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.


AXIe Local Bus Speed Achieves Record 80 GB/s

One of the unique aspects of AXIe is the local bus. As reported back in the March 2013 AXIe Newsletter, the local bus is a unique bus structure that brings a lot of hidden benefits.  It is a segmented bus that connects only between adjacent slots. A left to right flow allows very high speed streaming and independent use of each between vendors and applications.


The AXIe local bus topology delivers unique capabilities of performance and flexibility, while retaining interoperability between vendors. The previously demonstrated speed of 40GB/s was already best in class performance. The ability to achieve 80GB/s and effectively double the data-rate, shows that AXIe local bus speeds are able to scale with semiconductor performance, as predicted.

This paper was co-written by Lauri Viitas of Guzik, and myself.  To read it, go here.

Modular instrument highlights of 2013

So, where are we with modular instrument adoption in 2013?  It appears that modular systems have again outgrown traditional instruments by double-digit amounts.  Part of this is due to 2013 being a soft year for the industry overall, so this wasn’t a particular large hurdle.  However, the relative growth rate of modular instrumentation shows that PXI and AXIe continue to take share from their traditional counterparts.  

Why is this, and what are the sub-currents? Segment, drivers, acquisitions, architectures, I have it covered.  For the most integrated summary you will ever read of the 2013 modular instrument market, go here.