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From Bob Helsel, Editor of the PXI Newsletter:

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

Visit for more information.


PXI Helping Wireless Medical Devices Coexist

By Greg Crouch, Circuit Check Inc.

The development of new wireless technologies continues at an ever rapid pace, primarily driven by the consumer electronics industry. Although it seems logical to apply the same leading edge solutions to medical devices, doing so without careful forethought of ramifications could be disastrous. Telehealth-based wireless connectivity is challenged staying abreast with product evolution all the while ensuring safety and quality-of-service. 

PXI hardware and advances with Software Defines Radios (SDRs) have come to the rescue.  It is now possible to accurately characterize and emulate a wireless network to have the same power, frequency, modulation, packet size, variable duty cycle, and impairments that are exhibited in an actual network.  Today’s PXI instrument capabilities expand test scenarios beyond traditional methods to advance product quality.

From a medical device perspective, proper selection of a specific RF standard depends upon determining the best fit for the product’s intended use.   It seems however that many medical device design teams are adopting standards within the FCC ISM band as the basis for new products.  A reason to select one of these methods is simple; time to market and availability of ready-made radio integrated circuits (ICs).  Only the largest organizations have the financial investment power to architect radio IC silicon in-house in order to simplify product designs.



Get Better Measurements Faster Using Oscilloscopes With User-Programmable FPGAs

Submitted by National Instruments

Oscilloscope requirements are increasing quickly and new research and test applications employ a growing number of faster and more complex signals. This requires more intelligent test equipment to detect certain signal conditions deterministically without dead time, to process data during acquisition to reduce test times, or to quickly generate feedback signals to control the device under test (DUT). Over the last decade, the tight integration of powerful PC software with modular I/O helped reduce test time and overall test cost. The new product category of software-designed instruments takes this concept to the next level by extending the reach of user-algorithms right into the instruments themselves. This enables the design of highly optimized measurement systems, which can analyze each sample in real time and therefore eliminate time-consuming postprocessing. This results in shorter test times and faster discoveries in science and research applications.

1. What Is a Reconfigurable Oscilloscope?
Instruments like oscilloscopes use multiple layers of software—some more visible to the user than others. Software on a PC controls overall test system execution, instrument drivers allow communication with the oscilloscope, and software embedded on the instrument itself controls how data is acquired and provided to the user. While traditional instruments provide fixed measurement capability through an instrument driver, modular instruments make use of open PC software and the processing power of modern CPUs to execute signal analysis on the PC instead of inside the instrument. This means you can  quickly customize the analysis performed on acquired data to meet your specific needs such as improved test times or higher resolution measurements.



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):

Pickering Interfaces High-Density 2 AMP PXI Relay Module – 40-100
This module is configured with 83 SPDT designed for applications requiring medium power switching with very high density. It features a 2 Amp current capacity and voltages to 200VDC/140VAC.

NI PXIe-5164 Oscilloscope
The PXIe-5164 high-speed oscilloscope has two channels that sample at up to 1 GS/s with flexible settings for coupling and input impedance, an input voltage range of up to 100 V, and an offset of up to 250 V.

Circuit Check:  CCI 1050 Medical Device Test Station

  • Selectable product interface options
    • Topside, bi-level and multistage pin probe
    • Through-connector test

Ametek's VTI Instrument’s SentinelEX PXI Express Switching Series
Introducing AMETEK’s VTI Instrument’s SentinelEX PXI Express (PXIe) Switching Series, the latest addition to its SentinelEX PXIe Test and Measurement Suite. These new PXIe switch modules provide more than 30X better isolation than comparable modules, greatly improving overall performance and allowing test system engineers to maximize the performance of a system’s measurement instrumentation.

NI and Astronics Introduce New Set of PXI Instruments for the Aerospace and Defense Industries
Led by Astronics’ PXIe-6943 Digital Test Instrument, the new suite offers TPS-compatible solutions that deliver familiar, fast development paths for both legacy and new military/ aerospace programs.
NI (Nasdaq: NATI) and Astronics Test Systems, Inc. announced the Astronics PXIe-6943 Digital Test Instrument, Astronics PXIe-3352 Rubidium Clock Source and Astronics PXIe-1209 Pulse Pattern Generator. 

AIT PXIe-1553
The PXIe-1553 module is the PXI Express member of AIT’s family of MIL-STD-1553 test and simulation instruments. This module is a 3U PXI Hybrid Slot and PXI Express slot compatible instrument designed to support testing, simulations, monitoring, and analysis of MIL-STD-1553 A/B databuses.

Keysight Gen 3 PXIe Chassis and System Components
Doubling the system bandwidth, compared with Gen 2, the new Gen 3 PXIe chassis and system components improve triggering and power sequencing for multi-chassis and multi-site applications such as MIMO and PA/FEM. 

Marvin Test Solutions TS-960e PXIe Semiconductor Test System
Marvin Test Solutions builds on the integrated open-architecture of the TS-900 Semiconductor Test platform with the new TS-960e, offering PXI Express (PXIe) performance and expanded test capabilities for RF devices and SoC applications.

VTI Instuments SentinelEX PXIe Test and Measurement Suite
SentinelEX continues to lead the way in modular test solutions by delivering uncompromised measurement integrity to the heart of every test system: signal switching. The new VTI Instruments PXIe Switching Series by AMETEK is built on 20 years of proven deployment in the most demanding aerospace, defense and automotive applications.

VX Instruments PXIexpress Arbitrary Waveform Generator Family PXIe722x
VX Instruments expands their Flexible Configurable PXI Platform (FlexCPP) based device family with the PXIexpress interface (FlexCPeP). Starting with the PXAe722x Isolated Arbitrary Waveform Generator Family the new devices feature up to two simultaneously working channels with 100 MS/s, 16 Bit resolution and an output voltage up to +30 V or ±15 V. They are available as isolated or non-isolated versions.


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