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From Bob Helsel, Editor of the PXI Newsletter:

Welcome to the April 2015 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.

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

Our thanks go to VTI Instruments, the sponsor for this month's issue.

Visit for more information.


Main Article


Case Study Using PXI
Submitted by SMH Technologies

The Challenge
The need has been to build a test station ATE (Automatic Test Equipment) of electronic circuit boards with modules in the standard PXI and simultaneously use a hardware platform (universal programmer) to program some memories and microcontrollers simultaneously with the test phase.

We worked with the world's first programmer for PXI systems, FlashRunner FR PXI A3, the first ISP programmer "True Parallel" and universal in the PXI standard that allowed us to program simultaneously a large number of microcontrollers and serial memories to be inserted into a chassis along with other modules of measurement and testing. The PXI standard based on the PCI bus (PCI Extensions for Instrumentation) is used in most new ATE projects for the testing of electronic boards.

The need exposed in this case study was to introduce programming algorithms in microcontrollers and serial memories present in a circuit and simultaneously test the electronic boards using a PXI ATE system.



Porter’s 5 Forces Accelerate Modular Instruments

by Larry Desjardin, Modular Methods

Last November I wrote about the recently released Frost and Sullivan report that predicted PXI to disrupt the automated test market going forward.  Frost and Sullivan predicts PXI to grow at an aggregate growth rate of more than 17%, achieving $1.75B in annual sales by 2020.  This is significantly more than the 3% secular growth rate of the test and measurement market.  In fact, my arithmetic at the end of the column concludes that all the growth of automated test over the next several years is coming from PXI.

In that article, I stated that this matches my own estimates.  In particular, if you combine Porter’s 5 forces with Nobel Laureate John Forbes Nash’s game theory mathematics, you can see the patterns that are igniting this disruptive change.



Supercharging PXI Test and Measurement Systems with Intel Xeon CPU and PCI Express Gen 3 Technology

Submitted by National Instruments

PXI Express Specification
As the complexity of customer applications and demand for processing power and bandwidth have grown over the past decades, the PXI specification has evolved to meet these needs. Initially PXI was based on PCI technology and provided 132 MB/s of data bandwidth. This specification then evolved into PXI Express by leveraging PCI Express technology, which sends data serially through pairs of transmit and receive connections called lanes, which give data the ability transfer at 250 MB/s per direction with PCI Express Gen 1 technology. Multiple lanes are grouped together to form x4, x8 and x16 links to increase bandwidth.

This then grew to 500 MB/s per lane with PCI Express Gen 2 technology. With the release of the PXIe-1085 24 GB/s chassis, the industry’s first chassis that is based on PCI Express Gen 3 technology, the lane bandwidth has been doubled to 1 GB/s per lane, and with 24 data lanes (x24), a total of 24 GB/s of data per direction can be sent from the controller to the PXI Express backplane as seen in Chart 1 below.

Read more>>

Thanks to all our readers.
Bob Helsel, Editor

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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):

Signal Processing Devices Data Acquisition Platform - ADQ14
The highest performance data acquisition platform available, featuring Xilinx’s Kintex 7 open FPGA
This is a unique and compact multi-channel 14-bit digitizer which offers sampling rates up to 2 GSPS. The ADQ14 is the first digitizer from SP Devices to host a Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA which is open to the

SMH Technologies FlashRunner FR PXI A3 
FlashRunner FR PXI A3 is a universal high-integrated in-system parallel programmer for PXI and CompactPCI systems. FlashRunner FRPXIA3 is designed for programming multi-PCB panel assemblies, and it is based on FlashRunner technology, the fast and reliable programming system for Flash-based microcontroller and serial memories.

NI PXIe-8830mc PXImc processor module
The PXI MultiComputing (PXImc) specification allows two or more intelligent systems to exchange data via PCI Express. Featuring an Intel quad-core processor, the NI PXIe-8830mc can be installed in any PXI Express peripheral slot. It runs on the LabVIEW Real-Time OS and can act as a coprocessor to offload the processing from the main embedded controller in the system. 

Pickering Interfaces Expands Range of 16 Amp PXI Switching Solutions
16 Amp PXI power multiplexer (model 40-662) – available in seven configurations ranging from 4-off 2:1 multiplexers to 1-off 16:1 multiplexer.
16 Amp PXI power matrix (model 40-552) – available in four configurations with matrix sizes of 8x2 and 4x4 and the ability to expand the matrix size with the Y-Axis loop-thru connections. For example, 8x4, 12x4, 16x4, etc. (with 4x4 matrices) or 16x2, 24x2, 32x2, etc. (with 8x2 matrices).

Keysight High-Speed, Multi-Site PXIe Digital Stimulus/Response
A new high-speed, 16-channel PXIe digital stimulus/response module (M9195A) was introduced featuring a powerful pattern cyclizer technology enabling unique on-the-fly pattern creation for single site or 4 independent multi-sites.



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