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From Bob Helsel, Editor of the PXI Newsletter:

Welcome to the January 2016 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 Keysight Technologies, the sponsor for this month's issue.

Visit for more information.


Ensure PXI Interoperability


Submitted by Keysight Technologies

When developing a new test system, the PXI platform presents a great option, offering advantages of high-performance test and measurement with a rugged industrial form factor, flexible module configurations, and scalability for size and number of channels.  PXI chassis provide a single power source and cooling for a selection of plug-in PXI instruments, switching, and control modules. There are multiple sources for PXI chassis and controllers, and thousands of PXI modules available from many different vendors, making it possible to select and combine modules for nearly every conceivable type of test.  With additional software and programing engineers are able to create a compact, unique test system for a specific application. However, when engineers make the decision to build a test system based on the PXI platform, how do they ensure the combined multi-vendor chassis, controller, and modules will integrate and work as expected?

This article discusses what test system developers should know about PXI interoperability.


Top 5 modular instrument news stories of 2015

Submitted by Larry Desjardin, Modular Methods

Frequent readers of Test Cafe know of this column’s particular focus on modular instruments, specifically PXI and AXIe. 2015 was another banner year for these standards as they continued to outgrow the test and measurement industry as a whole.  

PXI continued to make inroads in 2015. Above, a multivendor system.  Image courtesy of the PXI System Alliance.

New products, new architectures, new vendors, and new applications continue to fuel the modular disruption in our industry. Since test and measurement dynamics change at a slower rate than those of the consumer industry, one can be forgiven for not recognizing the disruption occurring in our midst. A company does, however, so at its own rick. As 2015 winds to a close, I thought I’d choose the top 5 news events of the year that characterized the disruption we are now experiencing. 



The 3 Pain Points of the Mil/Aero Test Engineer

Submitted by Reggie Rector, National Instruments

We all have our pains and struggles within our team or organization - whether it’s the junior engineer that couldn’t possibly be wrong about anything - ever, the dreaded consensus building meetings that do anything but, or a nearly impossible deadline (maybe for an article?) – we all have them.

The life of the aerospace test engineer is no different.  They may be supporting depot-level test systems with 30-year old technology or racing to be first to market with the latest and greatest radar technology, but inevitably they have their share of challenges to tackle. 

While unloading all our pains and struggles may be therapeutically beneficial, this article will focus on overcoming the challenges of the aerospace test engineer that have the biggest impact on the organization’s success and, in concert, their own career growth.


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):

Interlatin PXI-LIN (I0915X)
2 ports Software Selectable PXI-LIN master/slave interface
The I0915X-2 ports, software selectable PXI LIN Interface enables users to create sophisticated LIN Applications through C#.NET, C/C++ and TestExec.

Keysight M9217A PXIe Isolated Digitizer
The Keysight M9217A PXIe single slot isolated digitizer offers 2 channels of simultaneous sampling with sample rate up to 20MSa/s/channel and 16-bit resolution per channel. The high voltage input channels can measure up to ±256V for high voltage test like the solenoid driver test.

NI PXIe-8840 Quad Core Controller
The PXIe-8840 Quad Core is a high-performance Intel processor-based embedded controller for use in PXI Express systems. With 2.6 GHz base frequency, 3.4 GHz (single-core, Turbo Boost mode), and single-channel 1600 MHz DDR3L memory that supports a maximum of 8 GB, this controller is ideal for processor-intensive modular instrumentation and DAQ applications. 

Conduant's Big River™ DM-4M.2 3U PXIe storage unit
Big River™ DM-4M.2 3U storage unit delivers up to 4 terabytes of M.2 storage capacity.  The DM-4M.2 with a PCIe Gen3 x8 host interface delivers high-speed data rates for sequential writes of 3.25 gigabytes/second and sequential reads of 3.4 GB/s to PXI Express systems.

Pickering PXI 5 Amp Solid State Multiplexer (40-652) 
This new range of multiplexers was originally designed for a large defense contractor looking for a multiplexer that could handle large inrush currents. The 40-652 series offers a range of configurations suitable for hot or cold switching signals up to ±100V at 5A.

Innovative Integration PXIe XMC x8 Lane Adapter
PXI Express to XMC module adapter allows a standard 75 x 150mm PCIe XMC module to be used in a PXI Express slot. The XMC module must be VITA 42.3-compatible and may support up to eight PCI Express lanes.


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