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From Bob Helsel, Editor of the PXI Newsletter:

Welcome to the February edition of the PXI Newsletter.  Our intent is to educate and inform you about how the PXI standard is being used in modular test systems for a wide variety of industries.

Our main article this month, Overcome the Challenges of Building High-Channel-Count, High-Speed Measurement Systems, shows how DAQ systems can maximize channel density, synchronize channels over multiple instruments, and process massive amounts of data using PXI. Our second article, Developing and Testing Networked Avionics Systems and Devices, shows how PXI is the logical choice for both legacy and emerging avionics test and simulation systems.

In the New PXI Products section, we are showcasing products recently released by members of the PXI Systems Alliance.

Thanks to Avionics Interface Technologies, our sponsor for this month's issue.

Visit for more information.

Main Article


Overcome the Challenges of Building
High-Speed Measurement Systems

by Jake Harnack


Many traditional high-speed oscilloscopes feature two to four channels and operate as stand-alone box instruments. While this is an effective solution for benchtop debugging, it’s often difficult to scale these instruments for high-channel-count applications such as beamforming and medical imaging, which require tens or hundreds of channels simultaneously sampling at high speeds. High-channel-count, high-speed DAQ systems must:

  • Maximize channel density
  • Synchronize channels over multiple instruments
  • Process massive amounts of data

Overcoming these challenges is much more practical with a modular platform that simplifies channel synchronization and enables high-throughput data streaming in a compact form factor. PCI eXtensions for Instrumentation (PXI) is ideal for building high-channel-count systems because it meets these traditional challenges and offers a history of reliability in a wide variety of applications. The PXI platform is built on the concept of virtual instrumentation, which uses software to define the functionality of instruments and helps you build measurement and automation systems that suit your needs exactly instead of limiting your options with traditional fixed-function instruments.

Challenge 1: Maximize Channel Density

When building a high-performance application with hundreds of channels, space quickly becomes an issue. The PXI platform offers a high-performance, low-cost deployment solution for measurement and automation systems in a compact form factor.




Second Article


Developing and Testing Networked Avionics
Systems and Devices

by Troy Troshynski, Avionics Interface Technologies


The MIL-STD-1553 protocol standard was first published in 1973 by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and was originally used for the Lockheed Martin F-16 program. Currently, MIL-STD-1553 is ubiquitously used for a large number of military and civilian avionics applications world wide. It is even used on the International Space Station (ISS) and in ground based vetronics systems. It is estimated that about 30,000 aircraft are in operation using MIL-STD-1553. MIL-STD-1553 continues to be designed in to new programs such as the Airbus A350, F-35, and several UAV programs.

MIL-STD-1553 provides a shared data bus (redundant) and supports up to 31 terminal devices (Remote Terminals) and a single controller (Bus Controller). An unlimited number of monitoring devices (Bus Monitors) are allowed on the bus.



Thanks to all our readers.
Bob Helsel, Editor


Simulation, Verification, & Analysis
Reliable Databus Network Test Systems

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New PXI Products

The PXI platform continues its explosive growth with many new product introductions. New products introduced in the last three months include (listed in the order received):

Extending PXIe Thermocouple Circuitry onto DAK

MAC Panel was approached with the need for a SCOUT DAK that could be connected to an NI PXIe-4353 32 channel, 24-bit thermocouple module.  This provided a challenge in that the physical size of the terminal block was too large for the DAK adapter.

Aeroflex AXRF Subsystem

The Aeroflex AXRF Subsystem is an integrated PXI RF subsystem specifically designed to support the performance, multisite throughput, and high volume production demands of semiconductor test. 

NI PXI Digitizer and LabVIEW Jitter Analysis Toolkit

Increase Flexibility and Performance for Traditional Oscilloscope Applications

The NI PXIe-5162 digitizer, with 10 bits of vertical resolution and a 5 GS/s sample rate, provides high-speed measurements at four times the vertical resolution of a traditional 8-bit oscilloscope.

Geotest-Marvin Test Systems GX6196 Customizable Switching and Control PXI Card

GX6196  offers 96, DPST 2A relays, 8 digital I/O lines, and a serial digital interface for creating custom relay configurations and control interfaces.

GuideTech’s GT668PXI CTIA

GuideTech’s GT668PXI CTIA “Continuous Time Interval Analyzer” family are the next generation of the reliable GT658CTIA, which are currently in use in customers applications worldwide ranging from Satellite Tracking, Semiconductor Test, Optical Test to monitoring of atomic clocks.

Agilent M915xCH40 series

Available now are three new high performance 40 GHz PXI switch modules, the Agilent M915xCH40 series. These modules developed for the PXI hybrid platform, operate from DC to 40 GHz and have a guaranteed 0.03 dB insertion loss repeatability throughout the operating life of 5 million cycles (typical operating life of 10 million cycles). 


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