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From Bob Helsel, Editor of the PXI Newsletter:

Welcome to the February 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 Pickering Interfaces, the sponsor for this month's issue.

Visit for more information.


Case Study:  Aircraft Lightning Protection Testing


Submitted by Pickering Interfaces

A major UK manufacturer of aircraft engine control units needed to test the transient-voltage-suppression diodes, or transorbs, used to protect the FADEC’s sensitive electronics from very fast voltage spikes induced on connected wires following a lightning strike on the aircraft. Due to the quantity of transorbs that needed to be tested (one on every I/O connection of the FADEC), a large number of high-power multiplexers were required to connect the UUT to the test instrumentation.

The customer required a compact, modular test architecture for scalability and ease of maintenance and selected PXI as their preferred platform. With no high-density PXI multiplexers of the required capacitive/inductive switching performance commercially available, the customer approached Pickering (a preferred PXI switch supplier) to discuss their options.


3 Hidden Oscilloscope Specs That Really Matter

Submitted by National Instruments

Overview All oscilloscopes are listed with specifications like sampling rate, bandwidth, and voltage range, but are those the best specifications to use when you choose a new instrument? Although these are important pieces of information to have about a new piece of equipment, understanding the quality of an oscilloscope requires reading a little further into the user manual. See why the effective number of bits (ENOB), passband flatness, and -3 dB filter roll-off may be the most important specs you aren’t looking at.

1. Effective Number of Bits ENOB of an oscilloscope is the actual measurement resolution after you have accounted for the distortion, noise effects, and spurs of the instrument. ENOB gives a much more accurate representation of the measurement performance of an oscilloscope than the resolution printed on the front panel or in the data sheet and is calculated directly from the signal-to-noise-and-distortion (SINAD) specification. Noise and device spurs are embedded into the measurements your oscilloscope takes and add voltage offsets and frequency components that are not part of the signal of interest.


Develop Test System for Consistent
Measurement Results

Submitted by Keysight Technologies

Accurate and repeatable test systems are essential for product success during research, design validation and manufacturing test. Products have become more complex with advanced features which, in turn, require that test systems are even more capable of specialized test to ensure product quality, while achieving fast time to market.  Regardless of the various test strategies engineering teams choose, the common goal is to achieve reliably consistent measurement results while using the best instrument for a specific purpose.

Recommendations to achieve consistent measurement results that correlate across instrument types and throughout the product development cycle are described in this article.

Use instruments with the same specifications

The first step in achieving repeatable, reliable results whether for one or multiple test systems, is to ensure you have instruments with the same specifications. The test instruments may be benchtop, modular or a combination of both. Using different types of instruments or even the same type of instrument from a different vendor for measurements in different test systems can leave you questioning and struggling to reconcile the different results.

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):

beltronic-IPC  18-Slot PXI-Portable
After launching our PXI-8S Portable in 2015 we are now announcing the production release of our new PXI-18S Portable built to be used in military and industrial areas which call for this kind of robust and reliable system complying with the MIL-810 STD.The unit is capable to operate on 110 to 230V AC or 18V DC to 36V DC.

Keysight's Highest Performance PXIe Multiport Vector Network Analyzer
Keysight introduced the industry's highest performance PXIe multiport vector network analyzer, the M9485A VNA, designed for high-volume wireless component manufacturing of front-end modules, switches and filters used in mobile phones and base stations. The true multiport architecture provides best-in-class measurement speed up to 30 percent faster than competing offerings, while maintaining high dynamic range. 

MAC Panel SCOUT mass interconnect for Pickering BRIC 8
SCOUT is a PXI connectivity solution specifically designed to deliver the full performance of a PXI test system that needs mass interconnect to an ITA or Fixture. MAC Panel recently announced a DAK (Direct Access Kit) adapter for the Pickering BRIC 8.  

NI HDD-8261 In-Chassis High-Speed Data Storage Module
The HDD-8261 in-chassis PXI Express high-speed data storage module features an onboard PCI Express SATA controller and fits into a PXI Express chassis while occupying only three PXI slots.

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.

Aemulus Holdings Berhad Amoeba 4600

Flexibility is a highly sought feature in ATE testers today as the Product Lifecycle for Semiconductor ICs are shortened with periodic launch of new consumer gadgets. As consumer are looking to minimize Capex spending while looking at a longer life cycle test platform, PXIe based ATE testers yields the primary choice.


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