PXI gets boost at Autotestcon

PXI is showing strong potential, based on the prevalence of PXI instruments on display at Autotestcon last week. Agilent Technologies, Geotest, National Instruments, Pickering Interfaces, Teradyne, and ZTEC Instruments were among the companies highlighting PXI products.

Brand new products released at Autotestcon come from Agilent, for example, which augmented its family of PXI digital multimeters with the M9181A, a 6-1/2 digit PXI DMM. Agilent also highlighted its M9036A PXIe embedded controller and the M9018A chassis, which let engineers integrate legacy PXI instruments into the hybrid slots of the chassis. And Agilent said its new PXIe optical link modules replace lossy coaxial cables by providing optical cables that enable RF and microwave measurements with minimal power loss over 1000 meters. The PXIe modules consist of an optical transmitter, an optical receiver, a USB to optical port, an optical to USB four-port hub and a test port.

For its part, Geotest announced that the new GX3700 and GX3700e are user-configurable FPGA-based, 3U PXI and PXIe cards, respectively, which can support serial data rates to 1.2 Gbps and I/O clock rates to 700 MHz. Geotest president Loofie Gutterman said the two products illustrate Geotest’s commitment to PXI as well as PXI Express, adding that customers with an installed base of PXI chassis need not upgrade to take advantage of FPGA technology.

Pickering Interfaces highlighted its expanding range of 3U PXI RF/microwave products by introducing four new modules with frequency coverage to 6 GHz. The 40-880 is a 10-MHz to 6-GHz solid-state SPDT switch available as dual, quad, hex, and octal configurations; the 40-881 is a 10-MHz to 6-GHz solid-state SP6T available as a single or dual version; the 40-882 is a 10-MHz to 6-GHz solid-state SP4T switch available in single, dual, triple, or quad configurations (it occupies one, two, or three 3U PXI slots depending on the configuration); and the 41-182 is a 10-MHz to 6-GHz solid-state programmable attenuator available in single, dual, or triple configurations, each attenuator having an attenuation range of 0 to 31.75 dB in 0.25 dB steps.

ZTEC Instruments indicated its support for PXI with the introduction of the ZT8651, a 6-GHz VSA (vector signal analyzer) and spectrum analyzer for analog or digitally-modulated RF signal analysis. The ZT8651 can test the upcoming 802.11 ac standard and provides the functionality of a one-box multi-protocol tester in a modular PXI/PXIe architecture. In addition to its 6 GHz RF input, the ZT8651 includes separate baseband I/Q inputs and an LO output for demodulator RFIC testing.

ZTEC also announced that Lockheed Martin and Textron Systems AAI Corp have selected the ZT4628 oscilloscope and ZT8442 RF/IF digitizer respectively for the US Navy’s eCASS (electronic Consolidated Automated Support System) to test military aircraft on naval aircraft carriers and shore-based depots. Under the eCASS program, the Navy will replace approximately 600 ship- and land-based CASS systems with about 340 new eCASS units. The program will make use of PXI-, LXI-, VXI-, and PCI-based systems.

And finally, you can read about the technology Teradyne highlighted at Autotestcon in the September cover story of Evaluation Engineering.

(Originally posted September 20 at http://rickeditor.blogspot.com/.)

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