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From Bob Helsel, Editor of the PXI Newsletter:

Welcome to the July 2017 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 Marvin Test Solutions, the sponsor of this month's issue.

Visit for more information.

Overcoming 802.11ax Test Challenges

Submitted by Keysight Technologies

The new 802.11ax wireless LAN standard is aimed at improving data throughput in dense user environments. 802.11ax operates in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band making it backwards compatible with previous 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless LAN standards.  The new wireless LAN standard utilizes up to 1024 QAM and multi-user MIMO.  With this, the increase in test complexity can be a major challenge for engineers.

This article describes a webcast that includes 802.11ax challenges and what to look for in a test solution. can use higher order modulation schemes up to 1024 QAM with closer subcarrier spacing and UL-OFDMA to accommodate multiple users per timeslot. The 1024 QAM symbol points are ½ the distance versus previous 256 QAM, requiring better SNR sensitivity in the receiver and better EVM performance in the test equipment used to verify the system. Close-in phase noise is a key component of the EVM performance in test equipment.  Test equipment that is able to achieve -45dB EVM can be hard to find and is expensive. It’s recommended to use test equipment with 10 dB better performance than the device under test to ensure measurement of the device under test and not just the test equipment measurement floor.



Instrument Fundamentals: Complete Guide

Submitted by National Instruments

Learn about a broad range of instruments and measurement hardware in this complete collection of the Instrument Fundamentals white papers. In this PDF, you will find tips and tricks for the instruments commonly used to measure and automate the world around you. From Acquiring an Analog Signal to DMM Measurement Types and Power Supply Fundamentals, this complete guide lets you browse by topic across our entire Instrument Fundamentals series.

What Is a Digitizer?
Scientists and engineers often use a digitizer to capture analog data in the real world and convert it into digital signals for analysis. A digitizer is any device used to convert analog signals into digital signals. One of the most common digitizers is a cell phone, which converts a voice, an analog signal, into a digital signal to send to another phone. However, in test and measurement applications, a digitizer most often refers to an oscilloscope or a digital multimeter (DMM). This article focuses on oscilloscopes, but most topics are also applicable to other digitizers.

Regardless of the type, the digitizer is vital for the system to accurately reconstruct a waveform. To ensure you select the correct oscilloscope for your application, consider the bandwidth, sampling rate, and resolution of the oscilloscope.


The front end of an oscilloscope consists of two components: an analog input path and an analog-to-digital converter (ADC). The analog input path attenuates, amplifies, filters, and/or couples the signal to optimize it in preparation for digitization by the ADC. The ADC samples the conditioned waveform and converts the analog input signal to digital values that represent the
analog input waveform.


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):

NI Baseband PXI Vector Signal Transceiver
The PXIe-5820 is the baseband model of the second-generation vector signal transceiver (VST) with 1 GHz of complex I/Q bandwidth. It combines a wideband I/Q digitizer, wideband I/Q arbitrary waveform generator, and high-performance user-programmable FPGA in a single 2-slot PXI Express module.

VXinstruments PXT1741 PXI Trigger Module
- Easy linkage of various external modules to the PXI trigger bus
- Complex concatenation of various trigger sources
- 12 independent configurable trigger lines
- Inputs / outputs compatible with 5V TTL standard

GaGe 16-bit RazorMax Express Digitizer series
The high-speed GaGe 16-bit RazorMax Express Digitizer series is now available from DynamicSignals in a new 3U PXIe Gen3 x8 single slot form factor. The 1st and only current available PXIe Gen3 based digitizer providing unprecedented speed and resolution for the latest PXIe Gen3 platform.

Keysight M9421A PXI VXT
Keysight M9421A PXIe vector transceiver (VXT) provides improved EVM performance needed to test 1024 QAM in 802.11ax design verification and manufacturing test.  The four-slot PXIe VXT has independent vector signal generator and analyzer and offers 60 MHz to 3.8 or 6 GHz with modulation bandwidth up to 160 Mhz. 

OpenATE PA32S, 3U PXI Module, designed for  MEMS Sensor device Testing
PA32S provides high-performance analog, digital, counter / timer and I2C / SPI functionalities on a single board; enhances SCAN/SRD modes to save execution time significantly during data log / capture.

Instrumental Systems
The FMC121cP is a high performance FPGA carrier card complied with ANSI/VITA 57.1. Depending on design version it can fit CompactPCI or PXI or PXIe 3U systems. All the interface options are closely coupled to fast on-board memory resources. 

AMETEK VTI Instruments’ EMX-70XX Series of Precision Programmable Resistor Ladders
AMETEK VTI Instruments continues to expand their core ATE PXI Express (PXIe) card lineup. The EMX-70XX series can be used to simulate sensors, potentiometers, thermocouples, pressure sensors, strain gauges, and more.

FlashRunner FRPXIA3 integrates In-System Programming function in the PXI system
FlashRunner PXIA3 is the new PXI module for Gang In-System Programming. FlashRunner PXI is based on FlashRunner technology, the fast and reliable programming system for flash-based microcontrollers and serial memories. 


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