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From Bob Helsel, Editor of the PXI Newsletter:

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

Visit for more information.


Main Article

When Exposed to IoT,
Big Iron ATE Will Rust

Submitted by National Instruments

When the first “smart” refrigerators were released in the early 2000s, consumers weren’t sure what to do with them. When Nest released the smart thermostat, though, a revolution happened. Humans were taken out of the loop because the thermostat learned on its own about desired temperature and how quickly it could cool or heat a house. And it could synchronize all of this better than a human could schedule it. Consumers began to understand what a smart device could do. Though creating smart devices is left to inventors and designers, the test engineer must ensure that they function safely and reliably while meeting the requirements of a disruptive business model.

It could be argued that the Nest thermostat was the first instantiation of the original goal of the Internet of Things (IoT), but we all know it will not be the last. In fact, Gartner estimates there will soon be more connected devices than humans on the planet, and by 2022 each household could contain more than 500 connected devices. As society continues to reap the benefits of connecting devices and freeing up humans to do more productive things than optimize their thermostats, automated test will continue to be challenged to keep pace economically.



5 Test Trends I'll Be Watching in 2015

by Larry Desjardin, Modular Methods

A colleague once remarked to me, "Test and measurement moves at a glacial rate.” I've expropriated this saying many times. Not to dismiss change—just the opposite. The slower pace of change compared to the consumer electronics industry hides the very real trends that are occurring. For professionals in the industry, not recognizing these can be deadly. Like a frog in a heated kettle, one moment is like the next, but you still end up as grenouille served with a glass of rose.

In my role as an industry consultant and writer, I've identified five key trends I'll be keeping a special eye on this year. They are:

  • The open modular disruption
  • All things "RF"
  • Semiconductor test
  • Data converters drive instrument architectures
  • Empowering battery life



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):

VTI Instruments CMX-18, an 18-Slot PXI Express Hybrid Chassis designed for High Power ATE System Requirements
VTI instruments CMX-18 is a high-power hybrid PXIe chassis designed for ATE test systems.  The CMX provides extensive built-in health monitoring, giving the user feedback of temperature, fan speed (airflow) and supply line monitoring to help reduce the mean-time to repair (MTTR), or shut down the system in real-time if a fault condition occurs.

NI PXIe-8880 Intel Xeon Eight-Core PXI Express Controller, 24 GB/s 
The NI PXIe-8880 is a high-performance Intel Xeon E5-2618L v3 processor-based embedded controller for use in PXI Express systems. With the 2.3 GHz base frequency (3.4 GHz single-core, Turbo Boost mode) eight-core processor with up to 16 hyperthreaded virtual cores and the triple-channel 1866 MHz DDR4 memory, this controller is ideal for processor-intensive RF, modular instrumentation, and DAQ applications. 

Pickering’s New PXI Programmable Resistor & Relay Module (40-294) 
These PXI Programmable Resistor & Relay Modules are available with two channels of 16-bit, two channels of 12-bit or four channels of 8-bit resistor chains in a single 3U PXI module. The module is ideal for simulating sensors for control and management systems under test, allowing the user to verify system response in design verification or manufacturing test applications.


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