IVI-COM actually consists of two standards.

  • The IVI part represents the "Interchangeable Virtual Instruments".
  • The COM part represents the "Component Object Model" defined by Microsoft.

Systems designed using IVI-COM drivers enjoy the benefits of standardized code that can be interchanged into other systems. This code also supports interchange of measurement devices -- helping to prevent hardware obsolescence. Interchangeability is supported on three levels :

  1. The IVI architecture specifications allow architectural interchangeability -- that is a standard driver architecture that can be reused.
  2. The class specifications provide syntactic interchangeability which supports instrument exchange with minimal code changes.
  3. The highest level of interchangeability is achieved by using the IVI signal specifications.