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From Bob Helsel, Editor of the PXI Newsletter:

Welcome to the November 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.


Bridging the Gap from Benchtop to PXI


Submitted by Keysight Technologies

Test system measurements from product development through manufacturing

Testing of new product designs can be optimized by selecting test instruments of different form factors at different test phases in the product life cycle - from research and development through production.

Benchtop instruments have a front panel display with easily adjustable buttons and knobs that simplify exploration or modification of a device’s functionality and performance. Measurements or test adjustments are determined and made in a thoughtful, progressive process by design engineers working to improve product design and performance.

Modular instruments, such as PXI or AXIe, are a good choice for higher
volume device test or tests that require many channels for an individual DUT. Automated test that provide fast throughput for a sequence of measurements, dynamic stimulus, and monitored results benefit from modular products while providing a smaller, easily re-configurable test system.

Achieving comparable, reliable and accurate test results from each test systems as the product progresses from development to manufacturing can be a daunting task as hardware and software changes.



How PXI Architecture Helps Address Challenges
for Next-Generation RF Power Amplifier Design Verification Test

In the drive to deliver robust and high-performance user equipment, chip manufacturers are integrating more functionality into single chips and assemblies, specifically to provide compact and efficient front-end electronics. The “front end” of user equipment is everything between the transceiver and the antenna(s), including the power amplifier (PA), along with low-noise amplifiers, filters, duplexers, switches, and an antenna tuner. Design verification test (DVT) of these multimode multiband PA devices is complex and challenging. The huge number of permutations in operational modes of devices, plus the ongoing increases in performance requirements, has led to a dramatic rise in the amount and complexity of tests required to validate device design. These requirements conflict with the need to reduce equipment size, cost, and test time, as well as shorten time to market. In addition, they place pressure on the test equipment measurement performance, footprint, and test time; therefore, propelling engineers to adopt smaller modular instrumentation that is often used in production for their DVT environment.

The leading modular instruments platform is PCI eXtensions for Instrumentation (PXI). Founded in 1997, PXI is an open, industry standard based on PC technology with a rugged industrial form factor. A variety of industries such as aerospace/defense, transportation, and semiconductor have adopted PXI. As a result, it benefits from economies of scale to reduce cost and improve performance. PXI augments the latest high-performance commercial-off-the-shelf PC bus technology with features such as timing and synchronization, which is required when testing modern RF front-end devices. With the modular nature of PXI, engineers can integrate the latest technologies and gain the flexibility to meet rapidly changing test requirements.



PXI Vendor Booths at AUTOTESTCON 2015

Vendor Booth Number
ADLINK Technology 302
Marvin Test Solutions 113
Keysight Technologies 409
National Instruments 124 & 243
Pickering Interfaces 203
Teradyne 325
Astronics 213
Chroma System Solutions 343
MACPanel 415
Virginia Panel Corp. 405
Acculogic 427
AIM 500
Anritsu 139
Gigatronics 130
JTAG 403
Rohde & Schwarz 240
VTI Instruments 116


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):

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.

Keysight M9393A PXIe Performance Vector Signal Analyzer
Keysight added a 50 GHz frequency extension to its high performance M9393A PXIe performance vector signal analyzer (VSA), providing frequency coverage previously unseen in modular instrumentation. The innovative design of the M9393A offers engineers the ability to validate the performance of Ka-band designs with continuous frequency sweeps from 3.6 to 50 GHz (option FRX) and direct access to 800 MHz of IF bandwidth (option WB1). 

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.

NI PXIe-6739 High Density Analog Output
The NI PXIe-6739 module delivers reliable, 16-bit resolution, and high-density analog outputs to meet a wide range of application requirements. The digital triggering and PXIe synchronization capabilities of the PXIe-6739 allow it to be coupled with additional data acquisition, motion, and vision products to create highly custom measurement solutions to test innovative designs.

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.

Pickering Interface PXI High-Density Precision Programmable Resistors (model 40-297)
Pickering Interfaces continues to expand its range of PXI High-Density Precision Programmable Resistors with the addition of eight new models of its 40-297 high-density precision resistor module series, increasing the maximum resistance range to 22.3 MΩ.

NI PXIe-7822R Reconfigurable Digital I/O Module
The NI PXIe-7822R digital reconfigurable I/O (RIO) module features a user-programmable FPGA chip for onboard processing and flexible I/O operation. You configure all functionality using LabVIEW graphical block diagrams and the LabVIEW FPGA Module.

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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