The latest trend in PXI is…boxes!

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Modules versus boxes has been a debate going on in ATE circles since the time of the mods and rockers. Modular PXI systems are fast, small, and offer increasing parametric performance. Traditional “box” instruments are easy to use, portable, and offer front panels and displays for manual bench operation. The two formats orbit around different value propositions. But the latest trend is the increasing use of PXI to create one-box testers and traditional bench instrumentation. In this column I talk with seven companies, and get their unique perspectives on this topic.  The companies are Agilent Technologies, LitePoint, Aeroflex, VTI Instruments, Marvin Test Solutions, National Instruments, and RADX Technologies.  Why are they doing this? What benefits to the user and vendor? What downsides? To find out, read the entire article here.

AXIe: It really is big brother to PXI

AXIe is the “big brother” of PXI.  It uses the same PCIe (PCI Express) fabric as PXI, but sports higher power and larger board size.  A goal of the consortium is to make AXIe appear to controllers and software as a PXI system, but focused on supporting high-end instrumentation.  Like PXI and VXI, it is open to all vendors, and uses similar software drivers, such as IVI and LabView, for instrument control.

So when Agilent contacted me a few days ago about an upcoming AXIe chassis announcement, I was interested to see these concepts delivered in what is arguably the highest performance open modular chassis yet created.  We’ll take a look at it.  But even more importantly, it demonstrates some key architectural concepts of AXIe, and some very interesting compatibility modes with PXI.

Do you know what an ASM is? An ESM? How about “fire breathing dragon”?  Read the entire article here.

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