Richard Mcdonell

Director of Americas Marketing,
National Instruments

Richard McDonell is the director of Americas marketing at National Instruments. He joined National Instruments with a BSEE in 1999 and led in the successful adoption of NI TestStand test management software and PXI modular instrumentation while serving as an industry leader in the test engineering community through numerous technical presentations, articles, and whitepapers. His specific technical focus areas include modular test software and hardware system design, parallel test strategy, and instrument control bus technology. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University.

User-Configurable FPGAs Unlock Test Instrumentation
Today, test vendors are allowing even greater openness and flexibility by providing access to the instrument’s programmable on-board logic—often an FPGA. As a result, today’s engineers can customize modern instrumentation to fit their needs.
How To Manage Big Data From An Analog World 3
“Big Analog Data” is collected from measurements of vibration, RF signals, temperature, pressure, sound, image, light, magnetism, voltage, and so on. Challenges unique to Big Analog Data have provoked three technology trends in the widespread field of data acquisition.
How Is Mobile Technology Influencing Data Acquisition?
Mobile access is becoming a primary requirement for test and measurement systems. Engineers and scientists must improve their skill sets by understanding options for mobile integration and keeping tabs on the outlook for future mobile systems.
Five Test Predictions For 2013
The 2013 National Instruments Automated Test Outlook summarizes five major trends: the role of test economics, big analog data, software-centric ecosystems, test software quality, and Moore's law meeting RF.
Welcome To A New World Of Instrumentation
Software-designed instrumentation, such as the new NI PXIe-5644R RF Vector Signal Transceiver (VST), allows you to now create the most flexible, customizable test instruments you can imagine.
System Design Software Abstracts The Complexity Of Today’s Automated Test Systems
Test technologies take a leap forward about every 45 years. This evolution began with the vacuum tube, moved to transistors, and now is heading for software.
RF & Wireless: Your Next Frontier?
Test engineers should declare RF and wireless to be their next personal-growth frontier for 2012. NI's Richard McDonell explains why.
Five Key Trends Highlight 2012’s Automated Test Outlook
NI's Richard McDonell takes you inside the 2012 Automated Test Outlook, revealing trends and providing insights that will affect how you approach test this year.
Innovation In The Era Of Graphical System Design
NI's Richard McDonell outlines a vision for test and measurement as a shape-shifting technology that readily adapts itself to the task at hand. Abstraction and modularity are the keys.
The Software Is The Instrument
It's not just consumer products that are dominated by software these days. NI's Richard McDonell explains how PXI-based modular instruments also are defined by the code they run.
Keep Your Test Systems In Shape
Life-cycle management applies not only to your end products but to your automated test infrastructure. National Instruments' Richard McDonell outlines the need to make sure your test systems are up to snuff and flexible enough to respond to changing requirements.
Heterogeneous Computing And IP-To-The-Pin Will Drive Test In 2011
NI's Richard McDonell looks to 2011 and sees multiple computing architectures pervading the test bench, as well as FPGAs being used in both DUTs and test systems to improve system-level test.
Addressing Multi-channel RF Test Challenges
As wireless communication systems drive up bandwidth with MIMO technology, they can drive RF test engineers up the wall. NI's Richard McDonell outlines the requirements for instrument synchronization in such rigorous RF test scenarios.
The Information Age Drives COTS Technologies For Automated Test
A revolution in automated test is coming, driven by three key technologies: parallel processing, high-speed data transfer, and software-defined devices. Learn how you can use these Information Age technologies in developing your test platforms.
People, Process, And Technology Innovation
Technology innovation is often the first area of change test engineers and managers consider, and rightfully so, since it typically translates to major system improvements and cost savings. Yet it may not yield maximum benefits by itself. In fact, major i
Commentaries and Blogs
Guest Blogs
Nov 11, 2014

How to Outsource Your Project to Failure 4

This article will address failure to carefully vet a potential manufacturing or “turnkey” partner and/or failure to transfer sufficient information and requirements to such a partner, a very common problem I have seen again and again with my clients over the years, and have been the shoulder cried upon by several relatives and clients in the past....More
Nov 11, 2014

Transition from the Academe to the Industry Unraveled 1

There have been many arguments here and there about how short-comings of universities and colleges yield engineers with skill sets that do not cater to the demands of the industry. There have been many arguments here and there about an imminent shortage of engineers lacking knowledge in the sciences. There have been many arguments here and there about how the experience and know-how of engineers in the industry may vanish due to the fact that they can’t be passed on because the academic curriculum deviates from it....More
Nov 11, 2014

Small Beginnings 5

About 10 years ago I received a phone call from an acquaintance. He had found a new opportunity selling some sort of investments and he wanted to share it with me in case I was interested. Ken had done fairly well for many years as a contract software developer primarily in the financial services sector. His specialty was writing RPG code. (RPG is often referred to as a write only language.) But he was seeing the handwriting on the wall as the industry moved on to other methods, and saw himself becoming a fossil....More

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