Open-source Python-native driver package for test and measurement instrumentation

21-11-2023 | Tektronix | Industrial

Tektronix, Inc. has released an open-source Python instrument driver package. Available free of charge, the package offers a native Python user experience for instrument automation. With integration into daily workflows and using it with a preferred IDE, customers can now experience the power of auto-complete, precise type hinting, comprehensive built-in help, real-time syntax checking and enhanced debugging capabilities, resulting in unparalleled capabilities for seamless instrument automation. The open-source Python driver package is designed to work across a wide range of the company's and Keithley devices to aid ongoing development and updates, ensuring users in the test and measurement space have access to the latest features and improvements.

"Python is the largest and fastest growing language of choice among test automation engineers, and we aim to make them more productive and efficient with Pythonic development tools and code reuse," says Rick Kuhlman, GM, Portfolio Software. "Our product's free, open-source nature is meant to encourage collaboration and customisation. Users have the freedom to tailor the software to their specific needs, share improvements with our community and benefit from the collective knowledge and contributions of a global network of developers."

Automation typically involves learning and using dated string-based command APIs with shortcomings such as instrument-specific command sets, guess-and-check syntax checking and low-visibility debugging. Now, with a single-line, seconds-long installation, users get Python auto-completion, type hinting and real-time syntax checking – all free and open source. The package has become an integral part of the company development pipeline and quality processes, and it is using the same powerful tools internally to ensure an extra layer of quality and scrutiny is paid to the technology on an ongoing basis.

"We designed these drivers with simplicity in mind," shares Kuhlman. "Featuring a quick install with no prerequisites or unnecessary dependencies. In contrast to competitors who often require users to install and use a maze of additional driver software and interface layers, it's now extremely easy to get up and running."

The driver package, called tm_devices, is now available globally via the Python Package Index (PyPI) at


By Seb Springall

Seb Springall is a seasoned editor at Electropages, specialising in the product news sections. With a keen eye for the latest advancements in the tech industry, Seb curates and oversees content that highlights cutting-edge technologies and market trends.