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From Bob Helsel, Editor of the PXI Newsletter:

Welcome to the July 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 MAC Panel, the sponsor for this month's issue.

Visit for more information.


Mass Interconnect Methods for PXI ATE

Submitted by MAC Panel Inc.

The manufacturing line assembling today’s highly complex products must deal with limited physical test access, such as PCBA blind via’s;  while also dealing with ultra-low voltage technologies and contact test points that are as small as .012inch.  Test engineers are continually looking for ways to improve test efficiencies as they serve more complex application requirements.  Some of the most common test methods used to ensure a quality product build post reflow include X-ray, In-circuit test, and Functional test (Figure 1).  

This article explores how addressing interfacing from the measurement instrument all the way to the device under test I/O pin is a requirement to thoroughness of test and product quality.


High-Speed Serial Communication in Radio Transceiver Functional Test

Submitted by National Instruments


This application note describes a reference design for implementing highspeed serial protocols like 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Xilinx Aurora, Serial RapidIO, or Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) into functional test systems for radio transceivers and other similar RF systems (software-defined radio, signal intelligence [SIGINT], transmit and receive [TR] modules, remote radio heads, and radar systems). Learn how you can use NI high-speed serial instruments, LabVIEW software, and tools from Xilinx to implement numerous industry-standard and custom protocols in your test system.


Challenges of Radio Test

Submitted by Keysight Technologies

Design and test of new tactical and public safety radios is a greater challenge for engineers than ever. Modern advances in these technologies require support of well-established analog modulation, emerging digital standards, commercial wireless and connectivity standards including LTE and WiFi. This means that the radio test system must be able to test a wide range of requirements. The list includes various frequency ranges, wider bandwidths, new modulation schemes, legacy formats and general purpose measurements.

This article discusses what is needed to develop an open, flexible hardware and software test solution to test today’s radio technologies which can be adapted for future expansion as radio designs evolve.

There are several types of radios, and each has unique capabilities, making it evident that a single test configuration is not able provide a solution for all radio tests. Here are some examples of features that create additional test challenges during radio test system development:

  • Tactical radios often secure communications using encryption and many MILCOM radios incorporate internal test modes to verify and manage encryption.


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):

Keysight M9169E PXI Switchable-Input Programmable Step Attenuator Module, DC to 50 GHz
In addition to connectorized standalone attenuators, Keysight Technologies, Inc. also offers PXI step attenuator modules that operate across a broad frequency range of DC to 50 GHz. The M9169E is a 3-port PXI programmable step attenuator module with a switchable path.

NI PXIe-4135 Precision Low-Current SMU
Features 4-quadrant operation and sources up to 20 W of DC power with voltage and current boundaries at ±200 V and ±1 A. With the unique analog-to-digital converter technology of this module, you can perform high-precision measurements with a current resolution of 10 fA or high-speed acquisitions at speeds up to 1.8 MS/s. 

VX Instruments 250V, 40MSps Isolated High Voltage Digitizer Family PXD702x
VX Instruments expands their 250V Isolated High Voltage Digitizer Family with the 40MSps devices to offer an economic solution for production testing. The PXD702x devices are available as a 1- or 2-channel version. The signal inputs are fully isolated from ground and against each other.

Innovative Integration PXIe XMC x8 Lane Adapter Overview
The 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. The adapter is completely transparent to PCI Express. 

VPC Snap-In-Modular (SIM) VTAC
VPC introduces its Snap-In-Modular (SIM) VTAC right angle insert. Capable of speeds of 10+ Gbps, the VTAC right angle insert is ideal for a variety of applications that require a high speed PCB solution.


PXI-based, Advanced Switching Architecture for Functional Test


By Mike Dewey, Marvin Test Solutions

(First published in Electronic Product Design & Test magazine)

Many of today’s functional test systems employ the PXI architecture which offers modularity and flexibility. However when combining switching and instrumentation, test engineers can be challenged to create a system that combines all of the switching and instrumentation capabilities
in one compact platform.

To address these needs for a range of mixed-signal test applications, a new, advanced switching architecture, based on PXI can offer test engineers the required modularity and flexibility for a range of test applications requiring moderate to very high pin counts. Based on the 6U PXI standard, this new switching architecture leverages the flexibility of the 6U standard and features a compact footprint as well as the option to support both switching and instrumentation within a single PXI chassis.

Read more>>

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