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From Bob Helsel, Editor of the PXI Newsletter:

Welcome to the September 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 National Instruments, the sponsor for this month's issue.

Visit for more information.


PXI Products for Automotive ECU Fault Insertion


David Owen
Product and Business Development Consultant
Pickering Interfaces


Designers of automotive systems have to validate the design reliability of their ECUs (Engine Control Units), also known as PCMs (Power-train Control Modules) or ECMs (Engine Control Modules). Rather than design proprietary systems, which are likely to be expensive to create if the investment in the design is accounted for and labor intensive in use, designers are increasingly turning to PXI based solutions.

HILS (Hardware In the Loop Solutions) are primarily used for NPI (New Product Introduction), they are used to verify that the key components all work as intended by including a mix of real products and simulated products. As well as verifying the operation of the system when everything is working as intended the user needs to verify that the system behaves correctly when simple faults are introduced. For example short circuits and open circuits in the parts that make up the system – a process commonly referred to as Fault Insertion (FI). 



Speed PXI Test Solutions
with Effective Software Selection

Submitted by Keysight Technologies

Development of an RF test system requires decisions for many test factors including frequency range, analysis bandwidth, sensitivity, accuracy, dynamic range and performance. More challenging test capabilities may include how to manage complex signal, address different standards and optimize for productivity. Engineers are faced with making both hardware and software choices that satisfy the test criteria. When PXI modular hardware is selected for a test system the software choice plays an even more important role. A single software package may not be capable of meeting the all of the various demands of the test system. A suggested alternative is a layer approach that takes advantage of off-the-shelf solutions and the measurements built into modular hardware drivers. Learn how to match your key RF test priorities with the most efficient software tools available including instrument drivers, standard-specific measurement applications, advanced modulation analysis, resource optimization tools and more.

For more information, click here.


7 Tips for Optimizing Your Source Measurement Unit

Submitted by National Instruments

Source measurement units (SMU) are gaining popularity due to their ability to consolidate the functionality of a programmable power supply, programmable load, and DMM in a single instrument. However, most engineers have only scratched the surface on the impact that an SMU can make on their test system performance and throughput. With the ultimate goal of reducing both cost and test time, the following seven tips will have you on your way to characterizing and validating your products faster and more economically.

For more information, click here.


Inside the Nokia 5G system

by Larry Desjardin, Modular Methods

It’s August. It’s Texas.  It’s unbelievably hot.  It’s full of modular instruments and LabView.  Yes, it’s my annual trek (along with 3200+ others) to NIWeek in Austin, Texas.

This year I had a special interest in 5G communications. Frequent readers of Test Cafe blog know that I have recently written about 5G, and why modular instruments are well positioned architecturally to address the challenges of 5G.  Architecturally yes, but without the mmWave (millimeter wave) instruments needed for the highest frequency 5G microwave bands.   My most recent column made an unequivocal prediction: We will see modular microwave, and mmWave in particular, within 18 months.  That is, by the end of 2016.

Perhaps I should have said 18 days. 

For more information, click here.


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 PXI 1-slot Dual 1x4 solid state switch
The new M9161D PXI solid state switch is now orderable. The M9161D is a one slot PXI Dual SP4T solid state switch module, operating from 50 MHz to 20 GHz. The M9161D has an unmatched ultra-long cycle life, fast switching speed and high isolation, all within a single slot enclosure.

Pickering Interfaces’ Differential PXI Fault Insertion Switching Modules
The new modules include the Differential PXI Fault Insertion Switch (model 40-200) which is designed for lower data rate serial interfaces such as CAN and FlexRay, and the High Bandwidth Differential PXI Fault Insertion Switch (model 40-201) which is designed for higher data rate serial interfaces such as AFDX and 1000BaseT Ethernet.

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.

SignalCore’s High Performance 20 GHz Signal Source PXIe (SC5510A)
SignalCore’s high performance 20 GHz VCO-based synthesized signal source is cost effective, compact and designed for seamless integration. With frequency spanning 100 MHz to 20 GHz (1 Hz resolution), low phase noise of -118 dBc/Hz at 10kHz offset @ 10 GHz carrier, and amplitude step resolution of 0.01 dB over a -30 dBm to +7 dBm output range, this product is ideal for R&D, academic, military and commercial applications.

Innovative Integration PXI Express to XMC module adapter 
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 PCIExpress lanes.

NI PXIe-4137 Precision System SMU 

The NI PXIe-4137 system source measure unit (SMU) delivers high power, precision, and speed in a single-slot PXI Express module. The combination of power, precision, and speed makes this SMU suitable for a broad range of applications including manufacturing test or lab characterization with devices ranging from ICs and discrete devices to board-level test. 


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