Live from Autotest: Keysight sets sights on modular instruments

Autotest, the show formerly known as Autotestcon, kicks off this Tuesday in St. Louis. And your humble correspondent is on the scene. The news alerts are already piling up, so I’ve covered the event in a different way from before. I’ll publish this column, highlighting what is the biggest news so far, and then add comments below as I discover more. So, return to this column and read the comments to get the latest news.

The biggest news from the show that changed its name comes from a company that also changed its name. Keysight Technologies, formerly known as Agilent test and measurement, has announced a new and very impressive salvo of PXI and AXIe products. Have no doubt about it, as I wrote in Battle of the Titans, Keysight is making big investments to take the leadership in modular RF.  Big announcements include a 65Gs/s AWG, a single slot 2-port PXI VNA, and a new PXI VSA. Plus one more thing that wasn’t officially announced…

To see what Keysight is up to, as well as others at Autotest, go here.

By Larry DJ

AXIe-0: The inside story of a new modular instrument standard

There’s a new modular instrument standard announced! It’s called “AXIe Zero”, titled “Low Cost Instrument and Switch Architecture”, and written as AXIe-0. Like Coke Zero, AXIe-0 is the diet version of its namesake, AXIe. But instead of cutting calories, AXIe-0 cuts cost and complexity.

I’m going to tell you about it. But before I do, I need to give you full disclosure. I led the technical committee that designed it.

From day one our goal was to meet two objectives. The first objective was to create a standard that would significantly lower the cost of modular instrumentation and switching solutions. Our second objective was complete upward compatibility to AXIe-1, the mainstream standard. This is why we called it AXIe-0; it was a subset of the existing AXIe-1 specification.

I am happy to report that AXIe-0 meets both goals.  To read me summary of what this new spec is all about, go here.

By Larry DJ