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From Note from the PXI Standard Alliance President

Welcome fellow Test & Measurement professionals,

As we end the 21st year of supporting the PXI Standard, I want the PXISA to take more of a "Listening Approach" to our newsletter. For the last 10 years, our newsletter has been pushing out information to our readers. We have never asked how valuable this information is to our readers.

So beginning with this edition, we will be doing several surveys of our readers over the next year. This first one is more of a "Who are you". Later surveys will focus on certain aspects of the standard and how they apply to our readers. We hope you will take the time to look at our survey and fill it out. Our goal is to make our newsletter more relevant to our T&M Community.

All those who complete the survey will be entered for a chance to win 1 of 5 Amazon gift cards.

Thank you for your time,

Bob Stasonis ‐ President, PXISA


Choosing the Right Platform for Switching: PXI, USB or LXI?

By Pickering Interfaces

When an engineer is designing a functional test system, it is normally the goal to design and integrate the best system in terms of measurement accuracy, throughput, and budget. Too often switching is the last section to be added. How switching is implemented in your test strategy can affect accuracy and repeatability.

It is important to note that you do not need to keep all instrumentation and switching in the same platform. In this article, we will show an overview of the three most popular platforms used for switching today, the advantages of each in various switching applications, and provide some basic questions to ask as you integrate any test system. Our goals today are simple ‐ we want to make you "dangerous" in terms of switching.

By that we mean that we can't make you an expert by reading our article, but we will arm you with enough knowledge to research for more details



The Increasing Importance of Increasing Ports

By Keysight Technologies

Modern devices are highly integrated. As a result, wireless and high-speed digital engineers often test devices with more than four ports. In wireless RF, front-end modules (FEM) for multiband operation and multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antennas require multiport characterization for all their components. Testing high-speed digital technologies like HDMI and USB 3.1 is even more tedious. Not only do digital cables have multiple internal cables and connectors, but each must undergo testing twice ‐ once in the time domain and once in the frequency domain.

The need for multiport test accelerated the development of switch-based solutions for traditional vector network analyzers (VNAs). When switch-based solutions were not adequate to keep up with multiport test, the VNA itself was re-imagined and optimized for multiport test.



Thanks to all our readers.
Aaron Hall, Editor

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):

Marvin Test TS-960e-5G mmWave / 5G Production Test System
The TS-960e-5G mmWave test system delivers proven performance up to 50 GHz. The system integrates laboratory grade RF performance directly to the mmWave Device Under Test (DUT) for multi-site production test or device characterization for mmWave devices. In addition, MTS offers a full suite of digital and parametric testing and SPI/I2C interface support to functionally control / monitor the device under test.

Pickering BRIC 0.5Amp PXI Matrix Modules with up to 6,144 Crosspoints
The new 0.5Amp ultra-high-density PXI matrix module family (model 40-558) has a switching density 39% higher than competing devices. The modules allow a complete Functional ATE system to be housed in a single 3U PXI chassis, and the integrated BRIC design saves on valuable chassis slots compared to standard PXI matrix modules.

Available in two, four or eight-slot widths for matrix sizes between 64x16 and 1,008x6. The modules are fitted with high quality, ruthenium-sputtered 4mmx4mm reed relays ‐ manufactured by Pickering's relay division ‐ which feature a very long life with good low-level switching performance and excellent contact resistance stability.

Keysight M9601A PXIe Precision Source/Measure Unit, 1.25 MSa/s, 10 fA, 210 V, 315 mA
The Keysight M9601A is a precision source/measure unit (SMU) ideal for a wide variety of current versus voltage measurement tasks that require both high resolution and accuracy such as the characterization, parametric/reliability tests of semiconductors, active/passive components, and general electronic devices.

  • 4-quadrant integrated symmetry sourcing and measuring capability
  • Broad coverage of currents from 10 fA to 315 mA and voltages from 500 nV to 210 V
  • 20 µs minimum narrow pulse capability
  • 30 fArms low current measurement noise at 20 ms aperture time
  • High-speed sampling measurement at 1.25 Msamples/s

SignalCore 26.5 GHz RF Downconverter
The SC5317A is a Ku to C band single stage downconverter, whose input RF range is 6 GHz to 26.5 GHz, LO frequency range is 6 GHz to 14 GHz, and output IF range is 5 MHz to 4 GHz. It features an internal synthesized LO, RF preamplifier, and variable gain control, making it a compact standalone downconverter module.


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