18 June 2001
Pico Technology celebrates its 10th Anniversary and the sale of more than 100,000 low-cost, test and measurement products
Pico Technology's most comprehensive test and measurement catalogue to date details more than 50 products ideal for Engineering, Automotive Diagnostics and Industrial Data Acquisition applications
Cambridge, UK — 18 June 2001 — Pico Technology, specialist in PC-based test and measurement and data acquisition solutions, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this summer: this and the fact that during its first decade of operation the company has shipped more than 100,000 products worldwide.
Founded in June 1991, Pico's first product was the 8-bit ADC-10 analogue to digital converter. Supplied with free oscilloscope software, the debut product and was an instant success. Today, Pico boasts more than 50 hardware products and is best known for its popular PicoScope (oscilloscope and spectrum analyser) and PicoLog (data logger) PC-based instruments.
Mike Green, Pico Technology's Managing Director and co-founder says: “We've spent the last 10 years promoting our products as alternatives to bench-top solutions and customers have been quick to appreciate that, when they have test and measurement or data logging requirements, they are really seeking functionality and not form factor. Moreover, the next ten years is going to be really interesting as we're convinced PC-based instruments will soon replace their traditional counterparts in much the same way the word processor replaced the typewriter in the 1990s”.
Pico attributes its success to the significantly lower cost of its solutions when compared to traditional bench-top instruments. For example, connecting Pico's ADC-200/100 to a PC gives the computer the power and performance of a 100 Msample/s oscilloscope and a 50 MHz spectrum analyser (simultaneously) — more than adequate for the majority of test and measurement requirements — for less than £500. The cost of traditional solutions of comparable performance would typically be 5 times this.
Furthermore, Pico's solutions can be upgraded 'on the fly' — so new features and enhanced functionality can be added with ease — for free. Alan Tong, Pico Technology's Technical Director and co-founder comments: “We took the decision a long time ago to make our software free, shipping it with the majority of our hardware products. Also, customers can visit our website to download the latest versions of our PicoScope and PicoLog instruments.”.
Pico's recent technical innovations include bringing wireless GSM capability to its popular EnviroMon standalone data logger, introducing a library of open-source waveforms for the automotive test industry, and the high accuracy (0.01 degrees Centigrade) measurement capability of its PT-104 temperature measuring device.
Green notes: “We're bridging the gap between traditional test and measurement and traditional data acquisition. We've brought test and measurement into the PC environment, where data and settings can be saved, shared and exported, and we've made data acquisition simple so that customers can concentrate on collecting data, and not spend their time configuring hardware and writing software.”
Pico is also well known for its promotion of science in education — particularly since the launch last year of its DrDAQ educational data logger with built in sensors and the publishing of a library of science experiments. Since the launch, DrDAQ has proved extremely popular and most recently Dundee City Council purchased 41 units for each of its primary schools.
Green continues: “These are difficult times for most engineering companies — and schools are seldom granted large budgets to spend on science equipment. They all have to watch what they spend. Now, more than ever before, engineers, technicians and science teachers should turn to test and measurement and data logging solutions that give them the best for their money.”
Tong concludes: “If the last ten years have taught us anything it's that the engineering community, and now educational establishments, are really embracing PC-based solutions — the instruments are low-cost, easily upgraded, easy to use and once your data is in the PC environment you can do virtually anything with it.”