the solution implementation for such digital threads provides several key advantages. The first advantage is the consistency element mentioned previously. If the processes are digitized, repeatability improves. Inclusion of sources of truth also contribute to consistency. Digitized requirements are a source of truth, as is reference IP (signals, test patterns, digitized methodologies). Second, these threads produce traceability through the process. For any given piece of simulation or test data, there is a record of how it was produced, under what conditions it was produced, and what process, tools, and instruments were utilized, all captured with context in the form of a Digital Twin. The third important advantage is enablement of process automation. This is enabled for a particular task by utilizing information captured in previous parts of the process along with reference IP to automate a particular process. For example, it has been proven that the test automation coding process can be automated to a significant extent, as well as the results compliance process.

The design verification process (simulation) and hardware validation process comprised almost two-thirds of all product development time and is an area the industry is looking to improve. On close examination, these two activities are similar in nature. Both activities attempt to characterize a design to a set of requirements, with one activity being in the virtual digital twin domain, and the other in the physical test domain. This realization provides opportunities to connect these tasks through digital threads to enable the advantages described.

Learn More About Digital Twins At Keysight World

Want to learn more about Keysight digital twins? After you've read the article, make sure you sign up for Keysight World Innovate. Tune into our flagship virtual event to hear future gazers and analysts discuss emerging trends and gain actionable insights about technologies like 6G, quantum computing, autonomous vehicles, and — you guessed it — digital twins.

The future starts here. Sign up for Keysight World Innovate today!